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Letter from Europe: Inside Ar.Pe.Pe
Extreme Nebbiolo Part II
I confess. I'm one of those wine lovers who regard Nebbiolo as more than a wine grape. I won't say Nebbiolo wines provide a mystical experience. But some get pretty close.
A recent Nebbiolo pilgrimage across Northern Italy led me inevitably to the door of Ar.Pe.Pe.—the perfectionist, traditionalist producer in the grape's alpine frontier of the Valtellina valley bordering Switzerland.
And what a door it is.
The winery threshold is carved into a steep mountainside, terraced with vineyards, in the appellation's Grumello zone. Here the centuries-old terraces, built from 10-foot drywalls of schist and granite, lead way up to a medieval castle perched in the distance.
Inside, I was immediately struck by the cathedralic vastness of Ar.Pe.Pe.'s cellars. The family company, after all, produces a modest 5,000 cases. But this is a winery that could produce hundreds of thousands more.
Ar.Pe.Pe.'s oversized mountain digs are part of one family's dramatic rise, fall and phoenix-like rebirth. Read the full blog at winespectator.com
See the Video Trailer for PALMENTO on You Tube....
Robert reads from and discusses Palmento at McNally Jackson books in NY Sept. 2010.
Robert on radio