Monday, 08 June 2020

Enoteca Regionale del Barolo, from learning to the landscape

Enoteca Regionale del Barolo Enoteca Regionale del Barolo

The home of Barolo. How else can we describe the Enoteca that, since 1982, has represented the extraordinary winegrowing territory of one of the most famous DOCGs in Italy? To learn more about this historic reality we interviewed executive director, Cristina Grimaldi, working for more than twenty-five years within the walls of Castello Falletti in Barolo, the prestigious location of an equally prestigious enoteca.

Cristina, how was the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo born?

The Enoteca Regionale was founded in 1982, in adherence to the regional laws advocating the creation of these “shelters of the denominations” in the territory, a year after Barolo’s DOCG recognition. Actually, there already was a Barolo enoteca, but it was more of a display of wines from local producers.

What happened?

The new Enoteca enclosed a broader and more ambitious program, destined to transform the previous enoteca into a hub for promotion and providing information on the whole territory of the denomination, which includes 11 municipalities and is characterized by surprising pedoclimatic and production differences. The Enoteca del Barolo was the second Enoteca Regionale to be opened in the Langhe after that of Grinzane Cavour, which was dedicated to a wider overview of Piedmont wines.

How did it evolve over time?

In the 1990s, the Enoteca moved to where it is now found, starting a new phase. First of all, it has been opened to the public according to a proper schedule and not only after visiting the Castle, as was the case at the beginning. But most importantly, the objectives have changed. If the first visitors were wine specialists or people who were already highly knowledgeable and informed, over the years the public has expanded, including people who were approaching Barolo and the more general world of wine for the very first time. The Enoteca has then took on a more educational, informative and, most of all, representative perspective of Barolo as a whole. Proof is that at present the Enoteca, from the initial 60 members, is giving visibility to over 220 producers.

Is it true that you select the Barolo wines presented?

A characterizing aspect of the Enoteca is its impartiality: we cannot recommend one label over another, and therefore, we can say that our “qualitative threshold” comes before commercialization. A tasting committee, made up of winemakers, producers, journalists and enthusiasts, blindly tastes all the products presented. A Barolo gains its place on the shelves only and exclusively if its score exceeds 80/100. Thanks to the tasting committee, we can guarantee all our visitors that the Enoteca only offers the best of Barolo, from all the municipalities of the denomination.

In 2014, you completed the important renovation of the premises: what are the changes?

It has been a total restyling, which made the premises more welcoming, functional and educational. To better illustrate the differences that Barolo takes based on soil and location, we have divided the bottles into sections with different colours. Every week, for each of the sections, we select one or more Barolo wines for tasting. Thanks to an array of 32 Barolo wines for tasting inside our Enomatic (automated display cases to serve and store wines – Ed.) we are one of the few in the world that can offer such a rich picture of the King of wines, always open and available. Our goal is to give wine tourists the possibility to choose freely.

Which means?

We want to help our visitors build their own “palate”, identify and choose the Barolo that best suits their personal taste and consumption habits. Our dream is that, once visitors leave the Enoteca, they are able to independently decide how to move around the area, visiting the producers that interest them most, directly experiencing wine, its world and our landscape.

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