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Wine territories, the “Nizza Manifesto”: the quality summit of the Barbera world

Keywords: evolution, long term dynamism, dialogue, people getting involved, cru

Nizza is the top quality of the Barbera world. It is growing and also looking to the future, thanks to the critical success reflected in numbers, such as bottling: close to 119.000 bottles were produced in the first quarter of 2021 alone, compared to just over 24.000 in the same period in 2017. It is the gem wine of the Monferrato territory, and has had the DOCG appellation since 2014. It is produced in 18 municipalities around Nizza Monferrato, in which many leading producers in the territory have invested (Chiarlo, Bersano, Tenuta Olim Bauda, Pico Maccario, Vietti, Coppo, Cascina Garitina, Bava, Vinchio Vaglio Serra, Erede di Chapan Armando, just to name a few), and who are all members of the Nizza Producers Association that was founded in 2002, and is today led by Gianni Bertolino. The Association is now preparing a new step to promote Nizza DOCG, “The Manifesto of the Nizza Producers Association”, which “embodies the essence of the wine and territory project dedicated to Nizza”. The aim of the initiative, explained the Association, is to create an additional communication tool that will allow for more expansive dialogue with the wine sector experts as well as the general public. The “Manifesto” is divided into 6 articles, which, in addition to emphasizing the characteristics of Nizza, addresses the cru, evolution, long term dynamism, dialogue and people getting involved.

Focus - The Nizza Association Manifesto
1. Nizza DOCG is the result of being aware of the value of our vineyards and the determination to develop their potential

We strongly believe in the Nizza DOCG denomination as the maximum expression of our territory, and the result of the meticulous work in the vineyards to increase their value. The wine is made from 100% Barbera grapes, whose unique features are created in the vineyard, and then the winemaking continues in the winery and is completed over time, following a minimum aging period lasting 18 months. Nizza DOCG has acquired shape, body and its unique qualities thanks to the specific characteristics of the vineyards located in the crus within the 18 municipalities: Agliano Terme, Belveglio, Bruno, Calamandrana, Castel Boglione, Castelnuovo Belbo, Castelnuovo Calcea, Castel Rocchero, Cortiglione, lncisa Scapaccino, Moasca, Mombaruzzo, Mombercelli Nizza Monferrato, Rocchetta Palafea, San Marzano Oliveto, Vaglio Serra, Vinchio.

2. To evolve, you need to set long term dynamic goals
We have always worked in a dynamic and proactive way, setting specific goals for ourselves and identifying the methods and tools needed to achieve them. The Nizza Producers Association was founded in November 2002 with the aim of enhancing and promoting the excellence of Nizza DOCG, starting by recognizing the new specific designation of origin, “Nizza”. The request for this designation was submitted between 2012 and 2013 and then accepted during the 2014 harvest. Today, as we always have been, we are committed to ensuring that the denomination becomes the ambassador of a territory whose hills and vineyards have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014.

3. The map of crus: the redemption of the wine heritage of Nizza DOCG
The strength of a project stems from the desire to redeem and confirm the local wine heritage, supported by concrete tools that explain the details. Therefore, in 2018, we created the map of the Nizza area, in collaboration with, ENOGEA. The map indicates the existing vineyards within the Nizza DOCG appellation, delimiting the production areas, vineyard by vineyard. It also includes the description of the main production areas and related crus.

4. Openness to dialogue as a tool for sharing a common project
It is important for us to play an active role as a “social actor”, whose responsibility is to collaborate and dialogue with producers, farmers, local and regional institutions, the hospitality system as well as all the people operating in the Nizza area. Openness to confrontation has made the project a real system, precisely, the “Nizza System”.

5. Growth implies knowing how to get involved
We believe that it is essential to learn to ask ourselves questions through analyzing strengths and weaknesses, to be able to pursue the path of quality and growth. With this objective in mind, we have adopted an innovative method of verification, which takes the form of periodic “blind” tastings of the wines produced directly by the associates. All members are obliged to present samples and can participate in the tasting. This procedure aims to ascertain the quality of wines that have the Nizza DOCG appellation.

6. The people of Nizza: the essence and soul of Nizza DOCG
We firmly believe that the human factor is one of the main features that influence the success of wine. The charm, together with the heart and soul of a denomination is the product of the people who work in unison to create the final product. This is the reason why, in our daily life and during occasions of events and exhibitions, we promote moments of confrontation, dialogue among winemakers, professionals and the general public, because only through the story of a true and authentic experience is it possible to build a circuit of credibility and confidence.

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