Learning about Italian wines and Italian regions can be intimidating, even for the wine professional. In this class, we will simplify the northern section of the country and taste wines from the region to give example of how great the variation is from region to region. The speaker, Damien Lehoux, is a Frenchman with a passion for Italian wines. Every year we invite him to host a masterclass on Italian wines and this year, we are fortunate as he agreed to host two classes, one on northern Italy and one on central and southern Italy. If you ever found yourself wondering if Nebbiolo is a grape or region (hint: it's both!) or if Chianti is a grape (hint: it's not!), please consider attending this class! This event is open to all levels of wine appreciators, from beginner to advanced. Beginners will enjoy the experience of tasting great wines at a price point you may not have graduated to, yet, and advanced wine lovers will enjoy the tasting as well as the indepth regional presentation.
To get you thinking about Italy, here is a little info on Piedmont:
The region of Piedmont is diverse, made so by channels of mountain ranges, divisive rivers, variations in soil types, and distinctly varying climates within. The most famous region known for producing the grape Nebbiolo is Barolo, and even within this small region, there marked differences in soil types, from the calcerous marl soils known as Tortonian in the west to sandstone soils known as Helvetian in the east. Barolo’s northerly neighbor and Nebbiolo competitor is Barbaresco where calcerous clay dominates the soils. With the geographical elevations constantly changing within the Piemonte region, it’s hard to generalize the climate experienced, overall. For example, the vineyard elevation in Barbaresco vary from 500 to 1150 feet, whereas Barolo tops that be another 165 feet. Also, there’s more water in Barolo thanks to the tributaries of the Tanaro, the Talloria dell’Annunziata and Talloria di Castiglione. The battle for the best Nebbiolo doesn’t end in Barolo and Barbaresco, but the quality experiences a major shift when moving to the other regions in Piemonte known to produce this grape: Valtellina, Carema in Valle d’Aosta, and of course, Nebbiolo d’Alba. Much like great Burgundies, Barolos vary vineyard site to vineyard site, and thanks to more open minded winemaking techniques incorporating both traditional and newer concepts, we no longer are forced to wait 20 years for a Barolo to mature enough to drink, if it ever would mature at all.
In the World Atlas Of Wine 7th edition by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, a well known Barbaresco wine producer, Gaja, was mentioned, specifically, in the section of Barbaresco. Here is what these two wine experts had to say about Gaja:
“Barbaresco once played understudy to the much more famous Barolo, until Angelo Gaja, in a dazzling Missoni sweater, strode onto the world stage as Italy’s wine prophet and unstoppable promoter. Gaja has no inhibitions; his wines, whether classic Nebbiolo, experimental Cabernet, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc, or Barbera are treated like first-growth claret, state their case, and cost a fortune. Bruno Giacosa had shown in the 1960s that Barbaresco could have the intensity (if not always the sheer physical weight) of Barolo, but it was Gaja who modernized the message, importing new barriques and new ideas without apparently a second thought in this most traditional of regions.”
Hope you will join us!
Here is the link for the central and southern Italian wine class on December 15th at 6:30PM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/va-central-southern-italy-tasting-and-class-tickets-36368366764
What to Expect:
This event is aimed to host a select gathering of like-minded wine and food lovers who are eager to share wine, stories, laughter, and friendship. We welcome you whether you are an entry-level wine drinker or a well-traveled wine connoisseur. The wines we will sample are carefully hand selected by our premier wine buying team. Please, consider joining us during a busy week to unwind and take a break from the routines of your normal day to sample some amazing wines while listening to an incredibly well-informed speaker about regions and varietals you may not yet have visited or tasted.