Barolo Boys/ Film review from Ekstra Bladet magazine – Denmark

Anmeldelse: Barolo Boys

Barolo Boys– The Story of a Revolution er en ny film som fortæller historien om revolutionen der skete i Barolo gennem 1990’erne

Af: Thomas Rydberg

En film af Paolo Casalis og Tiziano Gaia 64′ / ITA / ENG

Produceret af Stuffilm Creativeye

En ny vin dokumentarfilm har netop fået premiere. Denne gang tager historien udgangspunkt i slaget mellem modernisterne og traditionisterne i Barolo i Piemonte. Filmen skildrer hvorledes en gruppe vinmagere gennem 1980’erne og 1990’erne skabte en revolution i Langhe området og mest i Barolo ved at insistere på, at Barolo kunne lagre i små fade (barrique) samt beskære langt hårdere i marken end hidtil set.

I Barolo har man gennem årtier typisk produceret vin med lang maceration (lang skindkontakt), lave fermenteringstemperatur og med lagring på store (brugte) botti. Ofte slovenske fade på 10.000 liter. Hurtigt blev tilhængerne af disse principper kaldt traditionisterne. Modernisterne derimod gik i gang med at lave vin med kort maceration, højere gæringstemperaturer og anvendte gerne nye små 225-liter fade af fransk eg. Endvidere sørgede de for at skære udbyttet i vinmarkerne ned markant, for at kvaliteten af druerne blev højere.

Det var især vinmagere som Elio Altare, Chiara Boschis, Roberto Voerzio, Marco De Grazia og Giorgio Rivetti som var forgangstroppen for denne revolution. Gruppen kaldte sig Barolo Boys (på trods af de bestod af den kvindelige vinmager Chiara) og benyttede dette i promoveringen af den nye stil fra området. Revolution stod på i næsten tre årtier og var genstand for en indædt kamp mellem modernisterne og traditionisterne som flere klip i filmen viser. Især dokumenteret med den indædte traditionist Bartolo Mascarelli som fra sin kørestol tordner forbandelser mod den nye stil.

I øvrigt møder man i filmen Lorenzo Accomasso, Silvia Altare, ASD Barolo Boys Monforte, Beppe Caviola, Giuseppe “Citrico” Rinaldi, Alessandro og Bruno Ceretto, Gianpiero Cereda, Giancarlo Gariglio, David Berry Green, Marta Rinaldi, Davide Rosso og Maggiore Vacchetto.

Konsekvenserne for Barolo var enorm. Hele slaget skabte en enorm fokus på området og med hjælp fra en række af verdens førende vinkritikere som Robert Parker og Winespectator fik Barolo så meget fokus og dermed også penge, at der på 10 år kom flere penge til området end de foregående 100 år tilsammen. Og kigger man på prisudviklingen for en flaske Barolo taler det sit eget sprog. I 1969 kostede en flaske Barolo omkring 7,5 kr. I dag er det svært at finde en fornuftig Barolo til under 200 kr.

Filmen er på lidt over en time og fortæller denne historie, dels ved en række hurtigt klippede interview med en række af de involverede på begge sider samt ikke mindst krydret med en række gamle klip fra 1980’erne og 1990 hvor de unge vinmagere var i gang med at skabe det nye Barolo.

Nu 30 år efter gøres der også en status og roen har igen sænket sig i Barolo. De to stilarter er smeltet mere sammen og i dag snakker man ikke så meget mere om dedikerede modernister og traditionalister. Men følelserne er stadig markante og ikke mindst stædigheden, det ser man især i den sidste del af filmen, hvor modernisten Elio Attaris datter Silvia fortæller, om sin fars totale modstand mod at gå væk fra de mindre barrique. Ringen er dermed sluttet, for Silvia var den første til at bryde med sin fars klassiske principper. Nu er det datteren, som er på vej tilbage til den gang hvor man kunne lave rigtig Barolo, som hun siger.

Filmen er fremragende og en fascinerende historie om ikke kun udviklingen, men også de følelser og temperamenter der ligger så dybt begravet i vin-familierne i Piemonte. Filmen er krydret med flotte billeder fra de betagende vinmarker omkring byerne Barolo, Monforte, La Morra og Serralunga, hvilket i sig selv gør filmen til en nydelse. I øvrigt kan det anbefales at se filmen med et glas nebbiolo i glasset. Om det så skal være fra en traditionist eller modernist vil jeg lade være op til hver enkelt.

