Whether it is in the bilingual wine labels of Alto Adige, or the occasional Slavic grape name in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italian wine often reveals the duality of culture present in some of the country’s border regions. Tucked into Italy’s northwestern corner, Valle d’Aosta certainly demonstrates this, as its language, cuisine and wine seem to have one foot in Italy and another in France.
I returned to Campania recently for the first time in three years and as with most Italian regions, discovered that not much had changed, at least as far as appearances are concerned. I did meet a few producers I hadn’t visited before, with one of them – Petilia – being a great new discovery for me. More on that below, but overall what impressed me most was the consistency of the wines, white and red.
Any wine student or lover of Italian wines can name the country’s most famous red wines, such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino or Amarone della Valpolicella. But given the variety of Italian wines and grape types, it stands to reason that there are many more examples produced throughout the country. This article is the first in a series about a few of the lesser known red wines of Italy; we begin with Piemonte.
While there are three famous red varieties in Piemonte – Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto – there are several others that produce very expressive wines.
Barolo, produced exclusively from Nebbiolo, is one of the world’s most celebrated wines. Here in a production zone in southern Piedmont, a mixture of soils and other conditions combine to make wines that can truly be defined as products of terroir.
Join us for an in-depth look at the finest vineyards and producers of Barolo, from the perfumed examples of La Morra and Verduno to the more tannic examples from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba.
We will also examine recent trends in winemaking and well as the factors of climate change to understand how today’s Barolo differ from those made 40 and 50 years ago.
Tom Hyland is a Chicago-based wine writer/educator and photographer, specializing in Italian wines.
He has authored two books on Italian wines, and has conducted seminars for the trade on various Italian wines in Chicago, New York and in Bordeaux at VinExpo.
Conducted by Suzanne Hoffman, wine family expert and author of the award-winning book, Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte, with the participation of:
Our panel will discuss the growing movement to recover and preserve the health of Piemonte’s vineyards.
Boschis’ and Rocca’s wineries are prominent, visionary members of a growing industry group known as The Green Experience®.
The so-called revolution in Barolo at the end of the 20th Century was not just about modern versus traditional styles of the iconic wine. And it wasn’t just in Barolo. It was also about a fervent movement that arose from young vintners’ realization that their generation was charged with cleaning up their vineyards from the failed quantity-first post-World War II agricultural policies. They sparked a fire that spread throughout the region, but their methods often brought them ridicule.
Today, however, they are seen as visionaries in the quest to preserve Piemonte’s wine country for generations to follow.
The Green Experience® is a 21st century outgrowth of the passion of these visionaries whose practices, once ridiculed, are now commonplace. Over 100 wineries in the UNESCO World Heritage Site region of Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato, including E. Pira e Figli and Albino Rocca, are certified members of The Green Experience that Cuneo region members of Europe’s largest agricultural professionals organization, Coldiretti, formed to recover the health of the land and preserve it for future generations. For more information on The Green Experience, visit http://www.thegreenexperience.it.
Suzanne Hoffman is an attorney, journalist, and author of the award-winning book, Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte.
She lived and worked for over two decades in Switzerland during which time she fell in love with Piemonte’s wine families and their vinous labor of love.
Suzanne is a wine family expert and a frequent speaker on the familial wine industry.
A cherished part of her work to promote the region and the families is to lead small, highly personalized tours of Piemonte. Her goal is to weave the culture and history of wine regions into the marketing of family owned and operated wineries to create stronger connections between producers and their clients.
Suzanne lives near Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dani, and wine dog, Arneis.
Sure, everyone knows Prosecco — or at least thinks they do.
But most people are familiar with only the very tip of the iceberg, which also happens to be the simplest, most commercial part of it.
It this webinar we’ll take a close look at the unique winegrowing area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, located in the hills north of Venice where Prosecco was born, to get a clear understanding of what distinguishes it from other sparkling wines, especially Prosecco DOC: of its incredibly complex and diverse terroir; and of the many different typologies, styles and production methods that are utilized to express the extraordinary landscape and long viticultural traditions of this area.
Alan Tardi first became interested in wine through food, working as a cook, chef, and chef-owner in New York City.
As a freelance food and wine journalist, Tardi has authored numerous articles for publications including The New York Times, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The Wine Spectator, Decanter, and Sommelier Journal.
In 2003, Alan moved to the village of Castiglione Falletto in the Barolo region of Italy, where he spent several years working in the surrounding vineyards and wineries through all phases of the growing and production process.
This lead to his first book, 'Romancing the Vine: Life, Love and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo' (St Martins Press, 2006), which won a James Beard Award for Best Wine and Spirits Book of 2006.
In 2015, Tardi became the first-ever US Ambassador of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco.
His new book, “Champagne, Uncorked: The House of Krug and the Timeless Allure of the World’s Most Celebrated Drink” (Hachette 2016) recently won a Gourmand Best in the World Award.
Contrary to popular belief Franciacorta is not a new wine region in fact wines have been produced in this region since the sixteenth century. However, the modern history of the region began in 1961 with the production of the first sparkling wine in the region by Franco Ziliani, winemaker at the Guido Berlucchi winery.
The popularity of these wines attracted the attention of successful entrepreneurs from neighboring Milan and Brescia and by 1967, when the area received its Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC) 11 producers were making sparkling Franciacorta.
In 1990 the voluntary consortium was created ensuring a focus on only the highest quality methods, which resulted in the region gaining DOCG status in 1995.
Today Franciacorta is synonamous with the finest sparkling wines coming out of Italy, produced according to the strictest methods in the world for this type of wine.
Join May Matta-Aliah, Regional Educator, and learn how the vision and passion of one man lead to the creation of a classic sparkling wine region.
May is a New York based wine educator and President of In the Grape. She is a seasoned presenter, an accredited educator, and brings over 15 years of experience and knowledge to all her work.
In her teachings May leverages her wide breadth of knowledge, her hands-on industry experience along with insights gained from her extensive travel to the worlds’ wine regions.
May is a firm believer in making wine and spirits education accessible to everyone from wine trade professionals to curious appreciators. Her experience includes a long-standing affiliation with the prestigious International Wine Center, where she has been teaching the classes of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, to frequently sold-out consumer classes at a variety of venues around New York City.
She has designed and taught custom courses to industry organizations and presented at large trade conferences such as Tales of the Cocktail, San Antonio Cocktail Classic, New York Wine Expo, Society of Wine Educator Annual Conference and the French Wine Society Annual Conference.
Italy’s white wines are as diverse as the country’s reds. With a trove of native varieties, there is an Italian white wine to fit every budget and every occasion. In fact, there are so many choices that shopping for an Italian white wine can be overwhelming. It doesn’t help matters that many of the white grapes have similar looking names. However, you don’t have to memorize an encyclopedia to find the perfect wine for dinner.
Just knowing a few key wines will ease the confusion and simplify the shopping trip (hint, if the grape or wine name has a “v” in it, you will probably love it.)