Italian wine journey: How Alberto sources wines from Italy for restaurant in Hua Hin

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Join Alberto Bruni on a journey through Italy’s renowned wine regions, discovering exceptional wines from Trentino to Tuscany and experiencing the vibrant Vinitaly wine fair. Gain insight, and learn about the stories behind each vineyard. You can also savor the exquisite flavors of the wines mentioned, which are now available at Alberto Restaurant in Hua Hin.

April in Italy brought unpredictable weather. In the Dolomites, we visited vineyards in T-shirts, and a week later in Tuscany, we experienced freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. In Italy, it is common to call April “pazzerello,” meaning a little crazy. This year, it surpassed itself and was truly deranged.

Trentino and Alto Adige: Home of the best white wines

We started our journey in the northeast of Italy, in the regions of Trentino and Alto Adige. These areas are known for producing some of the best white wines, including Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and some notable Pinot Nero. The hospitality from winemakers Terlan, Tramin, and Colterenzio was as remarkable as their wines. The vineyards reach altitudes of 850 meters, contributing to the crispness and pronounced aromas of their wines. The combination of thermal variation and inherited enological skills results in high-quality products.

A quick visit to Treviso, the land of Prosecco

Masottina, a well-established company in the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, has been harvesting grapes for the last 75 years. Family heritage and innovations make Masottina one of the leading Prosecco producers. These two areas have been listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site since 2019.

Treviso is a short drive from Verona, the capital city of the historical land of the Scaligeri, known for its elegance. The famous Arena, built by the Romans, regularly hosts opera seasons and multicultural events. Verona is a serious and rather austere place, but it loses its main character once a year for four days during the most important wine fair in the world—Vinitaly. Last April, 93,000 people visited over 4,000 wine exhibitors.

OperaWine: The pinnacle of the journey

OperaWine traditionally precedes the fair. Hosted the day before the exhibition, OperaWine groups the best 100 Italian wines selected by Wine Spectator under one roof for one day. Visiting this event was the pinnacle of our journey. We managed to taste about 40 wines, regretting that we only accomplished 40% of our target.

The Vinitaly fair is gigantic, with long distances between some pavilions. We managed to visit many companies, most of them small producers, aiming to source high-end wines. Occasionally, we also looked for extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. At Vinitaly, the world stops to taste wines.

Exploring Valpolicella and Northern Tuscany

In Valpolicella, we were guests of a boutique winery, Clementi. Their Valpolicella and Amarone wines stand up to any challenge. We were fortunate to taste some old vintages of Amarone dating back to 2006, which were outstanding. We found roundness and elegance, surpassed only by their long, velvety finish. Dedication, passion, and love are evident in every bottle of Clementi wines.

Another stop on the “autostrada” for espresso coffee brought us to northern Tuscany. The temperatures ranged from 18°C in Verona to 2°C in Rufina. I Veroni is a wonderful small winery in the hills of Rufina Chianti, with vineyard elevations of 300 to 400 meters nestled between snow-covered peaks. The wines, typical of this area, tell the story and humanity of these families of artisans. The environment, care, and love for the land and its traditions are reflected in the wines, which never ceased to amaze us with their strong identity, complexity, and decisiveness. We thank I Veroni for their commitment.

Central Tuscany: Montalcino and beyond

After leaving Rufina, we headed to central Tuscany, to Montalcino. There, we were hosted by Talenti, a winemaker dedicated to very high quality. We had the immense pleasure of drinking some old vintages, including Brunello dating back to the 1990s.

Describing our sensations might sound repetitive and boring, but it becomes difficult not to be honest. All the bottles opened at Talenti’s cellar were like individual instruments in a magnificent symphony orchestra. Each wine played a solo part, building to a mesmerizing aria.

On the coast of Tuscany, we drove to Bolgheri, a famous area for vineyards. The main varietals in this area are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, which are entirely different from the Sangiovese of Montalcino. Bolgheri makes a strong statement in the glass. Despite being a relatively young wine-producing area, dating back only 50 to 60 years, Bolgheri has carved out an important place in the world of enology. We found wines with great equilibrium and possessiveness. Although without centuries of tradition, Bolgheri wines are recognized worldwide with their certificates of excellence.

Diners at Alberto Restaurant in May

The Piemonte Region: A grand finale

Asti, Barolo, and Barbaresco are synonymous with great winemaking areas. Our visit to Italy’s great wine-producing regions was coming to an end. However, we couldn’t leave without savoring the fruits of the Piemonte region—the Langhe with Moscato, Barolo, and Barbaresco and their respective nectars. The Barbera D’Asti Superiore and the Barolo of Fratelli Ponte left indelible memories on our palates. Brachetto, although not recognized by many as a serious wine, was a must-pair with strawberries, and it was simply delicious.

Cinque Terre: The end of the journey

Our journey through the land of the Etruscans and Romans ended with a review of Cinque Terre wines. Cinque Terre comprises five small picturesque maritime villages atop rocky cliffs. This is “viticulture eroica,” with grapes growing in terraces carved into steep terrain reclaimed from the sea. Located just outside the Ligurian town of La Spezia, this small production of white wines includes Sciacchetrà, made with varietals such as Uva Bosco, Albarola, and Vermentino. The most famous of all is the late-harvested sweet version, now a rarity.

I would like to remind readers that the wines mentioned above, in their current vintages, are listed at Alberto Restaurant, ready to be enjoyed.

It is nice to be back in Hua Hin.

Alberto Bruni

📱 Alberto Restaurant by Rossano
📌 https://maps.app.goo.gl/uqLowN5fCg7ggXCT9
☎️ 062 189 0045

 

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