The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 78 of 152

ITALY The Triumph of Tradition WITH A LONG FAMILY TRADITION, PIEMOTESE PRODUCER PIO CESARE REMAINS AMONG THE REGION'S BEST by Anthony Dias Blue PHOTO COURTESY OF PIO CESARE C esare Benvenuto knows exactly where he's going. He also knows exactly where his family's winery is going. He is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in making superior traditional wines of Piedmont. Right now he is working for his uncle, Pio Boffa, who is in charge of the family winery, Pio Cesare. "Pio started in 1972—41 years ago," Cesare told me over a recent lunch at Madeo in Los Angeles, where he presented his current wines. "He worked closely with my grandfather, his father, Giuseppe, for almost 30 years. My grandfather passed away in 2000, and now Pio is responsible for the winery." Pio Cesare was founded 132 years ago in Alba by the first Pio Cesare. It is the only winery in the historic center of Alba. "Our founder made our first bottles in 1881 and we are still there in the original house, where you can really feel the atmosphere of our family." A few years ago I had a lovely Piemontese The first Pio Cesare lunch with Pio that was prepared by founded the winery 132 his mother, Giuseppe's wife, now in her years ago. nineties. We were served in the grand entrance hall of this great house. It was delicious, and made better by the fact that we ate and drank surrounded by history. Pio Cesare is one of the most important wineries of Northern Italy. The house produces the typical wines of the region: Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera—the "three Bs"—as well as Dolcetto, Gavi and a bit of Moscato. "Our founder started with these wines (all but Gavi) and we are here in 2013 making the same wines," Cesare says with pride. "Gavi was the first white wine that we ever made. We started making it 50 years ago." Cesare is very proud of the Barberas that the winery produces. "We wish more people would drink Barbera. It is a variety that is giving us a lot of satisfaction, especially the last ten to fifteen years. Barbera and Nebbiolo are the two most important grape varieties of Piemonte, as well as being the two most elegant varieties. Our Barbera is a classical wine and also a wine for every day. It is aged for just a few months and it has good acidity and a little bit of oak. Cesare Benvenuto in the caves at Pio Cesare. 78  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2013 TP1113_066-107.indd 78 10/24/13 9:24 AM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - November 2013