“We produce Barolo and wines of our land, the Langhe. We believe in beauty, in work well done, attention to detail, creativity which respects the tradition.”
“We are the most modernist of the traditionalists and most traditional of the modernists.”
“Layers flipping one on top of the other. This is the story of [the land] but also the story of people.”
“Our moments are given to us to blossom, to become better.”
“A personality is layered, nuanced. Every time you pop the cork or go back to the glass, the wine is turning a page.”
These are the messages I stumbled upon when researching the Nebbiolo grape in Italy’s Langhe region. Nebbiolo is known for it’s globally revered composition in Barolo and Barbaresco; in the Langhe it can be much more accessible. A wallet-friendlier price and an drink-fresh presentation, make these wines a considerable option to Barolo and Barbaresco.
G.D. Vajra: Inspired by Art
My local shop carries the wines of G.D. Vajra so to learn more, I looked them up. I found the treasure of their website. Started in the early 1970’s by Giuseppe Domenico, this beautiful family business has lasting roots in the Barolo region. Inspired deeply by the land, this family has an enlightening approach to making wine. There are direct, luminous threads with their vision of wine making and their vision of life. The quotes above from Aldo, Giuseppe’s son that now runs the business, seem to be pulled from poetry.
The family also has a respect and delight for art, particularly the jewel tones of stained glass. A specially designed window on their property is the topic of discussion and inspiration. They draw connections between color, beauty and significance.
Of their land, their website shares:
There is no vineyard, no terroir, without the land.
To love it is simple, but not easy. The land is generous and alive.
It is beautiful. It needs understanding and time.
It takes your breath away with its colors and many wonders.
The land asks for absolute dedication. It asks to be loved for better or worse, in abundance and scarcity. The land is almost more than a house. It’s part of our life and asks to be guarded with the same tenderness that we have for our loved ones. And the amazing thing is that, despite all the difficulties, to love it does not need any effort.
I’ll leave you with at. There is not much I can add. As a writer, well…sometimes our job is done.
Nebbiolo’s Artistic Side
Langhe, plural for hill in Italian, is a sub-region of Piedmont near the town of Asti. In Piedmont, vineyards on North-facing slopes cannot bear the DOCG classification label, thus eliminating them from on-paper elite status. That doesn’t, however, eliminate them from being an excellent value, delicious and versatile wine.
Nebbiolo appears with youthful freshness, touch of floral perfumes, herbs and berry on the nose, in the G. D. Vajra bottle. A beautiful ruby red is the robe.
Shaped by cleansing freshness with balanced acidity make this something I’d serve with a meal but could also open with friends during a chat.
My husband has had the idea to make homemade butter, inspired by his favorite chef Jacques Pepin, and this wine would be a lovely partner to a fresh baguette and butter, perhaps even with herbs or truffles. I’m thinking a mushroom risotto would be very elegant. Herbs, richness, satisfying…those would be the elements of my perfect pairing menu.
In addition to the Vajra, I also recommend, Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo, another option in case one needs a second bottle for one’s evening with Langhe Nebbiolo!
Italian Food, Wine and Travel
Each month, our blogging group connects on twitter to discuss our blog posts on a theme. This month we get into Nebbiolo beyond the B’s: Nebbiolo grape beyond it’s most famous incarnations of Barolo and Barbaresco. Though my wine and producer focus is not outside of the region, the grape is not grown to these specifications and qualifies as Langhe Nebbiolo.
In a departure from our usual Italian-only focus, we’re allowing bloggers to explore Nebbiolo from the new world, since it’s such a rarity. You may also see Nebbiolo wines outside the traditional dry red table wine, as it is sometimes made into rosé or sparkling wine!
The posts below will go live today, Saturday, Feb. 4. Our group will get together for a chat on Twitter 10-11am central that day to discuss our finds. Join us at #ItalianFWT on to share and learn:
- Susannah from Avvinare shares Discover Off the Beaten Path Nebbiolos from the Caluso, Carema and Canavese
- Lauren from The Swirling Dervish shares 2015 Cantalupo “Il Mimo” Rosato Nebbiolo
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares Zuppa di Cipolla al Vino Rosso + Bava’s “Gionson” Nebbiolo
- Mike from Undiscovered Italy shares Let’s Go Grumello
- Jen from Vino Travels shares The Land and Soul of Ceretto
- Gwen from Wine Predator shares Silver and Gold: Nebbiolo from Santa Barbara and Italy
- Jeff from FoodWineClick! shares Nebbiolo Grows On My Desert Island