Tenuta di Valgiano, Lucca’s bright star; an interview with owner Moreno Petrini
Author: David Berry Green
It may be May but it feels distinctly like April here in Piemonte, as the extended winter looks to have shunted the seasons back; so a chilly and damp reception for all my feathered friends that have now dropped in to say hello (nightingale, hoopoe, bee-eater, turtle dove, white-bellied alpine swift, hobby…)
This weekend’s migration took me south to Lucca, that fine walled city, in search of enlightenment. It was the annual Anteprima Costa Toscana, a spread of properties covering the more marginal wine regions round Grosseto, Livorno, Massa, Pisa and of course Lucca; almost all showing off the juicy 2009 vintage from barrel. While those round Lucca and Livorno generally showed best balance and consistency – with Tenuta di Valgiano (above left) crowning the lot – it was the Pisa crowd that have most to do; a raggedy bunch if ever I saw one. Still, amongst their number was Caiarossa, a Bordeaux-owned property trying earnestly to raise their game. Indeed word has it they’ve recently beaten a path to the door of Valgiano, cap in hand no doubt, to glean the secrets of successful biodynamic viticulture….
And how ironic, as I turned for home and the Langhe hills, so radio RAI 2 should run a really great slot on organic farming, its nutritious as well as environmental value…before closing the piece, as only Italians can, with a rollicking rendition of AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’!