Chiara Boschis

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If you don’t know very much about wine or the Barolo region, you should visit Chiara Boschis. Her visits are chock full of information; she will take you all the way from the roman times to the present, giving you a full history of the region. Chiara is one of the “Barolo Boys” (yes, I know she is a woman), and along with the Barolo Boys she was part of the revolution that turned Barolo into a world wide phenomenon. In addition to her educational visits, another good reason to visit with her is her incredible energy. Her passion for what she does is incredible and her positive energy is contagious.

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“I don’t always do the things that earn the most money, I try to do what is right for the region”

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Her winery is located in the town of Barolo, and her vineyards are spread out through the region. She produces the “normal” line up, ranging from dolcetto to barolo. Her wines were recently rated by Antonio Galloni, and she received 96 points for her Barolo Via Nuova, 96 points for her Barolo Cannubi and 94 points for her Barolo Mosconi.

 

Labor of Love

I enjoy reading wine books, browsing the pictures, learning about grape varieties and wine regions. The newest addition to my wine book collection is “Labor of Love” by Suzanne Hoffman.

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I actually had the pleasure of meeting Suzanne at a dinner last summer. At the time I was working with Silvia Altare at her winery. We met up with many other winemaker women at a restaurant in Barolo. Chiara Boschis, Silvia Altare, Marta Rinaldi and a few other women were there. The only man at the table was Suzanne’s husband, and at the end we were joined by Enzo Brezza.

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Suzanne’s book is about all the women in winemaking. So may families in Piemonte now have only women running the show at the wineries. And “Labor of Love’ highlights the women in these winemaker families. These women will carry on the work and traditions going forward and I am really excited to see what’s in store for the future.

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Femmes Fatales

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Territoriet does a good job of gathering wine people, and this time was no different. Veslemøy, part of the Moestue group, had organized for Chiara and Claudia to come and show their wines. The theme for the night was “Femmes Fatales”, which is fitting as these women are strong characters in Piemonte.

Chiara Boschis is located in Barolo and she was part of the Barolo Boys revolution in Piemonte. She is a wonderful person, a very good winemaker and very fun to be around. I reccommend visiting with her at her winery.

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I am less familiar with Claudia Ciglitui, but I do know her wines. Claudia is located in Barbaresco and I hope to visit the winery and learn more about the wines and the family this summer. You can read more about them on their website.

 

The visit with these wonderful winemakers was too short as always, but they are very busy, so I am grateful for any amount of time spent with them.

The wines they “showed” that night included Barbera from both producers as well as a few Barolo and Barbaresco.

From Chiara Boschis:

  • Barolo Cannubi 2009
  • Barolo Cannubi 2005
  • Barolo Via Nuova 2006
  • Barolo Via Nuova 2007
  • Barolo Via Nuova 2008

From Claudia Cigliuti:

  • Barbaresco Serraboella 2012
  • Barbaresco Via Erte 2012

Femmes Fatales

 

Fratelli Revello

I have been the Piemonte region quite a few times, and each time I try to visit some new places. On the list this time was Revello. My good friend Elena is the daughter of the winemaker and she was able to arrange a visit, a tour of the cellar and a tasting of some of their wines. Elena also works at the winery.

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Fratelli Revello, Carlo and Enzo, had their first vintage in 1992. The previous years were a mix of selling grapes to other producers, producing wine for their father and even pausing the winemaking to pursue other professions.  Recently, Carlo and Enzo split, and so going forward Enzo will be the sole winemaker with the help of his children Elena and Simone.

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My favorite part of the visit was the tasting room. One side of the room was completely covered in floor to ceiling windows, and the first thing you see is the beautiful ceder tree. And with this view we tried Barbera d’Alba Ciabot du Re 2013 and Barolo Giachini 2012. Both wonderful. I personally preferred the barbera, but probably only because the barolo 2012 is still quite young!

If you want to read more about Revello check out their website.

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Azelia

IMG_5607I recently discovered, and befriended, the winemakers at Azelia. Located at the bottom of Castiglione, next to Paolo Scavino, you find the not so small winery of Azelia. It just so happens that Azelia, Cavallotto and Scavino are all related– welcome to Barolo!

At the Azelia winery, Lorenzo the son is now the 5th generation of winemakers. Lorenzo, named after his grandfather, works with his dad at the winery. When you go on the tour, you will pass by a corner with a bunch of wine stacked. This is wine from the vintage Lorenzo was born, and it will be saved until a wedding or a birthday. A very nice idea, I wish my parents had been into wine when I was born.

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Azelia makes a fairly wide range of wines, red, from Dolcetto to Barolo Riserva. What is interesting about Azelia, is that a large portion of their vines are very old. The vines used to make the Barbera Punta is around 60 years old. So the Azelia barbera is rather different from a lot of other barbera’s from the Barolo region.

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If you want to visit the winery, you can call ahead or send an email. Check out their website for more information.

Oddero

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Isabella Oddero and I have been friends online for a while, and I figured it was time to meet in person. And what better way thank to do a tasting at the winery. She was kind enough to show me around even though she was sick, and I got the grand and Manhatten, her golden retriever, joined us in the cellar.

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The Oddero winery is an old one, one of the historical ones in Piemonte, dating back to the 18th century. At the start of the tour there is a little museum showing the old tools used to make wine. I just have to say “Thank God for technology.”

