Corkscrew as a star

I was writing several times about Piedmont wines, smaller and bigger wineries in the Langhe and Roero, however, this time I will concentrate on corkscrew. You may think – a kitchen utensil like many others, what is to write about? Well, let’s just have a look…

Museum of Corkscrews in Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
colorful, optimistic, a real pieves of art…

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The gnome’s vineyard

Any time I visit cellars in the Langhe area I always come back home full of positive energy and lots of inspiring stories and ideas. It couldn’t be different after my meeting with Sara Vezza Saffirio, a young and entrepreneurial winemaker at Josetta Saffirio in Casteletto (Monforte d’Alba). As 23-year-old girl she already decided to stay in the area and to continue a family tradition of making wines.

Josetta Saffirio, Monforte d'alba, Piedmont, Italy
Sara Vezza Saffirio

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Cellar full of bubbles

Old cellars covering 5000 square meters, long lyrical illuminated corridors and lots of bottles with fermenting wine. While I was visiting the ancient basements of Contratto, a party took over the place above. The huge elegant courtyard, of the oldest Italian producer of millesimato metodo classico, hosted a significant number of guests. This time I will not write about the reception (although I had so much fun and I don’t remember when was the last time I danced so much…), this article is about an unusual winery that can boast almost 150 years of tradition.

Contratto, Canelli, Piedmont, Italy
Contratto vineyard in Canelli

Contratto, Canelli, Piedmont, Italy
wine available in different size bottles

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Cavaliere from La Morra

After my visit in Elio Altare vineyard I was curious how traditional winery can look like in our time. So I visited Lorenzo Accomasso. He lives and works not far from Elio Altare and his family. In the Langhe he is a legend, honored by cavaliere title by the president of the Italian Republic for his merits in the Langhe wine culture. In the 70s he has already implemented the method of heavy pruning of grapevine gaining in this way a better quality of harvest, what’s more for more than 20 years he was the president of the Regional Enoteca in La Morra. He works with his sister and they cultivate 3 ha of land, take care of both vinification and selling process. Lorenzo Accomasso is a good example of an old generation – he lives lives in a modest and simple way. From time to time he is visited by wine lovers, professionals and distributors even from Asia. It turns out his wines are much more popular in distant Japan, then in shops and restaurants in Piedmont region…

Barolo of Lorenzo Accomasso, Piedmont, Italy
Barolo Riserva Rocche 2006 and Barolo Riserva Vigneto Rocchette 2006

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Barriques contra botti

Barolo, produced in 11 communes, by 770 producers, in the quantity of 10 920 000 a year, it has already become a true ambassador of Piedmont region, and a bottle of this red liquid is an object of desire for wine lovers. No wonder that both tourists and professionals visit wineries and they listen eagerly to winemakers telling about their history, job, everyday challenges, but also techniques used for wine production. And the last one, by the way, can be completely different. An example? Two neighbors living in La Morra: Elio Altare and Lorenzo Accomasso. Lorenzo Accomasso is a symbol of tradition, while Elio Altare was one of pioneers in using new methods in Barolo making process. And even though a division between traditionalists and modernists doesn’t exist anymore, no so long time ago the wine world in the Langhe was heavily divided. And the reason was …the size of a wood barrel.

Cantina Elio Altare, Piedmont, Italy
French barriques

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Pollenzo is a tiny town near Bra, 14 km from Alba in the Southern Piedmont. Once it was one of numerous Sabaudian residence, presently it’s one of the most important gastronomic centers in Europe. When for the first time I saw buildings in red brick gathered together in one place I had an impression to be in a land of gingerbread houses…

Pollenzo, Piedmont, Italy
the castle and l’Agenzia

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Wine festival in Alba

On Sunday September 30th Alba city center turned into a huge wine bar under the sky. Tourists and Langhe and Roero (Piedmont, Italy) citizens took part in Festa del Vino event. Between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. you could taste different types of celebrated wines, choosing between ca 700 labels!

piazza Risorgimento

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