Allegrini 2018

“Faces of Barbaresco”: a permanent photographic exhibition to celebrate wine producers

In the black and white portraits, signed by Max Rella, 39 producers of the town of Piedmont, one of the wine capitals of Langhe

If it is often the beauty of places and territories that testifies to their history, it is the industriousness and ingenuity of men and women who have lived and lived in those places and territories, putting into practice projects, ideas and intuitions, to shape them and make them great. As it happened in Barbaresco, one of the wine capitals of the Langhe UNESCO heritage, where some of the most important names of yesterday and today of the famous red wine are celebrated with a permanent exhibition of large-format images of the producers of the Municipality of Barbaresco printed on materials that defy time, such as the noble labels of Barbaresco Docg. A journey through portraits and characters at work in the vineyard and in the cellar, and that revolves around the monument symbol of the country, the medieval tower of Barbaresco. It is the photographic exhibition “Faces of Barbaresco”, a journey through black and white images, en plein air has as protagonists 39 Faces of Barbaresco Docg, producers who have made great and famous in the oenological world this small town of the Langhe, in the province of Cuneo - of only 600 inhabitants and 41 wineries - and that gives its name to an entire denomination of controlled and guaranteed origin (it also embraces Treiso, Neive and a fraction of Alba).
From Angelo Gaja to Alessandro, Federico, Lisa and Roberta Ceretto, from Carlo Giacosa to Carlo Boffa, from Mauro Bianco to Dave Fletcher, from Paolo Veglio to Franco Bianco, from Pier Carlo Cortese to Marco Viglino and Swantje Rausch, from Marziano Abbona to Valentina and Davide Abbona, from Piercarlo and Martina Culasso to Emanuele Musso, from Roberto Bianco to Gualtiero and Pietropaolo Berutti, from Rosella Balocco to Giovanna Rizzolio and Italo Sobrino, from Guido Rivella to Giuseppe Marengo, from Daniela and Filippo Rigo with Andrea Salatin to Danilo Quazzolo, from Olek Bondonio to Michele and Rino Varaldo, from Alberto Cisa Asinari di Grésy and Casasco to Paolo and Valter Anfosso, from Daniela, Monica and Paola Rocca to Pino Taliano, from Sergio Minuto to Matteo Rocca, from Teobaldo Rivella to Bruno Rocca, from Romano and Paola Marengo to Massimo Rattalino, from Marco Piacentino to Giancarlo Rocca, from Luca Roagna to Roberto Minuto, up to the Barbaresco Producers.
The project wanted by the Municipality of Barbaresco was realized between December and May 2021 by Max Rella, journalist and photographer of travel, wine tourism, wine and gastronomy. An articulated photographic project that was created to give a face to the producers, often unknown to most people despite the notoriety of many wineries and some labels: a collection of portraits, set and not, and characters at work while they work, among the vineyards, the barrels and other tools of their trade.

A project that reopens the cultural season of the Barbaresco Tower and the Cavazza Museum; also presented is the black and white catalog “Faces of Barbaresco” and the collection of video-pills “A Year in Barbaresco”. There are 39 images printed on plasticized polymeric adhesive PVC, which resists a few years to weather conditions (sun, rain, humidity, etc.), reproducing as faithfully as possible the black and white rendering. And they are accompanied by 39 other small B&W images and a text of a maximum of 150 characters in Italian and English, referring to each protagonist. Explanatory plates also include the QR code which links to the website of every single winery. The exhibition continues inside the Barbaresco Tower in the spaces of Cavazza Museum, but with other images of the same producers projected in color on the internal stone and brick walls. The exhibition is completed by a collection of video clips - again in black and white - in which each producer freely recounts a vintage in Barbaresco: from the most distant to the most recent, from the most favorable to the most difficult; but also a vintage in which a beautiful and important event in the life of the producer took place, such as the birth of a child, a wedding or even Italy's victory in the World Cup.
All this in a symbolic place of the town, its ancient medieval tower, a site imbued with history and energy: a squared “stele” 30 meters high and 9 meters on each side, embedded in a sandstone basement, which since the eleventh century towers over the rolling hills of the Langhe - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site - watching and supervising the Tanaro valley. Having fallen into neglect for a long time in the summer of seven years ago, it was recovered and today has become a powerful cultural and wine tourism vehicle: its internal museum in 2019 welcomed over 30 thousand visitors (+40% on the previous year) and collected 130 thousand euros in entrance fees, resources reinvested in personnel, cultural projects and improvements. A project with a happy ending realized by the Municipality of Barbaresco, which at the time was led by former mayor Alberto Bianco, now deputy mayor and also creator of the exhibition “Faces of Barbaresco”; a project elaborated and developed together with the author Max Rella.
The exhibition is accompanied by the black and white catalog Volti di Barbaresco, edited and produced by Edizioni Pubblicità Italiana, the Modenese publishing house specialized in the world of food and wine (it publishes the magazines Premiata Salumeria Italiana, Il Pesce, Eurocarni). The preface was written by Sergio Miravalle, a well-known food and wine journalist, who worked for many years for the daily newspaper La Stampa and is now director of the quarterly magazine of culture and territory Astigiani. The book completes the photographic project with other images of the producers themselves and of the territory, and has been realized with the support of institutions and agencies for the promotion of the territory: Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero; Fondazione Crc; Agenzia Wine Experience.

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