In most places in the world, the word legend is typically reserved to describe a sports figure or a political hero. Only in the historic region of Emilia-Romagna -- home of culatello, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mortadella, and Prosciutto -- could there be so much love for some-one-thing that a small vigneron producing rustic, food worthy natural wines could be admired and trumpeted as a legend.
Giulio Armani was making wine long before a lot of us were born. He literally started off as a boy in 1980 at the, now stalwart, Azienda La Stoppa in Piacenza. Giulio was one of the first in his region to really embrace and harness maceration (skin-contact) in the wine making process. He understood the need and place for quaff able wines like Lambrusco and their role as a partner to the food of the region, but, at the same time, questioned... why can't we build wines for longevity and greatness as well? He pushed the boundaries of a region that was comfortable championing their high culinary prowess (as maybe one of the most important food destinations in the world), while comfortable, just the same, in accepting that their "affordable" wines were just fine at the back of the (Italian) pack.
As a man, Giulio has the undeniable presence of your father and yet the fervor and energy of one of your wittiest best friends. He is serious, but his mind and spirit are not. He is undoubtedly one of the best-dressed vignerons you will meet. He is a character, a force, a conundrum. More than anything, he is a teacher and mentor.
Through the years and longtime recognition, Giulio has drawn in young, inspiring winemakers from all around Europe. You will be hard pressed to go to any natural wine fair across the globe and not find a handful of Italian winemakers that have either worked under Giulio or have been greatly influenced by him and his work. For some, he is referred to as the Godfather of Emilia.
On Tuesday we will be celebrating the legacy of Giulio Armani and offering a tasting that showcases a few wines from his personal Azienda Denavolo in addition to some of the wines he has greatly influenced made by some of his proteges.
Unfortunately, Giulio will not be joining us -- he wouldn't be comfortable with all of this flattery-- BUT we will have one of his former understudies, now turned his export manager and winemaker herself, Fanny Breuil, in the house as well as the importer and Biondivino native, Brett Pallesen of the Soil Expedition Co.
If you are not afraid of some orange in your wine,
come out and join us!
Tuesday 28th Feb.
Fanny & Brett will be presenting the following wines:
Denavolo 'Dinavolino' 2014 $22
Denavolo - 'Dinavolo' 2010 $32
Producers influenced by Giulio Armani:
Il Tufiello 'Sancho Panza' Fiano 2014 $32
Vino del Poggio Bianco 2013 $30
Vino del Poggio Barbera 2012 $20