Sunday, 07 June 2020

Enoteca del Barbaresco: « Promoting the expressions of an extraordinary DOCG »

I vigneti di Barbaresco I vigneti di Barbaresco

Inside the wonderful deconsecrated church of San Donato, in Barbaresco, stands the Enoteca Regionale of this denomination. An open and welcoming place, showcasing one of the most acclaimed wines of the Langhe: « The best in the world, of course » says President Massimo Caniggia, whom we asked to describe the activities of his Enoteca.

Massimo Caniggia, when was the Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco created?

The Enoteca opened its doors on 5 July 1986. The desire that brought to its foundation sprang a few years earlier thanks to the Regione Piemonte and its law concerning the so-called “Enoteche Regionali” and “Botteghe del Vino”. A strategy designed to enhance Piedmontese denominations, strongly desired by then President Aldo Viglione, who was well acquainted with the wines of his region. The Enoteca del Barbaresco had a specific goal: to promote Barbaresco wine and to be the wine tourism reference point of the whole denomination. A commitment that has remained the same even after so many years. 

How was the venue chosen?

Currently the Enoteca keeps the work of about 140 producers. On both national and international scale, it is certainly the place that offers the greatest number of labels of Barbaresco DOCG, providing an unparalleled overview of the denomination.

How is membership acquired? Is there a tasting committee?

It should be noted immediately that the Enoteca is not your traditional wine shop: selling wine is still the core of our business, but it takes place on a much wider scale and it accounts for all the various expressions of the area. Membership to the Enoteca is on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, since last year, we have newly conceptualized the tasting committee, giving it a particular task. 

Which is?

The committee is made up of qualified tasters and it primarily serves for “consultancy”. It is not a sort of threshold for the membership to the Enoteca: the committee tastes the wines presented and, upon request, it may express opinions on ways to eventually improve the wines. I believe that it is a very useful tool for a production sector with such a wide range, enabling the discussion of Barbaresco wine and its perceived quality at a professional level.

Which type of promotional activities does the Enoteca puts in place?

The most important promotional activity, which many often underestimate, is the fact that the Enoteca is open 7 days a week. We also organize a lot of events all year round, where the Enoteca participates or which it promotes directly. Among the main ones are certainly “Piacere Barbaresco” and “Barbaresco a Tavola”: the “cornerstones” of the Enoteca. The former is one of the best occasions to get to know the Barbaresco DOCG especially during the “Grande Banco d’Assaggio”, featuring more than 100 labels for tasting; on the other hand, the latter is an initiative to present the new vintages during dinners organized in collaboration with the restaurants in the area. A format that has been very successful and that some producers are also repeating abroad. Finally, among the new features presented last year, there is “Espressione Barbaresco”.

What is it about?

“Espressione Barbaresco” started as a key event for the promotion and enhancement of the denomination. Held at the Castello di Neive, it aims to showcase “all the shades of Barbaresco”, presenting the new vintages together with the patron of the event, who was Kerin O’Keefe in 2019, an Italian editor for Wine Enthusiast and perhaps one of the most famous wine critics in the world. We were planning to hold the second edition of Espressione Barbaresco last April, but the health emergency has made us change our plans.

Will the event be cancelled?

Absolutely not. We just intend to postpone it. Actually, I would like to take this opportunity to invite all readers to check the Vinsieme website as well as that of the Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco. We will soon reveal the reopening and the new dates of the event. We will also be having a very special guest.

Who will that be?

It is a secret. Come see us and find out.

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