From wine what wonderful friendship springs

“Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living…”

— Robert Mondavi

Once we started up the winding driveway, frosty grapevines and clearly defined plots of land suddenly surrounded us. With the Alps clearly visible to the west, and the rolling Piemonte hills to the east, we arrived at Rivetto, perched on a steep hill between Serralunga d’Alba and Sinio.

Enrico, a fourth generation winemaker in the family, welcomed us with an introduction to the long-standing identity of the grape varieties and traditions of his families’ philosophy. Rivetto’s eco-compatibility efforts are truly impressive, as are their inventive takes on traditional wines of the region. Rivetto’s innovation is unmatched, in everything from bringing back the lost white grape varietal of Nascetta to a new-concept sparkling Nebbiolo – not to mention, the views and hospitality simply cannot be beat!

Some highlights from our visit to Rivetto:

–       Nascetta is the only white varietal native to Langhe. Although it was the premier Piemontese grape the mid 1800’s, the varietal virtually disappeared after WWI and was only recently replanted (thanks to roots stocked by the Univ. of Torino). The Rivetto Nascetta reminded me of white Burgundy, with a mineral background that will age beautifully.

–       Rivetto’s grapes border both the high and low Langhe, sitting hilltop between Serralunga d’Alba and Sinio.

–       Rather than the more typical French oak, many of Rivetto’s wines are aged in Slavonian oak, which is very respectful to the fruit flavors of their wines.

–       Rivetto finishes many of their wines, including Barolo, with egg white. Technically, egg white has tannin-softening properties, making the tannins less astringent in the finished product. One to two egg whites are used to clarify every 100 liters of wine and serve to collect proteins and excess tannins as sediment in the bottom of the barrel.

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