**Tonight I sat down to write a blog post about Giorgio Rivetti of La Spinetta, who is doing a tasting at UGSE on February 14th from 5-8pm. I went back to read an old blog post I’d written several years ago, when Giorgio first visited us, and realized I’d already said everything that needed to be said [by me, at least!) about this fantastic man and winemaker. I’m reposting the original blog for those who might have missed it before.
Almost ten years ago I introduced TJ to my parents over dinner at their home. My mom, a world class cook, served take-out pizza and my dad, a world class wine drinker, served beer. I always laugh now that he and TJ met over beer, because they quickly discovered a mutual passion – wine. In fact, if both my dad and TJ are missing, the chances are good that they are together in the wine cellar – picking a bottle for dinner, checking on the condition of bottles they’ve laid down, or standing in the cold talking about the general state of the wine world. It’s their thing.
One of the first wines they drank together – a wine that they have shared many times since – was La Spinetta “Vigneto Valeirano” Barbaresco. They are both wild for all the La Spinetta wines, and the love affair has spread throughout my entire family. On my last trip to visit my brothers in Texas, I wasn’t surprised to see the rhino being opened. We cherish all things La Spinetta.
La Spinetta means “The Top of the Hill.” The hill that is being referenced is in Piedmont, an area that was definitely not known for making palatable wines in the 1970′s. But along came Giorgio Rivetti, a man who describes himself as a modern traditionalist. After Giorgio graduated from the Scuola Enologica di Alba, one of Italy’s oldest wine institutes, he came back to his family’s vineyards and installed practices that horrified his fellow townspeople and winemakers. He began aggressively thinning his vines and fermenting his grapes outdoors where they were exposed to the cold. Even worse, he understood that to be successful his wines had to adapt to international taste standards. The result is a host of awards and a general belief that La Spinetta is one of the best wineries in Italy.
TJ is passionate for these wines for many reasons. First and foremost, having visited Piedmont many times, he feels that the La Spinetta wines stay true to the area. The essence of the region has not been manipulated out of the wines, but is instead heralded. He also appreciates that all of the wines are approachable at a young age, but worthy of any cellar. Drink them now, save them for later – it doesn’t matter, they are delicious at any stage. Now, as a seller of wine, he loves the quality of the wine for the value. Yes, you can spend over $100 on a bottle of La Spinetta, but you can also spend under $20. The Rivetti family has made sure that their wine is accessible to everyone.
You can only imagine how excited we are to welcome Giorgio Rivetti to The Urban Grape for a tasting of seven of his wines. To have a winemaker in our store that has been such a part of our family’s wine experience is thrilling, to say the least. We know we will be headed home with many signed bottles!
**On February 14th, Giorgio will be tasting sparkling wines from Contratto, the champagne-method Italian bubbles that have been famous since the late 1800′s. The vineyard is now owned by La Spinetta. He’ll also be pouring a vast array of his La Spinetta wines such as his long-adored Vermentino, world-famous Barbarescos, tasty and affordable Barbera, and Oro, a dessert wine that is truly palate-changing!
At UGCH, Molly from Winebow will be pouring a lovely collection of wines for Valentine’s Day while Rebecca from Yes Chocolates samples her locally made sweets. One stop shopping for those last minute gifts! We look forward to seeing you on the 14th to celebrate Valentine’s Day with us!