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Interview of Marchesi di Barolo for Asia Import News – Exclusive
Could you please tell us the story of your winery, when it was created and how it developed decades after decades ?
Marchesi di Barolo winery’s history goes along with the history of Barolo wine, which was born because of the love story between the Marquis of Barolo, Carlo Tancredi Falletti and a French noblewoman, Juliette Colbert de Maulévrier, a descendent of King Louis XIV finance minister.
Used to the beautiful fine French wines that she enjoyed before moving to Barolo, Juliette immediately sensed that the vineyards surrounding the Marquis Estate enjoyed a particularly auspicious and favourable position due to the soil and the microclimate that combined created the perfect environment for the Nebbiolo grape.
For this rich and precious grape, she created magnificent wine cellars to facilitate its fermentation and aging process in large fine oak barrels. According to the French tradition, she gave this noble Nebbiolo, so potent, austere and of unique flavour, the name of Barolo after its land of origin.
In 1864, with Marquise Juliette death, the noble line of the Falletti’s of Barolo was extinguished.
As a very devout Catholic, she decided to donate all her assets to charity. It was created a Charity Administration recognized by the Government as a non-profit corporation under the name ‘Opera Pia Barolo’.
The passion and the dedication for these vines in Barolo was however inherited by young Pietro Abbona who, in 1895, began working in his father Cavalier Felice Abbona’s cellars.
Working with tenacity and passion, Pietro brought lustre to the region by participating in numerous national and international competitions and winning awards and recognition for his Barolo wine at the beginning of 1900.
Because of his strong dedication to the work and his perseverance, together with his sisters Celestina and Marina and his brother Ernesto, Pietro managed to buy Marchesi di Barolo estete in 1929, which included both the antique and the current wine cellars.
Real patriarch of Barolo, Pietro Abbona let the World know of the wine of his Land.
In present, Marchesi di Barolo remains a family business: Anna and Ernesto Abbona, already the 5th generation, are personally committed to the winery’s business activities along with their children Valentina e Davide.
What sort of wines are you producing ?
Marchesi di Barolo has been always committed to produce high-end quality wines that reflect the area where the grapes grow, and still pursues this goal today.
The Abbona family’s mission consists of knowing how to marry “tradition and evolution” by combining classic winemaking techniques with the ability to present Barolo in a contemporary way, according to the most authentic and sought after trends in “Made in Italy” food and winemaking.
Armed with great winemaking and experience, Anna and Ernesto Abbona present themselves as faithful interpreters of the native grape varietals and their locations, respecting them and rigorously preserving the typical qualities thanks to the vinification of the grapes that come from their own vineyards and the winemaking processes selected over many years of activity, focusing on the location and the cultivation capacities of the single vines.
Thus, Marchesi di Barolo produces: Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Alba, Roero Arneis, Gavi, Moscato d’Asti and Brachetto d’Acqui.
Furthermore, because it is always the details that determine excellence, so then the most prestigious “Historical Crus” are vinified alone, aged and bottled singly, in order to further delineate and emphasize the terroir’s various expressions.
In particular: Cannubi, Coste di Rose, Sarmassa for Barolo, Serragrilli for Barbaresco, Roccheri for Nebbiolo d’Alba, Bossèt for Dolcetto d’Alba and Peiragal for Barbera d’Alba.
How important are your export distribution compared to national distribution ?
Marchesi di Barolo today exports in 64 countries but Italy still remains our biggest market, followed by USA, Germany and Norway.
What sort of distributors are your customers ?
On-premise channel represents the major focus of our business: we strongly believe in an exclusive wine & food destination for various reasons.
Combining wine and food is fundamental, especially for us, because of the nature of our wines in which tannins and structure are very evident: in a well-balanced pairing wine is the key complement to exalt and complete the meal and vice versa.
Thus, we believe that wine is sharing and conviviality, and there is nothing better than sharing a bottle of wine at the table while enjoying the food and the conversation: this scenario also gives the wine the needed time and space to open up and express itself at its best.
Our total production is the result of the total of smaller productions which are expression of different grapes variety or terroir. By virtue of this peculiarity, we aim find the right home to each one of our wines in the most appropriate place where it can be shown. In this regard, we commit ourselves to carefully evaluate which markets are good for certain wines in general, and more specifically, we work close to our importers/distributors to list our wines in specific restaurants/bars/hotels.
Why your wines are different from other wineries in your area ?
We are very proud to say that in the early 1800’s, Marchesi di Barolo was the first cellar in Piedmont where wine was born in it’s “modern” version (dry and still, because of the introduction on wooden barrels where grape juice could complete its fermentation and age until tannins got softer) and where it was given the name of Barolo – the wine of Kings, the king of wines – in honor of our little village, where the wine was produced by the Marquises of Barolo their selves.
We still have at the winery those 200-years old barrels that we currently utilize also today for aging our wines! Also, going back to the early time when this wine stated to be produced in our antique cellars, we have to mention how much honored we are for safeguarding an unique collection of historic vintages, since 1861.
All over these years, we still remain a <<family business>> committed to be <<terroir-driven>> – these are core values which leaded us to achieving numerous awards for our wines and to the recognition in the international press and media.
The vision of my ancestors has then been passed to the new generations of my family who have adapted tradition to their new and personal scenarios. As mentioned, our goal is to be faithful interpreters of our traditions with an up to date attitude to new scenarios and technologies which leaded us to choose to go organic with some of our production: since 2015 harvest in fact, a selection of our wines from a little estate we own in Barbaresco has obtained the certification.
Are your wines already distributed in Asia, and if not what are the countries you are looking for new distributors ?
We are currently distributed in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Japan and South Korea where it is possible to find and taste our most representative wines.
We would like to find stable partners in the Philippines, Myanmar and Brunei.
Is there anything who want to add about your wines, story or any news ?
A milestone in the history of the Abbona family is represented by the recent acquisition of Cascina Bruciata in Barbaresco: a little gem and, above all, a solid business venture which addresses the future in the name of deeply rooted bonds and a fondness for tradition and conservation, which inspire and unite different generations and families.
As Cascina Bruciata has obtained the Organic Certification since 2015 harvest, this step marks a significant move forward for our viticulture company, which is increasingly more attentive and sensitive to the problems of environmental sustainability.
Thank you Marchesi di Barolo team for your time and answers!
Marchesi di Barolo: www.marchesibarolo.com
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