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Elvio Cogno, One of Barolo's Greats, Dies at 79

Talented Italian vintner made benchmark wines at Marcarini before starting his own Piedmont estate

Bruce Sanderson
Posted: June 16, 2016

Elvio Cogno, the gifted winemaker from Italy's Piedmont region who worked at Marcarini and his own winery, died June 12 of complications from diabetes. He was 79 years old.

As a young man in the early 1960s, Cogno worked for his father at the restaurant all'Angelo in La Morra. There, he met Giuseppe Marcarini, who was in need of a cellar master. Though Cogno had never made wine, it was his dream, so he volunteered to work without pay. His first vintage was 1964, a great harvest in Barolo, and the resulting wine, from the Brunate vineyard, became legendary. It was also one of the first Barolos to bear the name of the cru on the label.

Cogno eventually became a partner in Marcarini, but in 1990 decided to fulfill another dream—owning his own estate. He bought a property on a Novello hilltop in the middle of the Ravera cru. He was joined by his son-in-law, Valter Fissore, who continues to make the wines today and manages the estate with Cogno's daughter Nadia.

"Elvio was a great teacher, in life and at work, and his memory will live forever in our words and in our deeds," said Fissore. "The greatest legacy that he left us is the winery that we constructed together over the past 20 years in Ravera of Novello."

Today, Ravera's wines are more widely known, thanks to Cogno, as well as Vietti, G.D. Vajra and Marziano Abbona. Cogno is survived by his wife, Graziella, daughter Nadia and granddaughter Elena.

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