I had not seen Aldo Conterno, the legendary Barolo producer, in more than 20 years. I had made an appointment to visit him at the winery outside the town of Monforte d’Alba while on vacation with my wife. We drove up to the hilltop building on a showery Monday morning in April. Aldo’s son Giacamo met us and conveyed his father’s regrets that he could not be there. He was in a hospital recovering from pneumonia.
Late last week, when the sad news reached us that Aldo was dead at 81, I flashed back to a sunny day in the late 1980s when I first visited him at the winery. We sat in the warm courtyard after the obligatory tour of the cellar and a drive through the vineyard, and talked about the revolution that was under way in Piemonte.
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