Alessandria: Get Super Local with Pelaverga
Take us to a wine region like Piedmont, and we are happy to drink Barolo and Barbaresco, of course. But we very quickly want to try what everyone else seems to be drinking: Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo d’Alba.
But in Italy, things have a way of getting very specific very fast. Leave the main hubs of the wine region – Alba, or the Commune of Barolo – and you might find that people are drinking something else entirely. Go to the village of Verduno, and they’re drinking a grape called Pelaverga. Ok, not all of them. But certainly some people are drinking Pelaverga. And the moment you leave Verduno and its environs, there is no Verduno to be found. That’s Italy for you.
Something a bit funny has happened with Pelaverga, however. There is one other place in the world where you now find people drinking it. The United States. We remember when we first contacted our brokers in Italy to inquire about the possibility of getting some Pelaverga. They scratched their heads. Don’t you need some Barolo? they asked. Why Pelaverga?
The answer, of course, is that Americans love to try new things, and here was a wonderful grape variety made by only a handful of producers (about a dozen), including one very famous producer of Barolo (Burlotto). And by now we have several different versions of the grape available to us to drink, without having to take a flight to Milan.
Today’s producer of Pelaverga is Alessandria, whose Barolo fame is only slightly behind Burlotto’s. Their Pelaverge is a beautiful example of the variety. There is a hint of Nebbiolo in the aromatics, with its wild strawberry flair. There is also a touch of spice – something that you might also recognize if you taste the Barolos of the village. The wine is beautifully quenchable, and can even be chilled.
Fratelli Alessandria Verduno Pelaverga Speziale 2022 - $27.99
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