Everyone in the high-end Italian wine trade knows the story of the couple who founded this highly regarded estate: Peter Weimer from Germany and Romy Gygax from Switzerland, left lucrative careers in software and marketing in their natives countries to buy and revive this historic farm in Novello (Barolo township).
Everyone also knows how they reclassified (not “declassified”) their bottlings of Nebbiolo to vino da tavola status after being disappointed by the Barolo tasting committee’s assessment of the wines (filtration or lack thereof was evidently the issue).
Every since Vignaioli America first brought them to the United States, they have been favorites among the Nebbiolo cognoscenti in this country and you’ll find them on the wine lists of Manhattan’s leading Italian wine-centric restaurants.
In case you don’t know about the wines and the wineamkers, the best description of their philosophy comes from their website (which we highly encourage you to visit):
– Only organic fertilizers (rotten manure bought from carefully selected farmers).
– Insecticides are never used.
– Treatment of downy mildew and Peronospera as few as possible (instead of 15 times only 4 or 5) per season.
– The fosterage of the vines and the grape harvest are made exclusively manually by ourselves.
– We don’t use selected yeast but only the ones which grow on the grapes.
– Aside from a minimum of sulfides we do not add anything to the wine.
– No fining, no filtration before the bottling.
We also highly encourage you to have a look at this excellent blog post by the sadly missed wine blogger David McDuff (David’s fine but he’s no longer blogging, which is a major bummer!).
“Though Peter does not consider himself part of the ‘natural wine movement,'” wrote David after meeting and dining with the couple, “or of any movement for that matter, he does consider his wines to be very natural. Farming on the estate is entirely organic, with application of some biodynamic practices as seen fit. Aside from two pumps that are used to move the wines from place to place, no technology is utilized in the winery. All of Peter and Romy’s wines are fermented on their native yeasts and bottled without fining or filtration; the only thing ever added throughout vinification, elevation and bottling is a small quantity of sulfur dioxide.”
It’s incredible to think of how popular these wines are among Italian wine insiders yet how unknown they remain outside the close-knit circle of the New York wine intellegentsia.
But that’s what makes a true cult wine, after all, isn’t it???!!!
Image via David McDuff’s blog.