The Piedmont Report with Antonio Galloni-Part 2

Antonio Galloni, Editor and Publisher of the Piedmont Report

This is the second of a two part interview with Antonio Galloni, the Editor and Publisher of the Piedmont Report. Piedmont is a wine growing region in Northern Italy which is located close to the upcoming 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.

Today we cover the top producers, best buys, great food and wine pairing combinations, and the different styles of wines from the region.

For more info on today’s guest:

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Show #72
(40:52 min 19 MB)

16 Responses to “The Piedmont Report with Antonio Galloni-Part 2”

  1. 1 John Gonzalez Feb 6th, 2006 at 10:04 am

    I’m sitting here in my hotel room in Torino, just back from buying a bottle of barbera and some late season white truffles at a store in the downtown area. The city has suddenly sprouted into a gorgeous winter Olympic host town. Hopefully the ever-present road construction crews will disappear in the next few days.
    I’m taking some of the figure skating TV crew to my favorite restaurant behind the hotel, Ristorante Gran Carlo. Hopefully I can talk the chef into slicing some truffle onto their stupendous homemade agnelloti.
    Anyway, that’s the perfect scene during which I’ve just listened to part 2 of your Piedmont report. Antonio’s thoughts about food and wine pairing are perfect, and I’m getting hungry.
    Beginning Saturday the twenty-hour workdays kick in, so there won’t be time for food or drink other than the catering at the figure skating venue. Thanks for all the great information in the Piedmont shows and whetting my apetite for another great meal.
    John Gonzalez
    Director, NBC Sports

  2. 2 GrapeRadio Bunch Feb 7th, 2006 at 5:08 am

    Wine and food. Sometime we forget the magic and importance of how they relate to each other. You need to report back on some of you favorite wine and food experiences while there.


  3. 3 John Gonzalez Feb 7th, 2006 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve just had the ridiculous pleasure of having two spectacular dinners in one night. I took my prouduction staff to Ristorante Gran Carlo. And as we were leaving, my camera crew arrived, so I just HAD to stay and hang with them. Everyone had a sampling of three pastas, including the fabulous agnelotti. Then most had a fabulous veal chop, pounded thin in a Milanese style, but with much more herb and cheese flavor in the breading.
    We’ve all decided that the barbera wines are the way to go on a nightly basis. At 13-15 Euros they provide just the power needed for this type of food. Tonight we had a Cantina Parroco barbera d’alba…I have no clue if it’s available outside of Torino, but it sure was great tonight…at both tables!
    Tomorrow we all buckle down to some short track speedskating rehearsals, then re-set the TV compound to figure skating mode. Opening ceremonies before we know it.

  4. 4 GrapeRadio Bunch Feb 8th, 2006 at 4:18 am

    Generally speaking, can you tell us about the wine lists. Are they comprehensive? Pricing? Can you BYOB?


  5. 5 Bruce Schoenfeld Feb 11th, 2006 at 8:51 am


    Antonio Belloni misses an important point about New Style vs. Old Style baroli.

    A major reason that even the traditionalists (Conterno, Mascarello, etc.) are making somewhat different wines now than they were previously is a notable change in grape-growing techniques.

    Some of the most significant — and revolutionary, for Piemonte — improvements made by Gaja, Altare, Rivetti, Clerico, and the rest took place not in the winery but in the vineyards. They included green harvests, canopy management, replacing diseased or unsuitable vines, and a fanatical devotion to order and cleanliness.

    Even the older generation realized the wisdom inherent in these techniques, and their wines have benefitted. These wines are not made using the new winemaking techniques, roto-fermentation and short maceration times and all that, but they ARE made using improved vineyard techniques. Hence they taste closer to the New Wave without actually being of it.

    It all begins in the vineyard, which is something the older generation — which believed that winemaking began at the winery door — didn’t really pay attention to until the Modernists starting hanging out with the grapes.

    — Bruce Schoenfeld, Boulder, Colo.

  6. 6 Antonio Galloni Feb 11th, 2006 at 11:10 am

    I’m glad Bruce raises the issue of vineyard management and yields, because these are important topics. Obviously in an informal conversation with time constraints it is impossible to go into depth on every subject.

    The “New Wave” producers were heavily influenced by their trips to Burgundy and set to replicate the approach they saw there in their own wines. A significant part of their approach was to limit yields, something that was radical to the region at the time. I have had the privilege of tasting some of these early wines recently, including the 1982 Barolos of Altare and Sandrone. These Barolos show beautiful concentration of flavor, with excellent length and complexity in a totally different style than the more traditional wines of the same vintage. We could also look at a specific wine over time. On my last visit to Vietti, Luca Currado opened his 1988 Barolo Rocche. In 1988 he made 7,000 bottles of that wine, today he makes 4,000 from the same exact holdings. There is no question things have changed.

