PRODUTTORI DEL BARBARESCO RISERVA 2016 DON FIORINO
Produttori for so many Nebbiolo lovers is like your reliable childhood best friend. Year after year, they bring quality to the table in a very pure and expressive way. So when something “new” comes out of Produttori del Barbaresco it can seem like an unexpected guest! So I am going to tell you about this new Barbaresco which was just released a few months ago.
BARBARESCO RISERVA 2016 LIMITED EDITION
PRODUTTORI DEL BARBARESCO
IN HONOR OF DON FIORINO
There are very few vintages as good as 2016 in both terms of quality and quantity!
It was SO good, that those at the Produttori decided to take a bit out of each riserva cru from the barrel along with a few other sites, and blend them together making a sort of riserva of the riservas!!!
Probably more accurately it could be considered more of a riserva of the blended classico. So if you didn’t get your 2016 riservas upon release, here is your second chance!
If you have ever been to the tasting room at the foot of the tower, you will surely remember the bust of a priest, whose name is Don Fiorino Marengo. The town priest helped to found the current day cooperative and was even the director from 1958 to 1984! This is a memoir written by Celestino Vacca in 2005 that I will do my best to translate certain parts and summarize for you.
THE STORY OF DON FIORINO MARENGO
(translated and summarized by Anna)
After finally getting out of the dark tunnel of Fascism and many years of war there was a certain sense of immobility. The floors of the church pews were damaged and the cost of repairing everything was too high for those times. The young priest, asked for a saint to help, rolled up his shirt sleeves and was determined to let go of his anxiety and find the courage to be useful and do something! He physically worked day and night together with friends to create a better life for those who stayed in Barbaresco. He even built the first preschool. (At the end of the 40s the young children were learning in the stalls).
A chorus was formed for young people in the town, who took it as serious as a job. He was able to find a space where they could play pool and other games, making it the place to be during the evenings.
But he realized that his calling was even greater and that he was surrounded by country folk, but not yet “farmers” neither “vintners”. This got him to thinking about an association that he talked about with the “Father of Barbaresco” Domizio Cavazza who had already founded a social winery in 1894 in the castle of Barbaresco. Together with a charismatic pharmacist who brought the business savvy to the group, they were able to have their first two presidents of the coop, Riccardo Cravanzola and Lorenzo Viglino from the areas of Ovello and Rabaja.
Therefore, the Produttori del Barbaresco was officially founded in 1958 just across from the church with their first 500-1000 max bottles and the rest being sold in bulk. The first 19 founders were bringing quality fruit to the cellar and working well with high hopes and great optimism.
Unfortunately a terrible accident happened to one of the workers who was electrocuted by a cable while working on the cellar and sadly he passed away. Don Fiorino Marengo, who had dedicated so much of his own life to bringing joy to the people of Barbaresco was now feeling “guilty” of taking one’s life indirectly because of this project. He was transferred to another parish and lived with guilt but many Barbaresco citizens would visit him and report about the financial successes of the co-op in the following years of the 60s and 70s. Every success for the co-op was like a little homage to Don Fiorino.
“Eventually the coop reached up to 50+ founders who became true vintners and while Estruscans are credited with developing Tuscan wines, English fleets for bringing success to Bordeaux, Monks in Champagne, Barbaresco can thank Don Fiorino and Cavazza for bringing forth the quality wines of Barbaresco. Certainly there were others who shaped the history and success of Barbaresco in the following years, but most did so with the interests of their own companies. Produttori del Barbaresco would like to commemorate different values, morals and ethics. We can carry with us the memory of a young and determined priest who in a certain way, freed the town of economic and cultural poverty.” SALUTE!