Most “wine lovers”, while imbibing the deliciousness that is (
good great) wine, rarely think about the “who”. They might give thought to the varietal, the country or region, if they will have another glass (probably, yes) and if it might be a good bottle to bring to their next gathering. But I would venture to guess that the majority of “wine lovers”, and I use this term loosely as many say they love wine but actually have little knowledge of all that encompasses this bottled treasure, never actually think about who is behind the wine, about the producer. I must admit I fit into this category as well, that is until I started reading, researching, and learning more about wine. That’s why when I attended Salone del Gusto back in October I decided to partake in a tasting organized by the students of the University of Gastronomic Sciences (aka Slow Food University) entitled “Giovani Vignarions”, or Young Producers. The tasting featured four wines all brought to life by, yes, young (Italian) producers. Two things caught my attention about this tasting. One, of course, was wanting to know more about the producers themselves. Wine, and more specifically the world of artisanal gastronomy and enology, comes to life through story-telling, through feeling a sense of connectedness, through the human spirit. The other was the word young. I was struck by this word since I too am young. I too am trying to nurture a passion, to create a life from something I love and am enthusiastic about. I could relate.
We proceeded to taste four different wines, one white and three red, all delicious and recommended.
Vallone di Cecione – Simplicity and sincerity, humble origins, and sacrifice characterize the Anichini family and their Chianti Classico from Panzano in Chianti, Tuscany. The label really tells the story, however. It is a tribute to the hard work and sacrifice of two farmers, husband and wife, who longed to one day own the land they worked and produce a special wine. Head over to their website and you’ll see what I mean. I recommend watching the short video at the bottom of their home page on how their winery came to be. Even if you don’t understand Italian, there’s no denying the love and passion this producer has for their land and for their wine.
The 2010 Chianti Classico is produced from 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo grapes. The wine is young and ready to drink with notes of red fruits, rose, and violets, typical of the Conca d’Oro area. Conca d’Oro, or Golden Bowl, is named so because of the fertile soil and favorable position of the land within the Chianti Classico region. Vallone di Cecione also produces olive oil and is currently awaiting certification as a bio-dynamic producer, even though their production methods have been organic from the onset. Additionally, they have two traditional Tuscan style apartments on their property available for country holidays.
Enzo Boglietti – The 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo is produced with 100% Nebbiolo grapes from the La Morra area in the Piemonte region. Wine production from the Boglietti estate began in 1991 from only a couple hectares of land. Since then the two young brothers have added considerably to their small terrain and now produce Barolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto, in addition to their wines from Langhe. The 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo has persistent notes of vanilla, violets and red fruits with balanced acidity and tannins. For a full range of products and their descriptions head on over to the Boglietti website.
La Colombera – Out of the four producers this is the only winery that has a woman at the helm! Although La Colombera has been around for some time it was just in 2000 that the winery began expanding its varieties to include more autochthonous grapes. The 2010 Timorasso Derthona, produced from 100% Timorasso grapes native to this region, is young and still evolving. It has notes of exotic fruit and white flowers with a good minerality and high acidity. La Colombera also produces jams and canned peaches and offers winery visits and tastings. To learn more about La Colombera, visit their site.
Borgogno & Figli – Two things are interesting about this winery. The first is that it has been around since 1761, making it one of the oldest wine cellars in Piemonte. So it’s not exactly young. And two it produces a wine labeled “No Name”. But what’s in a name anyway, right? Precisely. That’s the whole point of the label. This “nameless” wine invites one to reflect on what is actually in the bottle rather than what is on the bottle. From the label one would have no way of knowing that the wine is actually a Barolo (100% Nebbiolo) and respects all of the traditional characteristics. The 2008 is a young, spicy wine with notes of sweet tobacco, a full body, and a velvety finish. In 2008 the Farinetti family, creators of Eataly, acquired the winery and since then “No Name” has been the product of the twenty-something enologist, Andrea Farinetti. Gotta love a family business!