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Italian Wines outside Italy

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I recently tasted a California made Sangiovese. It was not as good as it’s Italian counterpart, but it was very close.

Do you think we will see Nebbiolo, Prosecco, Brunello, etc.. cultivated outside Italy and made into a wine as good as it’s Italian counterpart in the near future?

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Hi Gordon,

I think that this is a very interesting question(...but not so easy to anwer...).

The quality of italian wines is increased in a incredible way during the last 10-15 years.The Barbaresco and the Barolo( not to mentione the Chianti, the Brunello,the Taurasi....)that you could find on the shelves now are all at minimum good-quality wines, with, in some cases, products that can compete without problems with their collegues in France,Spain,etc...

That's because some producers, at the end of 80's started to see the agronomical part ,the vinification, or the cellars in a different way: after a lot of trips in Bordeaux,Burgundy, Rhone, they tried to produce Barolo and Barbaresco with shorter maceration, using barriques to produce a more accessible wine than before.And changes continued, on all, with our mentality; we began to taste our wines in blind degustations together with our neighbour, we became more severe with our products and that pushed us to do everything in our possiblities to develope the quality.

The combined action of this "young" producers together with the presence in this zone of 10-12 old-school producers, some of them with 30-40 years of history and with wines that are monuments to the piemontese winemaking,( Giacosa,Mascarello, Conterno) took the Barolo an Barbaresco everywhere in the world, in the most prestigious wine lists or in the best cellars on the planet.

Really, I'm proud to be a part of it.


But now that a lot of people knows that Barolo an Barbaresco could be great wines, we need to pass to a more superior, and difficult, level, the identity.

I mean that in a more and more globalised market, in which everyday new wines from all around the world come out, with great prices and good quality, piemontese wines have to be more and more "terroiristic"(may I steal it from you, Craig?).

During the process of "revolution" of the 90's,in fact, someone has loose the real target of it, trying to make overripe,jammy,overoaked wines, maybe good for a degustation but not for the identity.

Talking about my wines, starting from 1995, i began to change a little my vision of what it should be a Barbaresco: longer macerations, to try to extract slowly , at lower tempetratures, the right tannins and polifenolic, that's because I'm convinced they will be more stable in the wine;absolutly no selected yeasts or bacterium, they should change the characteristic of every single vineyards; no filter or fining; to try to move the wines in the cellar the less that we can; and, at the end, to choose the barriques with more attenction, looking at the different peculiarity of every forest.

After that, I saw people very interested about it, all around the world.

I am sure that every wine lover in the world, passioned like me of the different "nuance" of Burgundy or Bordeaux, will appreciate and will look for Nebbiolo that could bring the same emotions.

I hope that I've answered to your question, It has been hard to find the right words!



Andrea Sottimano

Azienda Agricola Sottimano, Barbaresco (Neive)

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