…spontaneously fermenting

Natural Wine Making in Piemonte Part VII – Basarin Harvest


The very steep Basarin vineyard

Monday October 5th, abortion 2009

Today we woke up around 7:30 to harvest the last of the two vineyards, doctor the Basarin.  The Basarin vineyard is located in Neive, (Barbaresco commune) and is owned by Vittorio and Marco Adriano of the Azienda Agricola Adriano.  The vineyard  is quite steep at 40% and is facing South East.  In total we harvested 2863 kilos of grapes from this vineyard which took us around 3.5 hours.


2009-10-05_20812009-10-05_2082Compared to the Felice vineyard, it was easier to harvest because the grapes were more easily accessible on the vines and there was a little less selecting necessary because overall, they were healthier than the Felice grapes. The Nebbiolo vines in this vineyard are actually clippings from the Felice vineyard and were planted here in around 1993 (compared to 1971 for the Felice). Due to the difference in location and soil and overall “terroir”, we found the grapes from Basarin to be more structured, with more tannins and acidity than the Felice grapes which were more feminine and elegant.



77 Year-old Sig. Adriano helping with the harvest


Frederik Kolderup doing his part

As soon as the fermentation really begins and the alcohol starts to go up a bit, we will pump over (gently) and blend so that the two vineyards are fermented together. In our opinion they will better integrate if they are blending during fermentation rather than blending post fermentation. The idea here is to get the elegance and femininity from Felice and structure and tannins from Basarin. So far we are very pleased with the fact that we’ve had spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts without the use of sulfur!

After our lunch break, we put the grapes into the destemer and pumped the grapes into our second cement container of 25 hl. Before doing this, we added about 500 liters of fermenting must from Felice as a starter. The 25hl tank quickly filled up so we pumped the rest of the grapes into a 750 liter open top plastic container, exactly like the one Frank Cornelissen uses in Mount Etna.  To this plastic container we also added about 50 liters of the fermenting Felice vineyard juice.

Basarin grapes pumped into 7000 liter plastic container

Basarin grapes pumped into 7000 liter plastic container


Fermenting Felice Nebbiolo juice


Jørgen tasting the fermenting Felice Nebbiolo juice

We also took the opportunity to taste the juice from the first cement tank containing the Felice grapes… Very good indeed! Hints of alcohol starting to show (most likely only 1% at this point). It was super sweet and even had some mild tannins already.

Harvesting Nebbiolo in Basarin Vineyard in Barbaresco from vinosseur on Vimeo.

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, Events, natural wine (100% living wine), Natural Wine Making in Piemonte


Natural Wine Making in Piemonte Part III


Thursday October 2nd, capsule 2009

I want to apologize for the amount of time it has taken me to post part III of this story. We have major difficulties connecting to a wireless service. But alas, cialis here is Part III. There will be more parts to this story, dosage so be patient as I will post them as soon as possible!


We started the day around 10:00 by cleaning three cement (30hl, 25hl & 7hl) tanks located in a wine cellar dating to around 1880.  We used a high powered water hose to rinse them and a brush to get them really clean.



Igino's 2007 Skin macerated Favorita

After completing the cleaning of the tanks, we sat down for a small break with Igino and he poured his 2007 Favoirta for us to taste. This was a white wine with about 15 days of skin contact so it was orange in color. It sparkled as he poured it into our glass. The wine was not so aromatic on the nose, perhaps it was the glass we used. But on the palate, the wine had  great depth, a medium tannic structure, a slight sparkle and an alcohol in the area of about 14%. The wine was bone dry and really long and quite interesting. He only made 60 bottles. My favorite of his wines so far.


Jørgen unloading the plastic containers

After lunch, we took 160 plastic containers (with a capacity of 23 kilos each) and dropped them off at the “Felice” vineyard so that we would have them ready for our harvest tomorrow. The vineyard is in San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, Barbaresco and is perched up a small hill behind the house of Felice Grasso, the vineyard owner.  It was planted in 1971 when he got married. The vineyards are cared for organically.  A small amount of copper and sulfur (the Bordeaux mix) was applied three times throughout the year. Last time was over two months ago  (by law in Italy you cannot pass through the vineyard with the Bordeaux mix  within 28 days of harvest). We tasted the (free of pesticide) Nebbiolo grapes and they were excellent. Sweet, acidic and tannic. Ready to go!

