Travelling is more than just about the sights and landscapes. It is about the food, the culture and the wine. At A Perfect Tour we try to give our clients the whole experience and sometimes we bring part of the experience to them by bringing a winemaker from one of the wine regions in Italy or France. In fact, we are doing so in November by bringing Lionello Rosso (the gentleman next to Jerry) of Poderi Rosso Giovanni to Toronto.

Lionello’s family has been producing wine for over three generations and he has been in charge of the family business since 1999. The 12 hectares of vineyards and the cellar are located in the municipality of Agliano Terme, between Langhe and Monferrato, in the Unesco area. This winery has chosen to produce only one specific wine: the Barbera d’Asti DOCG in all of its different varieties. The reasoning for doing this is to obtain the best from an area and terroir (earth) particularly suited to the cultivation of this wine. The wines produced with great care by Lionello and his family are:

Barbera d’Asti “San Bastian”: This is the most classic version of Barbera d’Asti vinified entirely in steel with a short cold maceration before fermentation that expresses the grape characteristics to the full, enhancing the fruity notes accompanied by a good structure typical of Agliano Barbera. This wine is suitable for immediate consumption but can be aged for 2-3 years. It also can be paired with any dish.

Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Cascina Perno”: This wine is a modern interpretation of the tradition. Aged in steel and wood gives this wine elegance and softness that enhances the fruity sensations of blackberries and blueberries accompanied by notes of vanilla. As a structured wine with good tannins it maintains a very pleasant drinkability even after several years.

Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Carlinet”: This wine is the highest expression of Barbera and is obtained from the best vineyards of the winery with very low yields per hectare that enhance its power and structure. Refinement in small oak barrels of this wine increases its complexity and longevity. With an intense and deep colour this wine presents itself to the nose with a set of sensations reminiscent of small red fruits, cocoa and spices. Its taste is intense, persistent broad and silky. This wine is suitable for lengthy storage.

Monferrato Rosso “Finally”: This wine, produced in limited quantities, is the result of the blending of Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Great attention to the maturation phase of the grapes and ageing in small oak barrels enables an excellent balance between the two grape varieties that complement each other. This structured, complex and elegant wine in which you can find sensations of jam and ripe fruit combined with balanced tannins can be stored for a long time.

All of these wines have the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) classification which is the highest classification Italian wines can be awarded. It means that there are (controllata) controlled production methods and (garantita) guaranteed wine quality for each bottle.

There are strict rules governing the production of DOCG wines: the grape varieties, yield limits, grape ripeness, winemaking procedures, and barrel and bottle maturation. Every DOCG wine is subject to official tasting procedures and to prevent counterfeiting, the bottles have a numbered government seal. Today there are approximately 73 wines with DOCG status in Italy. The minimum alcohol levels are 12% for Barbera d’Asti normale, and 12.5% for Barbera d’Asti Superiore, although some wines can reach 14.5% alcohol.

Lionello will hold a winemaker dinner at Vintage Conservatory on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. He will then hold another winemaker dinner – that’s the menu on the right – at Bricco Kitchen & Wine Bar hosted by Eric Gennaro (Owner & Sommelier) at 3047 Dundas Street West, Toronto on Thursday, November 8, 2018. FYI Bricco is rated 4 out of 5 on TripAdvisor.

On Friday, November 9, 2018, Lionello will be conducting an in store public wine tasting starting at 1pm at LCBO Store 0632, 8260 Highway 27, Woodbridge. If you are interested in attending any of these events please contact Jerry Gain at [email protected] or 416 696 9979.