• #roséallyear: happy rosé everyone!

    I’m busy bottling the 2018 vintage of our Langhe doc Rosato, a young, fresh and cheerful wine, made from Nebbiolo grapes.

    It could be because it’ll be St. Valentine’s Day soon, or perhaps it’s that spring is just around the corner. Whatever the reason, I find myself wanting to talk about rosé, or perhaps I should use the Italian word, rosato.

    The first thing I want to do is dispel a few clichés.

    Rosato is NOT:

    a summer wine

    a wine for women

    a wine for amateur palates

    a wine that cannot be aged

    We’re with the Huffington Post, which has launched the hashtag #roséallyear! While rosé was once considered a wine for drinking in summer, we now drink it all year round and from the start to the finish of a meal.

    The other myth to be dispelled is that it’s a wine for women: a survey by Nomisma Wine Monitor tells us that 73% of women and 67% of men buy rosé wines.

    I’ve taken a look at some of the figures: in recent years, consumption has risen particularly among the millennials. As much as one bottle of wine in every 10 consumed in the world is rosé and four in 10 bottles are consumed outside the country where they are made.

    Global production is around 24 million hectolitres, accounting for about 10% of the wines consumed throughout the world (data source: France Agrimere). And according to the study, international consumption of rosé wines is growing 1-2% annually.

    The French continue to be the leading producers, also leading the rankings for consumption, import and export. Italy is the world’s second exporter in terms of volume, with 16%. And demand is rising, particularly for rosé wines made with native grapes.

    I love it with fresh cheeses, fish and shellfish, but in her blog, Donatella Cinelli Colombini says it’s fantastic with pizza too.

    Happy rosé everyone!


  • The challenge of a 100% Nebbiolo sparkling wine from the Langhe

    Sometimes the best things come about by sheer chance. And this is exactly what happened with my sparkling wine, a native-grape bubbly, made with 100% Nebbiolo and vinified according to the Classic Method. It was September 2009. My dad walked into the cellar and said: “I want to try making a sparkling wine with Nebbiolo”. I didn’t pay all that much attention to what he was saying; I just let him get on with it. I thought he was just playing around. Anyway, we experimented the first vinification with the 2009 vintage. The second experiment took place in 2013, bringing forward the grape harvest to August. I gradually began to understand that Nebbiolo isn’t just perfect for the production of great reds like Barolo, it’s ideal for making sparkling wine too.

    The response from our customers confirmed that we were heading in the right direction and gave us the strength to pursue our project. Today we make around five thousand bottles of our sparkling wine “made in Langhe”. We are thinking about increasing the vineyard surface area dedicated to the production of our Nebbiolo d’Alba doc Metodo Classico.

    And we aren’t alone in believing in the production of a local bubbly. Along with other winemakers from Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, in 2017 we set up a group called Nebbiolo Noblesse, united by a common aim: the production and promotion of Spumante Metodo Classico 100% Nebbiolo. Every year, we organise events, evenings and tastings.

    Together we are carrying on a story which dates back at least two centuries. Although we still have a great deal of studying to do, we know that Nebbiolo was used to make a sparkling wine way back at the beginning of the 19th century. The first document is dated 1787 and is a report on the visit by US President Thomas Jefferson to Turin, during which “staying at the Hotel Angleterre, he drank red wine made with Nebbiolo, finding it as sparkling as Champagne”. A letter addressed to one Giovanni Antonio Giobert mentions Nebbiolo used for sparkling wines and, in 1839, Prof. Euclide Milano made a list of sparkling Piedmontese wines that included nebiù d’Asti spumante.

    Lorenzo Tablino talks about the history of sparkling wines made with the Nebbiolo grape in his blog.

    Spumanti classici a base Nebbiolo: storia

    Around 250 thousand bottles of bubbly are currently made every year made from Nebbiolo.


  • Wine tasting: four steps to approach a wine-glass and have a good tasting experience

    Wine tasting: four steps to approach a wine-glass and have a good
    tasting experience

    I happen very often during the various events involving my winery to meet
    and chat with several people who ask me for advice on how to taste the best
    wines. Many feel that for a more complete wine product enjoyment it is
    necessary to attend a sommelier course. So I thought of writing this article to
    give you some tips on how to best approach a wine-glass and enjoy a good
    wine. The process goes through four steps.

    It is not necessary to be professional tasters.

    Before I begin I would like to make an introduction. Decide to attend a
    sommelier course is definitely a good idea that will allow you to have a tasting
    experience more complete if you are not a professional taster. Wine is a
    pleasure for everyone, any person who has really interest and passion can
    come close to this drink and appreciate it satisfactorily.
    Let us now see what are the four steps to come close to a wine-glass in the
    right way.

    1. Pour wine and examine it

    Tasting a wine is an experience for all the senses. When you open a bottle
    pour its content into a glass and take a few minutes to observe it. Bring the
    wine-glass at eye level and tray to see the different nuances. Generally the
    White wines have shades ranging from greenish to amber, the Red ones
    instead have shades ranging from grenade purple to darker shades.
    Observing the color of wine allows you to understand if we are going to taste
    a new wine or an aged one. Generally the whites and the young reds have
    lighter shades while the aged ones go towards darker colors.

    2. Swirl the glass

    Swirling the glass you will notice “tears of wine’’ that reveal the viscosity of
    the wine and the alcohol content. Wine is more structured and has high
    alcohol content when more tears of wine appear.

    3. Smell wine

    After visual examination is time to smell. Smell the wine you are going to
    taste. Breath in slowly and deeply in order to taste the bouquet. Generally is
    necessary to make a second swirl and smell for a second olfactory
    experience. This is a very important moment for assessing perfume, intensity,
    persistence and quality. At this stage you can already understand a lot of the
    wine you are going to taste. Always try to notice the different shades to get a
    full and olfactory impression.

    4 Taste

    After having observed the wine with sight and smell you are ready to taste it.
    Take a drop of wine and keep it in your mouth to let papillae and palate to
    savour it fully. You will enjoy flavor, tone and intensity. Each wine has its own
    story that unfolds upon contact with your palate. At this point you will ask me
    “ ok, but at this point how do I know if a wine is really good”. The answer is
    not simple. Every taste is very subjective and each of us tends to have
    different preferences. Remember though that a good wine always leave an
    impression of harmony and balance between its components satisfying the
    palate. After you have swallowed, judge the persistence of flavor and the
    aftertaste that leaves These are some important steps to get close to a
    complete gourmet experience. If you want to appreciate every wine you will
    drink try to sharpen your senses and to grasp all aspects of your glass. What
    at first seems perhaps difficult will become a pleasant habit and a new way to
    approach the wine. One last piece of advice I can give is to do a lot of
    practice, have the opportunity to taste different wines is undoubtedly the
    best way to appreciate more and more flavour and different shades educating
    our senses to greater receptivity.

    Do you want to do a bit of experience?

    Well! Come to Josetta Saffirio Open on Saturday April 21st when the winery
    will be opened to our followers for free tours. Take the opportunity to taste all
    our best products.