When classes ended in July and I left Italy briefly for a summer break, I had already learned more than I could have ever imagined from this university. The classes, the tasting seminars, the study trips, and above all, my diverse classmates from all corners of the globe had taught me so much in just one short year. But then upon my return at the end of August, with all but three of my classmates gone, I began two internships here in Italy — one for a communications agency with a focus on wine tourism and another for a winery in Serralunga d’Alba. At that point, began the formulation of my thesis. Two months, 29 pages, and 7,447 words later…I have explored a topic that a year ago today would have meant nothing to me. Below is the abstract for my final paper, if you would like to read it in its entirety, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Tradition to Innovation: Case studies on the role of vintage varietals in the shifting communication strategies of Piemontese winemakers
Abstract: While many Piemontese winemakers have maintained the same processes for hundreds of years, others have evolved styles in the vineyard, the cellar, and in their communication methods. This evolution of wine growing and communications in Piedmont has seen a recent revival of “vintage varietals,” or grapes/winemaking styles that were not typically popular in the last century. The communications of these varietals is often hand in hand with the more classic, Nebbiolo-based wines of the region, but in many cases varies distinctly from market to market. Whereas “vintage varietals” are often familiar to the domestic market, they serve as an intriguing curiosity to wine lovers on a more international level. Additionally, as the market of wine consumers has evolved, brands are more and more associated with quality in a market saturated with options from both the New and Old world. Through case studies focused on Langhe Nascetta, Verduno Pelaverga, and sparkling Nebbiolo this work investigates the role of vintage varietals in the communications strategies of Piemontese winemakers, and the reasoning behind their reinvigoration.