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Today, Christina Oddero is the main winemaker, with her niece Isabella doing most of the travelling and wine marketing. The first recorded bottle of wine made is in 1878. Another interesting fact about the Oddero winery is that they have a vineyard in Barbaresco, and make a Barbaresco wine, but they are one of the few who are allowed to bring the grapes back to La Morra and make it there. Usually, if you have vineyards in Barbaresco you can only call the wine Barbaresco if the wine is made within the borders of Barbaresco. The exception was made because Oddero started making Barbaresco before the rule was set in place.

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After the tour, we of course tasted some wines. We started with their White wine, which is a blend of Riseling and Chardonnay. It is an unusual blend of grapes, but it was very good and refreshing. We went on to the reds, starting with Dolcetto, then Barbera, then Barolo of course, their Barbaresco, and at the end I tried their Moscato. I LOVE Moscato, especially in the summer! And their Moscato Vineyard was the dowry from Isabella’s grandmothers wedding.

Roberto Voerzio

This is one for the books.

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I had met Roberto at a Champagne dinner earlier this month, and decided I needed to visit his winery. I have tasted very few, if any, of his wines before, and so it was time. And it was a very good decision. Naturally, I did not expect him to be there. He is a busy man, and as always I try to not expect to much when I visit, as I know it’s a busy business to be in. His daughter in law, Miriam, showed me around (we were a group, it was not just me).

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We started in the vineyard. Few wineries do this, but I think it’s one of the best ways to start a visit. Because, after all, that is where the winemaking starts. And Voerzio is a firm believer in that the winemaking is mostly done in the vineyard. The work done in the cellar, once the grapes are picked, does not have an enormous effect on the wine. And as they add nothing to the wine, it’s really the vines, soil and grapes that makes the wine what it is.

“The wines are an expression of the soil” (paraphrased, but nonetheless what Miri said.

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We of course went in the cellar, where we ran into Roberto. He was doing a tour simultaneously. An example of how busy they are. After the cellar, we went to the beautiful tasting room. We tasted Barolo 2008, Barolo Riserva 2005, Barbera Pozzo 2010 2008 2004. Of all the wines my favorite was the Barbera 2008. Extremely good. They treat this barbera like a barolo, which is probably one of the reasons why it was exceptionally good.

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Now lastly, I want to mention the label. I think this is my favorite label so far. And this is why: As you can see, the label in 2004 does not have a star in the upper left corner, but the 2008 and 2010 do. This is because Roberto’s wife died of cancer. So the star represents her. A beautiful way to commemorate a family member.

Brezza

Brezza, a winery, hotel and restaurant, lies right on the edge of the town Barolo. The Brezza family bottled their first wine in 1910. Today, the fourth generation runs the operations, with over twenty two hectares. Brezza also has a hotel and a restaurant.

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Brezza has a Langhe Chardonnay and a Rosé. Not many wineries I have visited makes a rosé and it was interesting to taste. I tasted almost all the wines, and I think my favorites were the Barbera Santa Rosalia, Nebbbiolo Santa Rosalia and Barolo Classico 2011. There were a vast number of wines to chose from, and of course the others were good, but the abovementioned three wines stood out for me.

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Brezza uses glass corks on some of their wine. There are different reasons to do this. One is to reduce the number of corcked wines. It is also said that the glass cork preserves the wines better, and the wine will hold onto it’s freshness longer. I have very little knowledge when it comes to traditional cork vs glass cork, but I know the DOCG does not allow glass corks, at least not yet.

Renato Corino

Renato Corino is the son of Giovanni Corino and the brother of Giuliano Corino. The two brothers, Giuliano and Renato decided to work separately, instead of working together under their fathers name.

Renato Corino started producing his own wines in 2005. The Cantina is located right in Arborina, a prime location for a winery, and he of course produces a Barolo Arborina. He produces Barolos, but also Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Renato works alongside his son, Stefano. Stefano incidently combines winemaking with biking, and participates in several local bike races.

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During my visit we tasted some wines not yet bottled: Nebbiolo 2014, Barbera 2014, Dolcetto 2014 and Barbera Pozzo 2013. Then we resumed the “regular” tasting. The wines have a familiar taste, since they are made in the same areas as the other wines I often drink. It was a very nice visit, the Corino’s are very hospitable and ‘sympatico’. And it was nice to meet someone my age (there are many “old” people in the Barolo area…)

Elvio Cogno

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Today I visited the Elvio Cogno winery. Nadia Cogno showed me around the beautiful cantina that sits atop a hill just outside Novello in Barolo. Cogno used to be partners with Marcarini in La Morra, but in 1990 they decided to move to Novello. After 4 generations of winemakers, it is Valter Fissore and Nadia who run the winery today.IMG_5370

During my visit I got to taste the Anaschetta, Dolcetto Mandorlo, Barbera “Bricco di Merli”, Langhe Nebbiolo Montegrilli, Barbaresco Bordini, Barolo Cascina Nuova, and the Barolo Ravera. I think my favorite was the Barolo Ravera. Although the Nebbiolo was also very good!

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I thought it was interesting how they put the barbera in oak but not their langhe nebbiolo! In my mind it’s wonderful that each winery has it’s own quirks and ideas.