    It is also clear that the huge differences that once existed between traditional and modern producers have narrowed. One afternoon a few years ago I visited Roberto Voerzio, and then Giacomo Conterno, both producers who work with different vineyard techniques but ultimately achieve among the lowest yields in the region. Both producers also use only indigenous yeasts…(but that is a big topic for another day.) At the end of the afternoon I couldn’t help noticing how the wines of these two producers were much more similar than I had originally expected. It is also interesting to note that today some producers are moving away from the extremely low yields of past years, in search of that ever-elusive sense of balance in the wines.

  7. 7 Bruce Schoenfeld Feb 11th, 2006 at 11:17 am

    Antonio —

    Exactly! I think all over the world, viticulturists are finding that each patch of land has optimal yields. Lower isn’t always better — but when in doubt, think lower rather than higher. The bigger point is that good vineyard techniques, most notably thinking quality over quantity and sacrificing fruit in June in order to get better grapes in September and October, transcends winemaking style. Whatever you decide to do in the winery can only be enhanced by using better grapes.

    I’m off to Piemonte tomorrow, ready to enjoy both the so-called new style, old style., and everything in between.

  8. 8 Paul R Feb 13th, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    i have to say that the interview with antonio was perhaps one of graperadio’s best shows. loaded with information, i have followed jay and brian’s advice as i have already relistened to it (part 1 contains so much great stuff).

    i got turned on to barolos a couple of years ago, and i have started a minor collection of piedmont wines. even armed with some knowledge of the region and producers, i found antonio insightful and informative. great stuff on the show and in the piedmont report. i already use it to guide my purchases from the region.

    let me see, on this thread there are 8 comments (including mine); 2 from the director of NBC sports in italy, 1 from antonio, 2 from a wine spectator contributing editor, and 2 from the graperadio bunch…. if we can judge interest in a wine’s region based solely on the number of comments on their graperadio podcasts (a truly faulty metric if there ever was one but indulge me for a moment) we can infer that great wines from piedmont will, as antonio says, remain one of the greatest wine values in the marketplace……..

  9. 9 John Gonzalez Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Greetings again from Torino, where unfortunately the start of competition has meant the end of serious wine drinking. Now I’m struggling home at about 2AM, getting a quick pizza and a Perroni in the hotel lobby, and a few hours in the sack before heading out again. But my interest in the Piedmont wines has definitely grown, and I’ll be looking forward to learning more once I get home.
    John Gonzalez
    Director, NBC Sports

  10. 10 GrapeRadio Bunch Feb 15th, 2006 at 3:39 am

    Remove the first sentence and it sounds like my typical evening.


  11. 11 Bruno Cartwright Feb 15th, 2006 at 11:31 am

    I tasted my first bottle of Barbera on a cycling trip across Italy back in 1998. It was at a restaurant about 20 miles northeast of Asti. I found it pretty special, I don’t know if it was just the skill of the Sommelier in choosing the wine, but I havn’t found a bottle of Barbera I like in the UK. After listening to your report I must treat myself to a bottle or two of Barolo.

  12. 12 Domenico Bettinelli Feb 24th, 2006 at 6:43 am

    I will second the sentiment that these were two of your best shows. I’ve already signed up for Antonio’s newsletter. I remember trying my first Barolo a few years ago and asking, “What is this?” I loved it. I hadn’t found a “favorite” wine region yet, and this might be it. At least I’ll have some fun exploring what it has to offer.

  13. 13 GrapeRadio Bunch Feb 24th, 2006 at 7:58 am

    Tkanks for the feedback, must I must say it is depressing. 🙂

    I do not have the slightest idea on how to maintain this level. I feel like we need to keep pushing ourslves to really nkick things up, but have no idea how to do it.


  14. 14 Michael Krohn Apr 1st, 2006 at 11:24 am

    (Sorry for the delayed response; I originally posted this email on my ‘map marker’ by mistake!)

    More and more Italian varietal wines are being made in Washington State and California: Sangiovese, Barbara – even some Zinfandel from California calling itself “Primativo”! I’d love to hear a segment about these wines…..their similarities and differences to their Italian counterparts. Thanks for a VERY informative and fun show!

  15. 15 Roger Stevens Dec 30th, 2009 at 1:41 am

    I think I’m late for the party. I wish I had heard this show three years ago when it aired. By now my Italian wine consumption would be far greater than it is to date.

    I discovered Italian wines roughly a year ago after a long stint with French and American wines. I absolutely feel in love with Italian wines and wonder why it took me so long to make their acquaintance.

    Anyhow great show.

  1. 1 Antonio Galloni On the Wines of Piedmont… « Vinifera CT Weblog pingback on Apr 21st, 2008 at 6:49 pm

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