“What would Soave have been without him?” On the eve of Vinitaly, Italian wine mourns the loss of Leonildo Pieropan…

Above: Legacy producer Leonildo Pieropan with his two sons and grandchildren in an udated photo (image via the Slow Wine blog).

News of Leonildo Pieropan’s passing swept across the world of Italian wine this weekend.

On the eve of Vinitaly (the annual wine trade fair in Verona), remembrances of the Italian wine legend and pioneer poured out over the internet. Not only was Pieropan the architect of Soave’s great revival, he was also one of the founders of FIVI, the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers, a now powerful advocacy group. His wines have shaped the palates of a generation of Italian wine lovers, including mine.

Don’t miss Ian D’Agata’s wonderful post, published yesterday on Vinous, “In Memory of Leonildo Pieropan.”

And here’s a remembrance by Slow Wine editor-in-chief Giancarlo Gariglio (excerpted translation mine):

Everyone knew Leonildo Pieropan as Nino. He was a pillar of Italian viticulture. He was one of those rare, singular winemakers who embody their appellations.

What would have Soave been without him? It would have been a much poorer appellation. And not just because of his legendary wines. His wines were captivating in their youth. And as they aged, they made decades seem like mere months. But Nino was also able to inspire other producers to follow his vision of what the appellation could be.

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