Looking for a gift for the wine geek who has everything? Forget about crystals that automatically reset the wine’s inner biological clock at its peak, or the latest gadget to preserve any precious drops of the latest cult wine (at my house, there are no leftovers).
My last visit in the Langhe was to the venerable house of Pio Cesare , founded in 1881. Pio Boffa, the company’s current owner and the fourth generation of the family to run the winery, picked me up at my hotel in La Morra.
A week ago I visited Maria-Teresa Mascarello at Bartolo Mascarello in Barolo. Mascarello’s is a traditional, no-frills operation: cement fermentation tanks, a basket press and nothing but large oak casks.
Austria lost two of its winegrowers this week, Alois Kracher, Jr., 48 and Erich Salomon, 64. Both succumbed to cancer. For many, Luis Kracher was the face of Austrian wine. Though he and his family specialized in dessert wines from vineyards around Illmitz, on the shores of Lake Neusiedl, Kracher was a passionate and tireless promoter of all Austrian wines.
Last Thursday I visited with Giacomo Conterno of Podere Aldo Conterno , located in the hamlet of Bussia Soprana, just outside Montforte d’Alba. It was there I got a geology lesson in the landscape of the Langhe.
On Wednesday, I visited the Barolo estate of Damilano, and had my first foray into Barbaresco to a winery that needs little introduction: Gaja. Damilano has been making wine since 1890. Today, four cousins run the estate from a facility on the outskirts of Barolo, built in 1965.
I’m in Venice. I’m supposed to be in Barolo, but since I’m in Venice, I’m having some razor clams at a tiny osteria just off Piazza San Marco. I was walking home from dinner Tuesday evening. The next thing I knew, I woke up in the back of a car speeding across Italy on the autostrada.
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