Friday, 31 December 2010

Slotovino Roll Call of Honour

Robert and Bernard Plageoles In 2011 we would like to institute the Slotovino Roll Call of Honour to celebrate those brave souls who are responsible for propagating or rescuing 'heritage' grape varieties in danger of extinction. We have come across a few of these already in our travels and we believe they should be celebrated as much as their wines which we also celebrate in the famous Slotovino Hall of Fame. We love lists at Slotovino so here is our embryonic Roll Call of Honour together with the grapes relevant to each name; Giuseppe Apicella, Alfonso Arpino and Luigi Reale - Tintore Emilio Bulfon - Cividin, Cjanorie, Forgiarin, Moscato Rosa, Picolit Neri, Sciaglin, Ucelut Casali Viticultori - Spergola Francisco Figueiredo and others - Ramisco Jean-Pierre and Philippe Grisard - Persan Walter Massa - reviver of Timorasso and leader of a new wave of winemakers in South East Piemonte Jose Luis Mateo Bastardo, Caíño Redondo, Caiño longo, Zamarrica, Brancellao, Sousón, Arauxa, Dona Blanca and Monstruosa de Monterrei in Galicia Heinrich Mayr for nurturing the white heirloom variety Blaterie at his Nusserhof property near Bolzano, Alto Adige Robert & Bernard Plageoles, 7 types of Mauzac, Ondenc, Prunelart, Verdanel etc. Domenico Pedrini and Gianni Chiste' of Azienda Agricola Pravis, Lasino (near Trento), Negrara and Gropello di Revo back from increasing obscurity in the Trentino area. The Rasse family (Rene and his sons Georges and Denis) for maintaining the idiosyncratic St. Jeannet appelation (near Nice) when almost all other vignerons (there were 70 in the 1950s) have sold their land to developers. It is in this case the Terroir if not the varieties which were endangered although some rare Braquet is grown together with Mourvèdre, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Rolle, Ugni Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat and Grenache Noir and the bizarre and ancient method of aging the reds in 'Bonbonnieres' before putting the wine in oak barrels. The smaller surviving growers include Mimi Lorenzato, Roger Barrière and Lazare Giambi. Agricola San Felice - Pugnitello Luigia Zucchi - Nibio the regeneration of the ancient grape variety, Nibiò, which once held position as Monferrato's noblest and highest value. 200 years of neglect nearly resulted in its extinction, but producer Luigia Zucchi has fronted the campaign for its rebirth. There are no doubt many more and we will add to the list, but this is a start and suggestions will be gratefully received.

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