Oltrepò Wines Experience with masterclasses and tasting, in Rome, turned out to be a very successful event, involving more than 38 wineries representing Denominazioni dell’Oltrepò Pavese. The magnificent tasting in the Brancaccio garden saw more than 300 operators registered, 40 seminarists for the two guided tastings in the halls of the Palazzo.
The Oltrepò Pavese, among the most interesting wine territories in Northern Italy, was dedicated to the Oltrepò Wines Experience event, born from the collaboration between Gambero Rosso and the Consorzio di Tutela Vini Oltrepò Pavese. The event, held on June 26, 2023, in the magnificent setting of Palazzo Brancaccio, was an opportunity to rediscover the appellations of this area, through two masterclasses reserved for wine professionals and led by Lorenzo Ruggeri, deputy editor of Gambero Rosso's Vini d'Italia guide, and a large tasting at tasting tables open to all wine enthusiasts who were able to taste the producers dell’Oltrepò Pavese and their most representative labels. The activity was carried out with the contribution of MASAF, in accordance with Director's Decree No. 553922 of October 28, 2022 (see para. 3.3 of Annex D to d.d. 302355 of July 7, 2022).
Lorenzo Ruggeri, who led the two masterclasses at the Oltrepò Wines Experience event in Rome's Palazzo Brancaccio, one dedicated to wines from indigenous grape varieties and the other to wines from historic grape varieties, commented on the two seminars: Regarding indigenous grape varieties, what impressed me was how the historic and reserve types are now being offered in an increasingly contemporary style.
Said Ruggeri: These are wines that are basically powerful and rich in structure, because there are varieties behind them that have these characteristics, but in which there is always an elegant stylistic figure of drinkability, where we find the terroir but there is also a dimension of today's taste, and I must say that we found this aspect not only in the reserve but also on the Riesling italico and then on the Renano, so a very elegant style of cleanliness.
Continues Lorenzo Ruggeri: We tasted gourmet wines as in the case of the two Bonarda obviously proposed in a richer style, coming from two old vineyards, but well explanatory of what a terroir Bonarda can give from a vocated area with great performers. These are wines, these, not only for the table in the most classic sense but also for aging.
Then the second masterclass: Practically dedicated to Pinot nero, except for that Riesling Rhine to act as a watershed - it was a tasting that highlighted the growth of the metodo classico, the DOCG, and Pinot nero with so many styles and producers interpreting it and several examples of parcellari that are finding important feedback. The growth of DOCG is also counterbalanced by the growth on Pinot nero in red that is finally coming more and more into focus.
A question of style: We tasted three styles in my opinion that were very well representative of the stylistic composition dell’Oltrepò Pavese in red because one "steel only" so with all the drinkability and with a rich rasp to find some character, then a reserve that was really illustrative with savory notes of sub-zones of production and then the last one-a cru from Rocca de Giorgi-with the Bertone from Valle Scuropasso, proof that when you go for single plot selection you get great results.
In closing: Very good feedback also emerged from talking to the journalists present: all agreed that by now a level of quality has been reached that can no longer be hidden. In short, for Oltrepò Pavese it is no longer just a question of value for money, it proposes wines that can compete with all the Italian Denominations, wines that can also have a nice international breath, and the group spirit that was breathed at Palazzo Brancaccio was beautiful: almost 40 compact wineries presenting themselves in Rome, they make a team, and that is exactly what the territory needs. Way to go!