Beaujolais is one heck of a misunderstood wine.

It is misunderstood because of its association with “Nouveau, which happens to be a “far cry” from the quality of village and Cru Beaujolais wines.

Beaujolais is made from the juicy, cherry-laden Gamay grape, which can be vinified anywhere from light to full bodied.

The simple Beaujolais wines can be lack-luster, but for a few great producers, while many of the Beaujolais Villages wines have a bit more meat on their bones.

The Cru Beaujolais wines, such as Morgon, Moulin a Vent, Julienas, Chiroubles, can be wonderfully complex and almost Pinot Noir-esque. These come from the specific towns or Crus which bear their names, making them reflective of their given environments or micro climates. Beaujolais is a wonderful choice for sipping throughout the autumn months as well as with Thanksgiving dinner, although we are getting way ahead of ourselves here on that note!

Here a few of our Beaujolais recommendations for this season:

1. Michel Tête, Julienas, Domaine de Clos de Fief, 2005
2. Louis Claude Desvignes, Javernieres, Morgon, 2005
3. Chateau de Pizay, Morgon, 2005
4. Chateau de la Chaize, Brouilly, 2005
5. Domaine Diachon, Moulin-a-Vent, 2006
6. Chateau de Raousett, Fleurie, 2005

The thought that the summer is over… well this in itself could drive you to drink! And as the season slips away, we have a selection of delicious wines to get you through September in sipping style!

After you have tried these, we’d love to hear what you have to say about them. If you have any favorite September picks, please feel free to share. That’s what blogging is all about!

Wine Legend’s Top Ten Picks:

1. Sitios de Bodega, CONCLASS, 2006, Rueda, Spain
2. KeeSha, Pinot Grigio, 2005, Hungary
3. Castelvero, Cortese, 2006, Piedmont, Italy
4. Leth, Gruner Veltliner, 2006, Austria
5. Cava, l’Hereau de Raventos i Blanc, Brut, Penedes, Spain
6. Rosso di Collalbrigo, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003, Veneto, Italy
7. Terre Andina, Carmenere, 2005, Chile
8. Michel Tete, Domaine du Clos du Fief, Julienas, 2005, France
9. Podere Il Palazzino, Chianti Classico, 2004, Tuscany, Italy
10. Altos de la Hoya, Monastrell, 2005, Jumilla, Spain

Garage wine project from Andy Erikson and Anie Favia

Screaming Eagle’s wine maker is at it again, proving that great things do come from out of a garage!

Made by the incredible husband and wife team of Andy Erickson, (Staglin, Hartwell, Favia, Ovid, Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle and Arietta), and Anie Favia (viticulturist for Abreu and Screaming Eagle).

Leviathan California Red 2005

This decadent blend of Syrah (55%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), Merlot (15%) and Cabernet Franc (5%) is definitely influenced by the Syrah in the blend. Black fruit and spice with very little new oak make it really pleasant right out of the gate!

Leviathan isn’t meant to be a long-aging wine, it is meant instead to be drunk within the next few years. This is a different approach for Erikson, whose past wine creations are definitely made for cellaring.

This exciting wine is destined to become another “cult wine.”

Get it while you can. Buy Leviathan California Red 2005.

The time has come to begin taking that pink juice in the wine bottle seriously.

For those who still find themselves shaking in their shoes at the thought of bringing to their lips a glass of pink wine, GET OVER IT!

Rosé wines are for all practical purposes, red wines that have had less skin and juice contact after crush.

The coloration in wine really comes from the skins. The longer that the juice stays in contact with the grape skins, the darker the wine will be.

There is nothing insipid about true rosé wines.

Many years ago when white zinfandel wine was first introduced into the marketplace it became the first wine to which non-wine drinkers gravitated. Why was this?

Because, it was really nothing like drier wines, which people were not used to and therefore their palates didn’t quite understand. White Zinfandel wines were, and still are, really soft, fruity, and quite simple.

When you try a rosé wine from the Provence region in France made from a blend of the Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes (plus, maybe even a couple more in the blend), you are drinking a spicy and berry-laden wine. This is to say, a wine with lots of character and even complexity.

Italian rosato wines are another good bet when seeking out wonderful pink wines.

The thing to do is to open your minds and a bottle of a good pink wine and decide for yourselves…is it going to be a heavy red wine or a crisp and flavorful pink, in the heat and humidity of the summer? When you realize that these may be drunk with any meal at which you would drink a rich red wine, you just may find yourselves a new seasonal favorite.

Recommended wines:

Mas de Gourgonnier, 2006, Les Baux, Provence, France
Cantalupo, Il Mimo, 2006, Piedmont, italy
Vin Gris de Cigare, 2006, California
Chateau de Trinquevede, 2006, Tavel, France
Muga, 2006, Rioja, Spain

ROME (Reuters) – Italian vineyards long ago turned their dank cellars into germ-free high tech vaults, but to compete on the wine tasting circuit they are now hiring world renowned architects to design avant-garde wineries.