Trailer kan ses her

For ca. 50 kr får man mulighed for at se filmen på internettet, for ca. 130 kr kan man få dvd’en. Læs mere om filmen her, hvor den i øvrigt også kan bestilles.

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Barolo Boys/ Film review from Fabien Lainé (Vin Deling, France)

Barolo Boys – The Story of a Revolution

read original article: http://vindeling.com/2014/09/14/barolo-boys-story-revolution/

Barolo Boys is a documentary film telling the story of the Langhe region, the North Western region of Italy, and its famous “Boys”.

I had a great opportunity to watch in in Premiere during a special screening.

A great movie for wine enthusiasts to introduce people to the Barolo wines, history of a major part of Piedmonte and its winemaking.

A film by Paolo Casalis and Tiziano Gaia
64′ / ITA / ENG
Produced by Stuffilm Creativeye

The film tells the fascinating story of Barolo wine and how it exploded as a world phenomenon.

Now one of the most famous red wines in the world, 30 years ago Barolo was unknown even in its own production region, the beautiful Langhe (just nominated UNESCO World Heritage Site), in northwestern Italy.

Barolo’s current success is mainly due to the courage and initiative of a group of small-scale wine producers, the so-called Barolo Boys.

In the optimistic Eighties, these winemakers upset the quiet world of the Piedmontese countryside and brought about a revolution in Italian wine, igniting a fierce controversy between different generations and different ways of thinking.

After almost 30 years, what is left of that experience? As one of the film’s characters asks, what revolution has ever been successful?

Barolo Boys. The Story of a Revolution traces the short but intense trajectory of a group of producers who indelibly changed the world of wine.

For the first time Joe Bastianich, as narrator voice, is telling the story of a group of wine producers led by Elio Altare (including one girl), which in the 90’s set the agenda for the development of the modern Barolo. Among the people who appears and takes part in the film is Carlo Petrini, Oscar Farinetti, Joe Bastianich, Elio Altare, Chiara Boschis, Marc de Grazia, Giorgio Rivetti, Roberto Voerzio, Lorenzo Accomasso, Silvia Altare, Beppe Caviola, Alessandro and Bruno Ceretto, Giampiero Cereda, Giancarlo Gariglio, David Berry Green, Bartolo Mascarello, Marta and Beppe Rinaldi, Davide Rosso and Maggiore Vacchetto.

A movie where producers unveil themselves, becoming through the years much wiser and experienced, quoting so many good life lessons, but sometimes becoming as stubborn as their ancestors they were so critic about. Confined in their wellness zone.

Through the story of the Barolo Boys, a group of winemakers quite unknown in the 80s, were dreaming of change and shifted the way of producing Barolo wines. And with hard times, convictions brought Barolo wine to an undisputed star level in the 90s. They brought enormous changes to the Langhe. some define it as the Langhe “miracle”.

Between magnificent new shootage and videos archives. Like a time machine.

Many questions to be reflected in the movie from various view points, between history and respect.

Was that a revolution, a philosophy or a passing trend? Modernists Vs Traditionalists? And many more…

The Barolo Boys are doing a portrait of themselves but also their ancestors and Italian people. Because you realize, same as today in the  Italian wine world they are all divided, each consortium working separately very few  producers walk hand in hand. Thinking just because they make wine they will sell it. But today it does not work like that, so many people make good wine, in different range and quality. But what really makes your wines better than the ones from your neighbor? Yes you need to do proper marketing, find a niche, create your market and collaborate with the right people who can help you thrive and communicate for you efficiently, and you need to be willing to invest for it.

Elio Altare: “I think all revolutions started on empty bellies”.

Following the path of Elio Altare in 1983, describing the wines of the ancestors as tannic and harsh, that needed to wait 25 to 50 years before being drinkable. The poor living conditions and his father’s reluctance change things in the wine production. He remembers clearly when he took a chainsaw down into the cellar and destroyed large wine barrels. His father threw him Elio Altare out his home and taught he was crazy. Where he just came back in 1985 at his father’s death. Elio Altare was back from Burgundy for inspiration and experience. There he learned the importance of thinning the number of grape bunches and use small French barriques for storing wine in.

He still remembers when Barolo wines where not famous, not even known by the world, when Langhe wines where just consumed locally. Many questions were running around, “Why isn’t people drinking Barolo?” because it did not bring pleasure he says.

