Thanks to a string of successful vintages, there has been a great deal of recent publicity regarding Barolo and Barbaresco wines.
Produced entirely from Nebbiolo, these two iconic wines have changed in style over the past 20-30 years; where once, the wines were reserved upon release, today, the wines are riper and more forward. This is largely due to climate change, as warmer temperatures throughout the growing season have necessitated Nebbiolo harvests some two to three weeks earlier these days than in the 1980s, ‘70s and prior; while late October to early November was normal for a Nebbiolo harvest thirty and forty years ago, today, harvest is more typically in early-mid October.
Nebbiolo is one of Italy’s greatest cultivars—if not the greatest, period.
Historically, it has held a place of reverence. In the 15th century, damaging a Nebbiolo vine was punishable by death!
Native to Piedmont and thriving in the Langhe, this grape is the consummate interpreter of “place.” Bold, brash, sophisticated or elegant, it manifests multiple personalities depending upon the environment in which it finds itself.
Find out more in this comprehensive tour of Piedmont terroirs! See the land from Nebbiolo’s point of view!
Ciro Pirone, Director of Italian Wines for Horizon Beverage Company, is a graduate of the Istituto Alberghiero (Hotel and Restaurant Management school) of Salerno, Italy. Travelling and working in Italy, England and the US, Ciro developed an incredible passion for wine, food and culture. After all, growing up in Italy, wine was always a very important part of his family’s lifestyle and traditions.
In 1999, Ciro moved to the US permanently. He landed in Boston, where he continued his wine studies at Boston University, the International Sommelier Guild and the London –based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). In 2007, Ciro accepted the position of Italian Wine Specialist for Horizon Beverage. After successful growth at HBC, Ciro accepted on a new challenge as the US Brand Manager for the Arnaldo Caprai Winery of Montefalco (Umbria), the top producer of worldwide recognized Sagrantino di Montefalco. In June 2011, Ciro returned to Horizon Beverage with a new position of Director of Italian Wines in support of their expanding presence in the New England marketplace. Ciro is happy to share his passion for Italian wine and culture in an effort to give the American wine consumer a better understanding and appreciation for Italian wine!
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.
He has been writing about these wines for 19 years, and today is a contributor to Decanter and wine-searcher.com. He is also the U.S. ambassador for the consorzio, I Vini del Piemonte.
Are you looking for the best Italian red grapes? The wonderful thing about Italian red grape varieties is that they are distinctly Italian. Plenty of winegrowers around the world have made attempts at growing Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera, but few have come even close to matching the results of these grapes’ native soils. As a rule, Italian grape varieties don’t care to leave Italy, and who could blame them? Completely at home in their places of origin or tradition, each Italian red grape has evolved and adapted in perfect harmony with their surroundings.
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