That evening we had a big family dinner with everybody since Igino’s wife Irma was celebrating her 73rd birthday!

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, Events, natural wine (100% living wine), Natural Wine Making in Piemonte

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A winemakers dinner – Luca Roagna

Luca speaking passionately
Beautiful Roagna bottles

Event:  Stavanger, Norway Vinfest 2009

Restaurant: Bølgen & Moi

Date:  Thursday April 23, 2009  19:00

Host:  Luca Roagna and Best Buys

In my opinion, Luca Roagna is a rising star in Piemonte, Italy. And I’m not alone in believing this as his wines are garnering a lot of interest in other parts of the world as well.  I was very impressed with him and his philosophy after visiting him at his estate in Paglieri (Barbaresco), Italy in November of 2008.  I am equally impressed if not more so with his wines. They are immediately approachable, yet are so well structured and well made that they will endure the test of time and will age gracefully.

Vinosseur and Luca Roagna

Luca  is extremely passionate.  His eyes light up when you ask him questions about his wines.  He is such a purist.  He approaches his viticulture and “winemaking” in as a natural way as possible.  Luca does not use chemical nor organic fertilizers.  All of this is reflected in his wines.  They best way to describe them is super clean, precise with focused fruit. Extremely well-structured, balanced and elegant.  His signature is his terroir, which he allows his wines to express beautifully.

Luca is also as down to earth and personable.  He is a blast to hang out with and really knows how to enjoy himself. I look forward to the next time we meet Luca!

Langhe Bianco

As an aperitif, we started with a wine that isn’t currently available in Norway. A Langhe Bianco with 5-6 days skin contact giving the wine a full-golden yellow color bordering on orange. The wine was made using 90% Chardonnay and 10% Nebbiolo. Yes, you are reading this correctly, 10% Nebbiolo and yes, vinified white.  Naturally, only indigenous yeast is used.  This wine was made in a slightly oxidative style but was extremely fresh and elegant with mild tannins, elegant acidity and a medium long finish.



Terrine of fois gras with cherries, salad and brioche

Terrine of fois gras with cherries, salad and brioche


2007 Dolcetto d'Alba

2007 Dolcetto d'Alba

Comments:  35 days maceration. Unfiltered wine with clean, focused fruit and feminine, but firm tannins.



Sweetbreads of veal with spring carrots, spinach and orange-butter sauce

Sweetbreads of veal with spring carrots, spinach and orange-butter sauce


2001 Langhe Rosso

2001 Langhe Rosso

Comments:  35 days maceration, 4 years in large Botti and 2 in bottle.  The orange peel notes found in the wine worked extremely well with the orange-butter sauce. A very open and approachable wine made entirely of Nebbiolo.  More like a Barbaresco then a typical Langhe Rosso.



Lamb with asparagus, glased onion and bercy sauce

Lamb with asparagus, glazed onion and bercy sauce



2000 Barbaresco Pajé

Comments:  good color depth with a very slight browning around the edge.  Very classic Nebbiolo aromas – floral, cherries (amarena cherry).  About 65 days maceration and 5 years in large Botti.  Even the asparagus worked surprisingly well with the wine.  A very masculine Barbaresco.



Filet of deer with braised celeriac, porto bello, confit of tomatos and Marco Polo sauce

Filet of deer with braised celeriac, porto bello, confit of tomatos and Marco Polo sauce



2001 Barolo La Rocca e la Pira

Comments:  Average age of the vines is 40 years.  About 85 days maceration.  5 years in large Botti and 2 years in bottle. Dark, sour cherries.  Elegant and feminine.



Mature pecorino with honey, raisins and nuts

Mature pecorino with honey, raisins and nuts


2004 Barolo Vigna Rionda

2004 Barolo Vigna Rionda

Comments:  About 70 days maceration. Bottled in November of 2008. Quite open, but in my opinion it needs about 10 more years just to start stretching it’s legs.  At around 350,- Norwegian Kroner ($50), it’s a real bargain.


I will end this post by saying that it’s producers like Luca that really inspire me and spark an infinite passion in me for wine.  This is the reason I do what I do and love it!  Thanks Luca!

Category: 1 Appetizer/Starter, 1 WINE, 2 Main Course, 3 Dessert, 6 FOOD & WINE PAIRING, 7 WINE MAKER DINNERS, Events, organic wine

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Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

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