Manual Brunello di Montalcino: Understanding and Appreciating One of Italys Greatest Wines

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Editorial Reviews. Review. "Kerin O'Keefe's authoritative book on Brunello is in the Brunello di Montalcino: Understanding and Appreciating One of Italy's Greatest Wines by [O' . "Kerin O'Keefe's Brunello di Montalcino is not simply an enjoyable wine book; it's one of the rare wine books that is trulyimportant."--Evan .
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Montalcino's producers yesterday overwhelmingly rejected proposals to change Rosso di Montalcino's production code. Changes to Rosso di Montalcino are essential for key markets such as Germany, Canada and China, a Consorzio board member has said.

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The Chianti Classico Consorzio has confirmed that after 78 years of distancing itself from the Chianti denomination, the divorce is now final. Montalcino producers are rallying behind their flagship wine in response to a letter the Brunello Consorzio sent to all producers earlier this week. Italian police at the Port of Livorno have confiscated 30, bottles of red wine labelled as Amarone.

New EU wine reforms will destroy centuries of winemaking tradition and cause market chaos, say industry professionals in Italy. Brunello producer Banfi has strongly disputed reports that grapes other than Sangiovese have been found in their wine. An overhyped vintage, a fraud scandal, and the threat of a US ban has left Brunello in crisis.

Kerin O'Keefe

Top Vino Nobile di Montepulciano estate Avignonesi has been sold to a Belgian shipping director for an undisclosed sum. She authored the English edition of the book in , Franco Biondi Santi. Her latest book, Barolo and Barbaresco - The King and Queen of Italian Wine , University of California Press, , filled a gap in the wine literature by helping consumers understand the differences among the various sub-zones of Barolo and Barbaresco.

Her article "Rebels without a cause?

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The Brunellopoli scandal was not a surprise for O'Keefe, as she had been questioning Brunellos which were suspiciously dark and without the typical aromas of pure Sangiovese wines for years. O'Keefe wrote in that many of Brunellos she had tasted: "were so jammy it was hard to believe they were Brunello", in that: "illicit blending with other grapes, to make luminous ruby-garnet color unnaturally darker, is staunchly denied on all official fronts" and in that: "Doubts can only remain in the face of some of the darker, impenetrable Brunellos sometimes seen".

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O'Keefe opposes the view held by many about the so-called American Palate, or the preference for highly oaked, sweet and powerful wines. My biggest find was helping to break the myth on who created Barolo as we know it today: a dry red wine as opposed to its original sweet version.

I never bought it. A few producers I interviewed mentioned the name of an Italian general, Paolo Francesco Staglieno, as being a pioneer in early Barolo production.


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I hunted down his most famous work, a manual on wine making that was strikingly advanced for the times. It clearly showed that Staglieno was obsessed with vinifying Barolo perfectly dry. This led me to writings by a Piedmont historian, Giusi Mainardi, whose research clearly points to Staglieno as vinifying Nebbiolo dry before Oudart set foot in Piedmont.

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I also pored over historical documents, including Le lettere del fattore di Cavour and it all pointed to Staglieno as being the father of Modern Day Barolo. I then discovered a little-known but informative book, Louis Oudart e I vini nobili del Piemonte, by Anna Riccardi Candiani, published by Slow Food Editore in , which shows no connection between Oudart and the Marchesa di Barolo or the advent of dry Barolo. This helped me confirm my conclusions that General Paolo Francesco Staglieno is the real father of Barolo as we know it today.

Your work gives you a unique understanding of current trends in Italian wine appreciation. What are these, in your opinion?


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Organic and natural farming methods of viticulture are now huge in Italy, and for good reason. Not only did the harsh chemicals used between the s and s sterilize the soil, but these days consumers are very aware, and very wary, of harsh chemicals. More and more wine drinkers are looking for wines that are made without industrial chemicals. More wine lovers are also looking for wines with elegance and balance as opposed to muscle and concentration. It is often remarked, however, that when it comes to wine exports, Italian producers struggle to put forward a cohesive strategy.

To what extent are buyers influenced by communication strategies? That's true, it's rare to find a unified effort when it comes to marketing Italian wines.

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I do think buyers are influenced by marketing strategies, but besides promotions and marketing, stories behind the wine are extremely important. However, wine drinkers who read about wine are looking for honesty from the writer, and are wary about conflicts of interest. They also want wine represented in an entertaining but informative style, and detest snobbery. Readers also appreciate articles written by specialists: I think the days of a single wine writer writing about all the wines in the world — and claiming to be a specialist in everything from Bordeaux to Chile, from Argentina to Italy, and all the wines in between — are largely over.

Lets talk a little about Santa Margherita.

Brunello Di Montalcino Tasting and Reviews - Episode #167

Santa Margherita is synonymous with Pinot Grigio.