It’s always intriguing to pick out one select winery from the vast array here in Piemonte. The thought has even crossed my mind to take my giant Duemila Vini
wine book and discover each winery listed, page by page, kind of like they did with the recipes in Julia & Julia. But after reading Snooth’s article
on Piemonte’s wineries and a following string of coincidences relating to Marcarini Winery, we chose that!
Tucked in the corner of a scenic lookout in the center of La Morra
lies the gate to the historic family run winery Marcarini
. Not only was the gate initially impressive but so was its outstanding view! As we walked in the gates, Elena greeted us with a smile and brought us right into the 18th century cellar where the the medium sized Slovenian barrels were about 40 years old! The family takes a lot a pride in their “traditional” wine-making methods which they feel extract the true expressions of the terroir.
One of the coolest parts of our visit was tasting our first glass of a really unique Dolcetto Boschi Dei Berri
. It is made from Pre-Phylloxera vines, meaning that they withstood the test of time (and disease) and still have their original rootstocks
! Elena told us that they believe old Dolcetto from the 19th century was most likely quite similar to this style. It was nothing like the purple, fruity Dolcetto di Dogliani but was fuchsia, full of red berry flavors, warm and structured. Although it was not immediately an easy drinker, it is said to continue evolving for even another 6-7 years! When I initially smelled this wine I imagined wild strawberries, raspberries and then dried flowers. The most surprising thing was how astringent and dry it left the roofs of our mouths. But this peculiarity is what enchanted me about this dolcetto!
Another great thing about this winery is that they let you compare two Barolos from two different crus which are only about 500 meters apart. It is only through comparing side by side that you can truly understand the differences that each cru beholds. The Brunate and La Serra barolos were completely different both in smell and taste! Although I preferred the fruitier and softer aromas from La Serra, Brunate surprisingly won the “taste test” with its elegant, rich and “masculine” qualities.
What started off as a dark cloudy day, turned into a beautiful sunny suprise. Since we took our time in the tasting room, we had to frantically knock on a half open door at the “macelleria”! You see, it was already 1:00 pm and in Italy that means, way past closing time. But just like traditional “Piemontesi” we had to accompany our Marcarini bottle of Barbera Ciabot Camerano with some salami and cheese. Luckily, the butcher answered and cut us off a salami hanging on the wall. With our picnic essentials in hand, we stopped at the perfect spot where we ate right alongside the vineyards and just as important, took a little nap in the sun!
Next stop was nearby Grinzane Cavour. It’s a beautifully pristine castle which holds the world famous truffle auction once a year. Inside there is a well-stocked enoteca, restaurant and museum too.
If you don’t have a lot of time and want to just relax and not spend a lot of money, I suggest a similar day itinerary!
Azienda Agricola Marcarini
Piazza Martiri, 2
LA MORRA (CN)Italia
Tel +39 0173 50222 Fax +39 0173 509035
Via San Pietro 4