In 1969, people were still working with animals in the vineyards, he quotes “there was no tractions at that time, we were selling Barolo for 1500 lire / 0,7L so about 1$ a bottle, it was a frustration

Memories of the past, not often the most shiny ones.

When a great wine was produced it meant that nature had had better sense than the winemaker”.

Silvia Altare, one of the two Elio’s daughter, remembers and describe the winery in its past, “gasoline, chicken shit and wine making in the same area, that is why maybe it wasn’t so successful”.

Beppe Rinaldi remembers time when the wines were sold unbottled, except for Barolo. Quoting “I’m the fifth generation, a rot let’s say”. And qualify again the local people and producers state of mind, “ the local people never had a cooperative spirit, Langhetto sticks to his culture and history”.

Alessandro Bruno Ceretto, who was part of the beginning of the Barolo boys, portrays the Langhe people as difficult and gamblers, people who likes challenges. He says they love the risk.

Giampiero Cereda remembers a time when barrels were hidden with card boards from the ancients in the back of the winery, the eldest people just wanted old wood for their wines.

This “youth revolution” took hard work and time to settle, two months after the methanol scandal in 1986 shocked the wine world as a powerful hailstorm destroyed the best vineyards around Barolo and a tested industry was on its knees.

People was then at that time working as a team, to revamp and give rebirth to the Langhe, Barolo and its wines. They were trying different barrels, blends, they were experimenting, wanting to leave behind the poverty.

But with the incomprehension of the old people, Maggiore Vacchetto, an old vineyard worker says “I’m sorry to see these grapes on the ground, however they are in charge”

Giorgio Rivetti says “ We met as a group of friend every week”.

Chiara Boschis quotes “ There was this absurdity, that thinning out should be hidden from the others”.

Una bella escuerda.

Then in the 90’s, that they went to conquer the US like rock stars. It took much enthusiasm and courage. With Marco di Grazia, an American who grew up in Florence, Italian wine broker extraordinaire, has turned some of Italy’s finest winemakers into cult stars. He was part of the Barolo Boys adventure, and says “if you stay home, you could be the best winemaker in the world and nobody will know”.

Especially the American wine journalists became enthusiastic about the “modern” Barolo, which was much more concentrated in both color and taste than the traditional Barolo, more clean, more modern. Barolo became in terms of taste a fruit bomb with soft tannins.

They were like the “rebel boys”, the success that the young Barolo Boys achieved was not without a price. Although they overcame the crisis, the price has been high for many of them. Confronted to their families eldest and has a misunderstanding. Enhancing theInnovators VS Traditionalists, Rebelious VS Patriots

In 10 years more money came into the Langhe than in the whole previous century.

Economics mattered more and more so from low price, in the 90’s with 3 bicchieri you coulddoubled the price of your wine, it changed the economics of a winery.

Then 2000’s, came Parker and the 100 points awarding a few 100 point perfect scoring to some Piedmonte wines, maybe it went too far ?

Today, individual nature prevailed and so everyone tried to make their own path. Each got their own interpretations of Barolo identity. They all worked in their side. Time matters and maybe they became a bit what they were afraid, a bit like their ancestors maybe. This is the beginning of pressure

They are facing past, just as the “big traditionalists” overshadowed them, now they are overshadowing the young winemakers. Receiving some critics because they behave as their ancestors were.

So many things run around – A life lesson like movie, a bit of a roller coaster. A great journey, filled of confessions and reflexions.

“All generations have this incredible “will” when instead you have to go back to the origin of things. “

“Tradition is a successful innovation.”

“Being conceited about your own generation is a mistake.”

“You have to go slowly to change the world.”

“Without the talented Barolo Boys, the Langhe would have been just screwing around.”

“It seems a bit rash to claim that the history of Barolo was written by the modernists.”

“I believe that in life easy things are boring.”

“Great wines are always good not only after 20 years, as you get married and you want & will enjoy the marriage, you don’t have to wait 30 years.”

“In my opinion modern Barolo doesn’t exist.”

“The crucial element is the evolution of taste.”

Were they visionaries?

