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Allegrini 2018
IN THE LANGHE, UNESCO HERITAGE

Great wine, history and charity: here is the “Barolo en Primeur” project, on October 30 in Grinzane

The charity auction by Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, Barolo Consortium, Enosis Meraviglia and Vinous

The mix between great wines, territories of absolute prestige, collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world and “charity” initiatives is synonymous with guaranteed success. A road that is now intertwined with history, among the vineyards of the Langhe Unesco Heritage and Barolo, with “Barolo en Primeur”, a charity event organized by the Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo Foundation, together with the Foundation’s Donare project and in collaboration with the Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe Dogliani, together with the “Enosis Meraviglia” center, one of the most avant-gardes for wine experimentation in Italy, led by the enologist Donato Lanati, the “technical frontman” of the operation, and with “Vinous”, the authoritative wine critic magazine founded and led by Antonio Galloni. A project that develops around a truly unique Barolo auction, that will be held by Christie’s on October 30th, at the Castello di Grinzane Cavour and in connection with New York, where there will not be ready-to-drink bottles, but 15 barrels of Barolo, each of which will yield around 300 bottles of the “king” of Langhe wines (which WineNews tasted in advance yesterday at “Enosis”). With very special grapes, because the Nebbiolo grapes dedicated to this project come from the famous Vigna Gustava vineyard, on the hills of Grinzane and its historic castle, which once belonged to Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, the first Prime Minister in the history of Italy and a great lover of viticulture. A vineyard of 3.5 hectares - 1.5 of which are old vines - purchased by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, one of the most important banking foundations in Italy, to invest, through great Barolo, in a social project that aims to integrate local development, activation of local communities, training and economic and social value.
The “Barolo en Primeur” project has its roots in history, from the Gustava Vineyard itself to the centuries-old Umberto I Enological School of Alba, which will be one of the beneficiaries of the proceeds of the auction (although the purchasers of the barrels, according to WineNews, will be able to decide for themselves which project or charity the proceeds will be used for), but it also looks to the future, with research in the vineyard and digital assets. “The vineyard is located in the municipality of Grinzane Cavour and is a Geographical Mention called “Gustava”,” explains Matteo Ascheri, president of the Consortium of Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe and Dogliani, who is also president of the Scientific Steering Committee that defines the guidelines for the enhancement of the vineyard and the grapes produced. “It is a historic vineyard planted in the 1970s, in which Donato Lanati selected 1,200 older plants and several plots to identify the vines that produce the best quality. With the aim of having more vinifications, so much so that we have produced 15 barrels with grapes of different origins and with different techniques in the cellar. And that they are 15 expressions of the vineyard, which will allow those who buy them to have their own wine. An exceptional result, as demonstrated by a tasting with a selected panel of journalists from which great differentiation emerged. As will be the charitable initiatives that the sale of each of the different barrels will support. This project is linked to the Foundation’s ownership, but for the Consortium it represents the ultimate enhancement of our brand, because it will be the first time that a batch of wine from the 2020 vintage will be auctioned off as barrels and delivered to those who have purchased them in lots of 300 bottles from each, in 2024”.
As mentioned, the wines still in barrel will be officially evaluated by Antonio Galloni, founder of “Vinous” and an expert on the wines of the Langhe. With a special feature: whoever wins the barrels at auction will also be awarded the review signed by Galloni, in the form of Nft (Non Fungible Token), which will bear the image of the original tasting note signed by the famous critic. “The auction will be worldwide and will involve several markets, with comments on the wines by Galloni who tasted them and to give the end consumer maximum characterization,” adds Ascheri, “thanks also to bottles that will be able to have different formats, at the request of those who buy them, and which will also have a personalized designer label. In addition to the ingredients of this project, namely Barolo, history and innovation, there is also art, and in particular that of Giuseppe Penone, the internationally renowned painter and sculptor and exponent of Arte Povera, who in his long career has exhibited in the most important exhibitions and museums around the world, from the Venice Biennale to the museums of modern art in New York and Paris, as well as Japan, and who will “dress” the 300 numbered bottles that will be created from each barrel with an exclusive label.
Barolo, or rather several Barolos, then, obtained from the Gustava vineyard, the result of a total of 39 hectolitres, and where, explains enologist-scientist Lanati, “these Nebbiolo grapes were produced from 1.5 hectares because not all the vineyard is in production. In order to distinguish what can happen in the same vineyard, we decided to collect all the grapes that belonged to the vines older than 45 years, and divide the whole vineyard into a series of parcels. This resulted in 15 vinifications of Nebbiolo, which over time will become Barolo. Tasting them, we saw that there are considerable differences between the grapes harvested from the vines that are over 45 years old and the other parcels, demonstrating how a vineyard is not homogeneous in its entirety, but there are areas that express themselves differently. The charity auction of the resulting Barolo wines is an incentive for the producers, while the involvement of the students of the Scuola Enologica (Wine School) aims to make them understand that wine must live on continuous research and innovation, not only in the face of climate change, but always, because it must be “understood” in its evolution from year to year. With the enologist who, with each harvest, also has the opportunity to renew his own life”.
With Barolo already among the most important and admired Italian wines, it joins the list of the world’s great wine-related charity events, such as the historic Hospice de Beaune auction in Burgundy, or the Napa Valley Auction in California, to name but a few of the longest-running and most prestigious. The objective for the debut year is truly ambitious, as the aim is to raise at least €900,000. And in the future, from 2022, this important operation aims to involve Barolo producers as well as Vigna Gustava. An articulated project that aims high, then. But the prestige of Barolo in the first place, the passion of collectors from all over the world, the charm of the project and the charity, are already a guarantee of success.

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