Allow me to present Giuseppe Rinaldi and his wines of Barolo in Piemonte, Italy.
To his friends, he is simply known as Beppe.
“I could tell you a whole lot of things, since I belong to a complex generation that lived through a historical period of great ideals and upheavals which cast doubt on everything, including the ways of interpreting the countryside and agriculture. A generation which with great effort carried the burden of older generations on its shoulders. I still recall the greyness and destitution of the postwar years…
After graduating, my brother and I decided tranquilly to carry on the family estate, binding ourselves to this territory and to wine. My father always said that Barolo is a wine worth devoting yourself to: with its suitability for aging it gains a noble bouqet and taste over the years, maintaining personal and unique characteristics. Just like recollections and memories and those sensations that reside in our innermost souls which, when they merge give us our sense of belonging.
I don’t deny that I’d like to go wandering around the countryside with my daughters, to do some reading, to cultivate my passion for photography or simply to travel around the world and go to art exhibitions, in Turin rather than in New York. But there’s a daily life to be lived, although it might seem repetitive for a free spirit. I see that I always have less time at my disposal and still have a lot to do, but I trust and expect that one day my daughters Marta and Carlotta will step into the cellar and “declare their love” to Bacchus. So I can pack my bag and go back to travelling around the Europe of wine on my old motorbike.
I see you absorbed, friend writer, while you listen to me talk without ever interrupting. And I smile, thanking you in my mind, because silently you’ve sustained me and now I’m sure these these white sheets of paper would not be enough for everything I have to write.”
GIUSEPPE (BEPPE) RINALDI – ‘Piemonte…noblewoman of wine’ by Andrea Zanfi 2005
(see also Beppe on 28/10/2010)
Giuseppe Rinaldi Wines
Barolo DOCG Brunate Le Coste (Nebbiolo 100%)
This wine is produced from the vinification of the best Nebbiolo grapes from the estate’s vineyards at Le Coste and Le Brunate in the Commune of Barolo, where the vines are 25 years old.
Barolo DOCG Cannubi San Lorenzo Ravera (Nebbiolo 100%)
Dolcetto d’Alba DOC (Dolcetto 100%)
Barbera d’Alba DOC (Barbera 100%)
The winemaking technique of Giuseppe Rinaldi has continued on from his father, Battista Giuseppe Rinaldi, and in other words, leans towards the extreme end of traditionalism. This has never led to a marketing problem for Signor Rinaldi because his devoted customers understand and are looking for wines of phenomenal longevity, finesse and undeniable concentration. His methods involve fermentation of the grapes in open tini (tanks) followed by an extended period of cask aging with the riserva of his wines being matured further in 2-litre bottiglioni (big bottles). The resultant wine is then decanted a mano (by hand!) from the upright position into your standard-sized wine bottle before being brought to the market.
Unconventional? Nowadays, yes. But he is to be celebrated for stubbornly continuing with what he believes works best for his beloved grapes. I, for one, enjoy waxing lyrical about these sorts of people and find it entertaining and somewhat ironic that they can be termed ‘eccentric’ for their long-term abstinence from joining the conformists of modern Nebbiolo winemaking techniques!
I say, “Bravo, Signor Rinaldi!”