 To know and discover more you can order athttp://www.baroloboysthemovie.com/index_eng.html#book

vingardeniklagshamn@telia.com

Barolo Boys Review

from Tastingrome

I was given the opportunity to watch and review Barolo Boys before its release.  I decided to let Antiqua Tours intern Anna review it.  She is a newcomer to Italian wine and I thought it would be interesting to see the film through her eyes, as someone with no preconceived ideas or exceptions.  I really enjoyed what she wrote and hope you will too.

Barolo Boys: The Story of a Revolution

Review by Anna Aguillard, Intern

Wine, as ancient as its roots, unsurprisingly has a complex and dynamic history that is not easily traced, let alone clearly explained. However, Paolo Casalis and Tiziano Gaia’s upcoming documentary Barolo Boys attempts to do just that, as it traces the revolutionary story that lies behind the international phenomenon of Barolo.  I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the film.

As a newcomer to the Italian wine scene, I am still learning about the basics of the industry and its rich history.  The documentary does an excellent job of explaining a very intricate topic; and gives enough background information to clearly explain Barolo wine’s peculiar history without getting lost in technicalities.

Barolo Wine, made from the Nebbiolo grape in Northwestern Italy, is known today as one of the world’s greatest wines. However, it didn’t always have such international acclaim. The documentary invites its audience to “take a journey” to discover the story behind Barolo’s rise to fame, which it promises to be “full of surprises.”

Beautiful shots of the Northern Italian country side are captivating, as close-up shots of red grapes dripping with dew, scenic view of misty rolling vineyards, and picturesque ancient buildings set the scene of Langhe, where the Barolo Boys’ story begins (and makes me really want to plan a trip). The film begins by explaining what the wine business was like in Langhe for producers before the Barolo “revolution” in the 1980s. Through interviews with major wine producers such as Elio Altare, Chiara Boschis, Marco de Grazia, Giorgio Rivetti, and Roberto Voerzio, the documentary depicts the “pre-revolutionary” wine industry as being about survival – there was no profit, no investment, and no innovation. By using the voices of many different experts with so many unique stories, the filmmakers do an excellent job of capturing daily life for Barolo winemakers up until the revolution.

The film then addresses the factors that lead to Barolo’s popularity explosion, focusing on the particular historical context of the boom. It does a good job in attributing the innovation to the particularly positive international sentiment during the 1980s – consumerism was on the rise, the stock market was flourishing, Italy had just won the world cup – changes were welcomed, and the Barolo Boys were the ones to bring them.

After seeing how French wines were sold for more than twenty times the price of Italian wines, a small group of producers in Langhe got together (for the first time in history) and decided to “make the best wine in the world.” This group, called the Barolo Boys, changed numerous things about the way Barolo wine had been made for centuries.

As a new wine lover, I must admit that I found the film’s explanation of Barolo wine’s traditional production to be a little bit unclear – thankfully, all I had to do was Google it. For those who, like me, are unsure: In the past, Barolo wine took up to 50 years to become drinkable, and it aged in large, wooden casks.

The film does an excellent job of capturing just how revolutionary the Barolo Boys’ changes were. They began thinning the grape vines, cutting fermentation times to just days, and aging the wine in barriques (small barrels) instead of large crates, creating a fruitier wine that appealed internationally. These changes, however popular in the market, angered the traditional Barolo producers, to the point that Altare’s father, “never stepped foot into the vineyard again.”

Despite the opposition, the film depicts the wine revolution as a very happy time for the producers in Langhe. I really enjoyed the original footage of the Barolo Boys’ meetings, during which they ran countless experiments and tastings in their pursuit of the best wine. Their hard work paid off – due to the help of Marco de Grazia, who marketed the wine in the American market- the Barolo boys rose to fame. The film humorously emphasizes their popularity with shots of the “Barolo Boys” soccer team doing drills through the vineyards, and barriques being rolled through the Italian streets. More money came into Langhe in ten years than it had in the entire last century, and in America, the wine grew to symbolize fashion, glamour, and luxury.

The film suggests, however, that Barolo’s golden age may be coming to an end. Pitting the innovators versus the traditionalists, the film delves into both sides of the Barolo Wars that typify the archetypical clash between old and new. Although the Barolo Boys are no longer working together, the film depicts a story of the courage to make drastic changes, and the backlash that all significant changes unavoidably receive. By leaving open the question, “who is the winner” in the war between traditionalism and innovation, the film suggests that the solution lies in some combination of old traditions and new techniques.

