Friday, May 7, 2010

Remembering Vietti's Alfredo Currado

I’m hoping to write about the wines of Vietti in the next couple of weeks, but right now is the time to remember the man who raised this top Piedmont producer to the uppermost echelon of the wine world.

“Alfredo Currado, a pioneering winemaker at the Vietti estate in Barolo, died on April 30 after several years combating Parkinson's disease and, more recently, pneumonia. He was 78,” Wine Spectator Online reported.

This is a significant loss to the entire wine world, not just Italy: His passion and work have done as much to shape the fortunes and reputation of Piedmont--and, particularly, Barolo and Barbera--as anyone else’s. Indeed, the Spectator reported, “Currado was one of the first Barolo winemakers to focus on single-vineyard wines. He produced his first cru wine, Vietti Barolo Le Rocche, in 1961, a cru that after many years remained his favorite. A great believer in indigenous grape varieties, Currado was responsible for the rediscovery of the almost extinct Arneis variety and developed a modern white varietal based on it.”

Two years ago, I had a chance to attend a wine lunch with Currado’s son, Luca, Vietti’s current winemaker, and was just as impressed with the wines as I was the family’s history and their passion for the land and the wines that come from it. Alfredo, indeed, was one of the legends of the wine world, and, though he is now gone, his lifetime of work continues to be felt today, and will for a long time to come.


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