Nizza is a terroir. Nizza is a well defined project.
Is there anything more adorable than a weimaraner eating grapes in a northern Italian vineyard? Besides a puppy eating grapes in a northern Italian vineyard, I mean?
Well, you can decide for yourself after watching today’s video!
The people, and the vineyard, and the grapes that are being eaten, all belong to Gianni Bertolino, the President of Associazione dei Produttori del Nizza. Bertolino is one of the proponents of a special brand of Monferrato, Nizza Docg, designed to sit at the top of the quality pyramid of the region’s Barbera wines, and indisputably one the most complex, structured, and potentially long-lived incarnations of that grape that money can buy. In our video, Bertolino welcomes us and gives us the insider’s view on these wines.
Here’s a little bit of background: Nizza is an official subzone of the Barbera d’Asti wine region, with its own set of specific farming, production, and aging regulations, all of which are more stringent and quality-focused than the already stringent and quality-focused regulations that oversee the other Barbera-producing areas of the region. It was officially recognized as a subzone in the 2014 vintage, but the concept stems back at least twenty-some-odd years before that, and its history goes back even longer.
The objective, as explained by Bertolino, has always been to provide a premium version of Barbera, anchored in the French concept of offering a cru vineyard wine, one that showcases the terroir (the unique combination of soil, climate, and winemaking history) of a small, specific area (and in some case, a small, specific vineyard).
Despite his dog’s best efforts to cull vineyard production, here we are in the middle of a terroir, where is produced a high quality Barbera.