“Nowadays producing good wine is not enough,” says Lea Fiorentini, an oenologist with Tuscany’s Rocca di Frassinello, which is one of largest wineries in Europe. Rocca di Frassinello will unveil new premises in June designed by architect Renzo Piano, one of the creators of the Pompidou Center in Paris. It was commissioned by French winemaker Baron de Rothschild and Italian media tycoon Paolo Panerai.

“We hope the new complex, that includes an inverted open pyramid for aging the wine, a restaurant and an auditorium for public events, will be a strong communication and marketing move,” Fiorentini told Reuters.

Rocca Di Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia 2004
Rocca Di Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia 2004IGT Maremma Toscana
Grapes: 15% Sangioveto, 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vinification in stainless steel. Aged for 6 months in steel and bottle.

Notes: This is their entry level wine, but still a wine of outstanding personality.
Deep ruby red in color, with pleasant notes of cassis and lots of fruit flavors. Spicy but very drinkable, with a medium body, lively tannins and a light finish. It is the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of pasta and white meat dishes.

Regular Price: $18.99 | Sale Price: $15.19
Click to buy Rocca Di Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia 2004

Rocca Di Frassinello Le Sughere 2004
Rocca Di Frassinello Le Sughere 2004IGT Maremma Toscana
Grapes: 50% Sangioveto, 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vinification in steel. Aged for 12 months in barriques (50% new)

Tasting notes: A wine of great character. Deep ruby red in color, with good berry fruit and floral notes, hints of minerals, and nice elegant spicy tones. Medium-bodied, with fine, velvety tannins and a medium to-long finish. Wine suitable for ageing, but so very pleasant due to the soft tannins that it can also be drunk young. It pairs well with all red meat dishes and mature cheeses.

Regular Price: $31.99 | Sale Price: $26.39
Click to buy Rocca Di Frassinello Le Sughere 2004

Rocca Di Frassinello 2004
Rocca Di Frassinello 2004IGT Maremma Toscana
Grapes: 60% Sangioveto, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vinification: In steel. Aged for 14 months in new barriques

Tasting notes: The top label, le grand vin of the French-Italian project. Intense ruby red, soft, silky with lots of floral flavors (typical of Sangiovese), nice hints of red berries and cherries and elegant notes of vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a round, medium finish. It pairs well with all red meat dishes and mature cheeses.

Regular Price: $59.99 | Sale Price: $47.99
Click to buy Rocca Di Frassinello 2004

Wine Legend’s Vine Video Live will be back for another live web cast on Saturday, April 21, 2007 at 3:00PM. We will be interviewing adult film star, turned wine producer, Savanna Samson who will be discussing her second release Sogno Due, 2004.

Sogno Due, which was made by Roberto Cipresso is from the southern Italian wine region of Campania and is made from the Falanghina grape.

As part of our web cast we will be having a blind tasting contest. (No one will be blindfolded, don’t worry! That is, unless you want to be!)

We will be selecting two contestants to join us on camera in a blind tasting of Sogno Due as well as two other Falanghina wines made by other producers.

Our contestants, after observing Carol Berman, Savanna and Mahesh Lekkala taste all three wines and discuss their characteristics, will be asked to taste the wines and see if they can guess which one is actually Sogno Due.

Each contestant who correctly guesses her wine, will receive a (non-alcoholic) gift from Savanna.

Any one who is interested in becoming a contestant, please E-mail us at legend@winelegend.com. We will be selecting two contestants at 2:30PM the day of the show. We will also be taking questions from our in-store audience, so please E-mail us your questions in advance, and we’ll randomly select a few!

Those who pre-order their Sogno Due on-line at www.winelegend.com, will be able to have Savanna sign their bottle the day of the show.

Please come by, meet Savanna and join us here at Wine Legend for Our next edition of Vine Video Live.

There’ll be a hot time, in this old town, on April 21!

Years ago, sitting at the Passover Seder table with family and friends meant sipping wine throughout the meal which was usually very sweet, or painfully dry.

Thankfully those less than pleasant wine days are gone, due to modern winemaking technology, and the belief that Kosher wine is really only different than all other wines by the method of being flash heated to be considered (mevushal). The use of kosher yeasts in the fermentation process is another difference in their production. Other than that the wines are produced in the same way, but with respect to the observance of Jewish law.

Today, whichever type of wine you enjoy on a regular basis, whether it be a crisp sauvignon blanc, full bodied cabernet sauvignon or gutsy syrah, You can find a really good kosher representation which will surely please.
If you are looking for a nice sauvignon blanc with which to begin your meal, Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 2005 from New Zealand or Baron Herzog Sauvignon Blanc 2005 from California are great choices!