I recommend this film for all those interested in wine, in history, or in the Italian culture’s influence on the world. With interviews from Oscar Farinetti, the president of Eataly, and Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food, the film offers a holistic view of a very interesting cultural phenomenon. Let’s face it – some of Italy’s most influential contributions to mankind have been through the wine it produces, and this film succeeds in giving the industry the attention it deserves.

For more information and ordering information, please visit
http://www.baroloboysthemovie.com/index_eng.html#book.http://www.baroloboysthemovie.com/index_eng.html#book

Barolo Boys/ Film review from Magnus Reuterdahl’s wine blog (Vinotinto, Sweden)

Barolo boys – the movie!
A Swedish version of the review is availabe at Magnus Reuterdahls vinblogg Aqua Vitae (http://vinotinto.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/barolos-revolutionarer-barolo-boys/)
I have had the opportunity to see an advance copy of the film Barolo Boys – The Story of a Revolution (http://www.baroloboysthemovie.com/)
Here are a few words on the movie, on Barolo, on a modern winemaking era!

film trailer: https://vimeo.com/99037299

If you do not know the Barolo Boys, they were a group of young winemakers in Barolo in the 1980s and 90s. Despite the name, it was not just the boys in the group it included one girl as well. Another important part of the group was an american; Marco di Grazia. The addition “Boys” come from that they were young, and the majority of them were just boys.

This is the story about them and the Piedmont in change, a change that is still going on but perhaps not gone in the direction they expected when the revolution started. Barolo Boys changed and reinventetd Barolo. They went from poor farmers to winemakers with rock star status. They went from anonymity to fame.

They broke up the traditional and created something new, they brought in outside influences and changes in how they worked both in the vineyard and in the winery. They started from fresch, from scratch and this created conflicts between generations, in some cases as far as fathers and sons broke completely with each other. Others just didn’t understand and viewed them as crazy.

It all started in the early 1980s, a time of optimism in Italy, supported by an economic boom and that it has won the Soccer World Cup in 1982. This optimism was also found among the winemakers. The young winemakers started to experiment, collaborate and fundamentally change Barolo wines and its character – at least for a while. The change also caught international attention through among other things tours to the United States. Soon they got soaring ratings of known wine writers, they got hyped at restaurants and became the name on everyone’s lips, which culminated with the Barolo and Barbaressco score a 100-point vintage in Wine Advocate in 2000.

The success in the 1990s led to a willingness to go even further, leading to more experimenting and a strive of making the perfect wine. Some went over to using more new barrels, making wines that were more suited to American tastes and the wine writer’s palette. Did they go too far from the origin?

Many felt that way – it was something of a war between traditionalists and modernists in Barolo. In the end it is a matter of taste, but it feels like it like that 100-point vintage was one of the turning points when you loook back. Many took a half step backwards and started to look for the traditional again. There is also a new generation of young winemakers who will and have begun to make their mark on the wines – wanting to go there way.

One can see it the modern Barolo as a bubble. Personally I’m not a big fan of the style but I think there are lot of positive that came out of this period and its this experimentation. This has led to the that the wines are much cleaner and fresher today and at the same time more accessible as young though still with good ageing potential. The wineries are more modern so there are better possibilites to do good wines, there is more money in the region which also is an enabler for working with quality.

This movie is a good starting point to understanding Barolo and its development but also to understand where Barolo is going, what is to come. However, it is not a film that only illuminates what happened in the “modern Barolo” but it can be translated into what happened in the “modern Rioja”, the “modern Bordeaux” and so forth – what is sometimes called the Parkerfying of wine. It describes an era in the wine industry that can be found in many places and the movie provides a key in understanding this.

This is a really good and interesting movie for all those interested in wine and winemaking. So sit down, pour a glass of good Barolo and take in what the Barolo boys learned and take part of their heritage, of images of the past and the present, and glimpses of the future.

Cheers

Magnus Reuterdahl

Among the people you see and hear in the movie are Carlo Petrini, Oscar Farinetti, Joe Bastianich, Elio Altare, Chiara Boschis, Marc de Grazia, Giorgio Rivetti, Roberto Voerzio, Lorenzo Accomasso, Silvia Altare, Beppe Caviola, Alessandro e Bruno Ceretto, Giampiero Cereda, Giancarlo Gariglio, David Berry Green, Bartolo Mascarello, Marta e Beppe Rinaldi, Davide Rosso and Maggiore Vacchetto.