It’s been a crazy couple of days here in Langa, the land of Barolo and Barbaresco, where the weather already feels like early summer.
In the photo above, you can see the cradle of Barbaresco. From left: the Asili, Martinenga, and Rabajà crus (with the Marchesi di Gresy’s Martinenga estate house in the center; click the image for a larger version).
Note the tower of Barbaresco village in the top right.
Those vineyards are considered by most to be the heart and soul of appellation.
I grabbed this detail from the Barbaresco consortium’s official map.
You can see the t-shaped Martinenga house in the center of the vineyard (compare with the photo above).
I took the photo yesterday from the Cascina delle Rose, the winery and home of Giovanna Rizzolio, one of my favorite Barbaresco producers.
She lives atop the Rio Sordo cru on the other side of this small valley and is a top producer of Barbaresco Rio Sordo (one of my favorite wines). The screenshot of a Google map below gives you a sense of the distance between Tre Stelle, the village where she lives and makes wine, and Barbaresco (about 30 minutes on foot).
Life on the road is often hectic for me and my visit with Giovanna was unfortunately cut short by unforeseen work obligations that came up at the last minute.
I was really bummed about that: I was eager to dig into her new vintages and update my notes on her wines, which I love.
The good news is that new business opportunities will be bringing me back to Langa soon and I’ll hopefully get a chance to catch up with her and her wines in coming months (the wines are available in Texas, btw, via Rootstock).
I came to Langa this week to celebrate bromance Giovanni Arcari’s fortieth birthday. That’s Giovanni, left, wearing his “Greatest American Hero” t-shirt, and Barolo producer Ferdinando Prinicipiano, who gave Giovanni a 12-liter bottle of one of his top crus (Boscareto in Serralunga).
Good friends Paolo Cantele and Adua Villa also joined for a fantastic dinner celebration and fat flight of wines on Tuesday night in Cissone village (more on that later).
He and I generally speak to one another in Italian. But over the course of his many trips to Texas and California, he’s picked up on my very Californian habit of addressing all my friends as “man.” Everywhere he and I travel in Italy together, people laugh about that…
Happy birthday, man! You’ve been and wonderful friend to me and my family and I am so glad you were born.
What a week it’s been in Langa! Great wines, great times…
So much to tell and so little time. Today is my last day in Langa and tomorrow it’s off to Montefalco and then Ascoli Piceno. Crazy, right!