Lately I’ve realized that many of my most recent interviews have been with Sommeliers and Restaurant Managers of Italian restaurants in Hong Kong, from whom I’ve learned very much indeed about the Italian wines currently trending in the city. Naturally the names “Nebbiolo, Barolo, Barbaresco” have flown out of the mouths of my interviewees, words beating with characteristically beautiful, undulating, rhythm. Although appreciating these key elements of the Italian wine industry because of the beauty of their names, I never really knew much about them. What makes Barolo and Barbaresco, two wines produced from the same Nebbiolo grape type, so different in texture?
To find out, I looked through some of Debra Meiburg’s winemaker interviews and found this one, in which she speaks with Italo Sobrino and Giovanna Rizzolio of Cascina delle Rose, a vineyard located in the Barbaresco area of the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. They discuss the differences between the two wine types, as well as the terroir characteristics which lead to these differences. Giovanna describes the region as well as the Barbaresco they produce, recommending some traditional dishes to go with the wine. She also describes to Debra what happens in the winery during the wintertime when the vines are “napping” under a layer of snow.
I recently spent a weekend in Barolo, which is simply one of the most fascinating Italian wine areas. High hills, patchworks of vineyards, breathtaking views – and then, of course, famed Barolo wines. As one may expect, I came there for the wine.
Gianluca and Claudio Viberti of Giovanni Viberti winery staged a nice little event, offering us to taste some aged Barolos from the 1990s and then continuing with a dinner where we had more wine with superb Piemontese food. Continue reading →