We say goodbye to Luciano Sandrone, one of the greats of Barolo.
© Luciano Sandrone|Both a revered winemaker and married man, Sandrone leaves a hole in Barolo.
Having the ability to develop a toponym to make your vineyard synonymous with your family’s name is a privilege reserved only for the rare greats amongst us, and Luciano Sandrone, who died (aged 78) on January 5 2023, was certainly among Piedmont’s fantastic winemakers. After the purchase of his first vineyard, a portion of Barolo’s famous Cannubi Boschis (a sub-Cru of Cannubi) in 1977, he then spent the rest of his life raising the bar for Barolo production.
Throughout his lifetime, Sandrone was a master at translating the liquid jewels of Piedmont’s Langhe region, concentrating on Nebbiolo, but not disdaining to make red wine from either Dolcetto or Barbera d’Alba. Italy and the international wine community will mourn the loss of a winemaker who helped guarantee Barolo preserved its status as Italy’s King of Red wines.
Sandrone’s journey into wine began at the young age of 15 when he started work as an assistant cellarman at Piedmont estate, Giacomo Borgogno. This experience persuaded him of the potential of the area to make the world’s most captivating white wines and led him to embark on a career that saw Sandrone go on to produce his first white wine– a wine that sold out quickly on making its market debut.
Sandrone’s own background did not suggest wine making as an obvious career path, having matured in a family of carpenters, he had no previous oenological experience but, in spite of this, he plainly had a gift. In 1981, Sandrone met an American buyer at Vinitaly who tasted and– clearly pleased– purchased all 1500 bottles of Sandrone’s really first Barolo, a 1978 vintage. After that, Sandrone never ever looked back, going on to complete 40 harvests of the 3 native grape ranges that made up his six core red labels.
So effective was Sandrone in this endeavor, that much of his style of viticulture and wine making has actually become a crucial reference indicate the white wines of Barolo and the larger Langhe region. His was a straightforward interpretation of the red wines of Barolo, that although enabled some freedom according to personal style and preference, constantly stayed a true reflection of the wine’s terroir and variety. To this end, Sandrone used to state that he “knew every vine and vineyard” within his jurisdiction completely, as well as the possible meaning and power that each one held.
From the start, Sandrone was accompanied on his journey by his spouse Mariuccia, and soon after his children, a child named Barbara and a kid called Luca, followed.
By the 1990s, after a duration of experimentation, Sandrone finally settled to a range he was happy with, introducing a Valmaggiore in 1994, to finally complete his popular family of wines.The rechristening of his Cannubi Boschis in 2013 as Barolo Aleste is an expression of the household’s association with the vineyard. It was Sandrone’s tribute to the more youthful generations, Aleste recommendations two of his grandchildren by the mixing of their names Alessia,’ Ale ‘, and Stefano,’Ste ‘which served as a nod to both history and to the future. Barolo is traditionally a very long-lived red wine and it appears fitting to be called after Sandrone’s descendants. Fellow Barolo producer Matteo Ascheri said of
him:”Luciano Sandrone represented among those manufacturers in the Langa who brought about a remarkable modification, in the last few years, to the entire sector. Amongst numerous producers few stuck out, but he could be felt, through what he did. [Displaying] A distinctive quality typical of those real individuals of this area, who speak through what they do, through their items and their organization options. A piece of the Langa is leaving, but I am encouraged that Luciano Sandrone’s household, his daughter and grandchildren, will have the ability to make the most of his teachings by taking the company forward “. To sign up with the conversation, talk about our social networks channels.