The origin of a revolution: how Barolo Boys helped Barolo to become a great wine.
Today, Barolo is considered a great wine worldwide, though it has not always been so. Until 40 years ago, before the so called Barolo Boys revolution, Barolo struggled to be recognized and appreciated in its own production region, while its market value was virtually insignificant.
In the mid-1980s, a group of small producers decided to rebel against peasant poverty and the stagnation of the wine market, and began to travel and study. In particular, they learned the techniques of production from French colleagues. By reducing the yield (thinning fruit clusters), shorter maceration times and ageing in small barrels (barrique), they gave birth to a different Barolo: softer and more approachable.
Success was immediate, especially in the United States, where the wine press coined the expression “Barolo Boys” for this group of young rebels. In Italy they were called “modernists” because their wine vision was opposed to that of the old patriarchs of Langa, called “traditionalists.” Among the protagonists, there are some of the most well-known names of Barolo today: Elio Altare, Roberto Voerzio, Chiara Boschis, Giorgio Rivetti, Conterno Fantino, Domenico Clerico.
The story of “Barolo Boys” was told in a 2014 documentary film, which told the story that mixes friendship, rivalry, intuition and courage. And today, for the first time, the story will be re-told in an exclusive tour that recalls the places and wineries at the center of Barolo’s rebirth. We will visit some of the members of the historical “Barolo Boys” with lunches and dinners at some of the wineries where the young rebels created the “modern Barolo,” discovering the current-day results of that revolution, tasting wines of different styles, listening to all the many points of view and trying to imagine the Langa of the future.
You will be accompanied on this unforgettable excursion by one of the producers of the film, Tiziano Gaia, an editor of Slow Food Publications who is also a writer with deep knowledge of the history of Piedmontese and Italian wine.
Video kindly provided by Cantina Manzone Giovanni, Castelletto – Monforte d’Alba.
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