This episode of “Wine 101” is sponsored by Renato Ratti. I don’t mean to play favorites, but I’m going to play favorites. I love this place so much. Made from the Nebbiolo grape, named after the famous town where it thrives, the wines of Barolo are some of the most age-worthy wines in the world. The aromas, texture, and structure are like no other wine on the planet. These wines will add pleasure to any meal. If you’re eating food and enjoying Barolo, you’re living life right.
The Ratti family has accomplished tremendous work to bring Barolo to where it is today. Back in the ‘60s, Barolo was only a special occasion sort of wine — reserved for anniversaries, holidays, and the like. Quite frankly, it took a long time to make. Long maceration periods led to high tannin levels, which in turn meant longer oak-aging periods to soften out those tannins and bring the grape’s personality back to the forefront.
Then Renato Ratti came along and began implementing shortened maceration periods, making Barolo easier to make and ultimately more abundant. However, his true revolutionary moment arrived when he decided to map out Barolo, including 170 designated single vineyards and a two-tier classification system for MGAs (menzioni geografiche aggiuntive). There’s so much variety in the soil of this region that Ratti also saw it crucial to break down the different tasting notes that can be extracted from the land depending on location, including mint, violet, jammy fruit, etc. In 2010, the map was officially recognized by the appellation system.
In this episode of “Wine 101,” Keith has a chat with Pietro Ratti, the son of Renato Ratti. Pietro is now carrying on his father’s legacy. Listen in as he breaks down his family history, the Nebbiolo grape, and the importance of a sense of place in Barolo.
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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. Listen to this. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.
E. & J. Gallo Winery is excited to sponsor this episode of VinePair’s “Wine 101.” Gallo always welcomes new friends to wine with an amazingly wide spectrum of favorites, ranging from everyday to luxury and sparkling wine. (Gallo also makes award-winning spirits, but this is a wine podcast.) Whether you are new to wine or an aficionado, Gallo welcomes you to wine. Visit TheBarrelRoom.com today to find your next favorite, where shipping is available.