Rocche Dei Manzoni

About the Producer: 
Valentino Migliorini is one of few outsiders to have gained full membership in Barolo’s patriarchal wine establishment. When he and his wife Iolanda brought Rocche dei Manzoni in 1972 and started renovating the farm, they were treated with suspicion as free-spending restaurateurs from Emilia who didn’t even speak the local dialect. But Valentino, being to bold, too bright and toogregarious to ignore, quickly became a big wheel in Barolo. He pioneered small barrels of French oak, first used for the trend-setting Nebbiolo-Barbera blend called Bricco Manzoni. He was the first to plant Chardonnay- for the barrel-fermented L’Angelica, as well as for Valentino Brut Zero, Piedmont’s best sparkling blanc de blancs. Yet, as he brought up choice vineyards and built majestic cellars (along with a palatial tower and an Olympic sized swimming pool), Valentino never lost sight on his first love: Barolo. He bottled his first single-vineyard Barolo, Vigno d’la Roul, from 1974, following in 1982 with Vingo Big. The Big comes from Bighi, name of a former owner, but it also describes the dimensions of a Barolo that for the time being tops Valentino’s list. Probably not fro long, however, since wines of Cappella di Santo Stefano at Perno, one of the top historic sites of Barolo, have yet to reach full potential, and the acquisitions of Madonna Assunta-La Villa at Castelletto, Bussia promise even more splendor in years to come. Iolanda gave up the restaurant in Emilia years ago to work full time with Valentino and sons Alfonso and Rodolfo, who produce more that 200,000 bottles a year from about 50 hectares of vines. The list includes DOC Barbera d’Albo (Sorito Mosconi and Vigna La Cresta), Dolcetto d’Alba (Vigna Matinera) and Langhe Rosso Pinonero (Piont Nero) and Quatr Nas (a unique blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Pinot Nero and Canernet).