Israel has also become a very successful wine producing country.
If you are a fan of Pinot Noir, you can try Yarden Pinot Noir 2002.
Segal’s Cellar Select Cabernet/Merlot, 2003 and Galil Mountain Merlot 2004 are good choices in big red category, and Barkan Petite Syrah is a pleasant springtime sip.
A truly exceptional wine is Israel’s Domaine du Castel, Grand Vin, 2004.
It is a truly elegant Bordeaux blend, and proof along with the above-mentioned wines, that these are simply terrific wines, which just happen to be Kosher.
You can see our extensive kosher wine selection by going to www.winelegend.com and clicking on the Kosher Wine link!

Sogno Due 2004

Are you in search of a little excitement? Take a peek at this second wine made by Roberto Cipresso (winemaker of Fattoria La Fiorita Brunello & Achaval ferrer) in collaboration with American adult-film actress Savanna Samson (Frequent guest on Howard Stern’s show)

Sogno Due 2004

Sogno Due, a 100 percent Falanghina from 70 – 85 year old vines planted on their own roots in Naples is only a 400 case production.

If you think Porn-star can’t make serious wine, you will be surprised to know that the red wine which was released last year(Sogno Uno 2004) recieved accolades from Robert Parker and we were sold out instantaneously.

The wine is expected to arrive the end of this week. But don’t wait on this wine too long as lot of party goers drinking this wine on rocks. No Kidding!!!!

Producer: Savanna Samson

Grape: Falanghina
Region: Campania
Wine Type: White
Vintage: 2004

Quantity: 750 ml
Regular Price: $38.99
Sale Price: $29.99
Robert Parker’s Rating for Sogno Uno 2004: 91 Points

Buy Sogno Due 2004 (buy it before its sold out)

I hope you read about the Legandary Wine Maker Bruno Giacosa, here are his wines:

Bruno Giacosa Barberesco Asili DOCG
Rated 93 pts by Wine Advocate – August 2005 (Vintage 2001)
“…complex in aroma with notes of resin, smoke, and anisette to accompany the fruit, and a long, forceful, structured palate, rather muscular for a wine of this cru.”

Tasting Notes : Made from 100% Nebbiolo from the prestigious Asili vineyard. Yields are extremely low at 1.2 tons per acre. After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak for 26 months followed by several more months in bottle. Black cherry, chocolate and cedar dominate the nose. The wine is big, thick, elegant, ripe and fragrant with juicy acidity that is backed up by several layers of rich fruit.

Barberesco Asili DOCG 1998 (750 ml) Price: $132.99 Sale Price: $106.39
Barberesco Asili DOCG 1998 (1.5 Lt) Price: $279.99 Sale Price: $223.99
Barberesco Asili DOCG 1999 (750 ml) Price: $139.99 Sale Price: $111.99
Barberesco Asili DOCG 2001 (750 ml) Price: $184.99 Sale Price: $147.99
Barberesco Asili DOCG 2003 (750 ml) Price: $184.99 Sale Price: $147.99
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Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco DOCG
Rated 93 pts by Wine & Spirits – December 2004 (Vintage 1999)
“…[Appealing] plum, blackberry and cedar character… Full-bodied, with fine, velvety tannins and a long, rich finish. A gorgeous, pretty wine.”

Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Nebbiolo from various vineyards in Barbaresco. The wine was aged in large French oak barrels for 24 months. It was bottled unfiltered and cellared for several more months prior to release from the winery. This Barbaresco exhibits intense ruby red colors that fade to orange toward the rim. Black cherry, chocolate and cedar dominate the nose. The wine is bold and fragrant with several layers of rich fruit complemented with a touch of licorice on the palate.

Barbaresco DOCG 1998 (750 ml) Price: $89.99 Sale Price: $71.99
Barbaresco DOCG 1999 (750 ml) Price: $79.99 Sale Price: $63.99
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Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano DOCG
Tasting Notes:
Made from 100% Nebbiolo, the wine is aged 2 years in oak followed by an additional 12 months in bottle prior to release from the winery. It has a rich nose reminiscent of ripe currants and a rich velvety mouth-feel that is ripe and fragrant. Perfect acidity balances the wine. This is a substantial wine with ripe and harmonious tannins. Recommended with roasted and grilled red and white meats. Always delicious with cheese.

Barbaresco Santo Stefano DOCG 1999 (750 ml) Price: $149.99 Sale Price: $119.99
Barbaresco Santo Stefano DOCG 2001 (750 ml) Price: $149.99 Sale Price: $119.99
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Bruno Giacosa Barbera D’alba Doc
Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Barbera d’Alba. The wine was aged in large French oak barrels for 11 months, then fined and filtered prior to bottling. This dry, well-balanced wine recalls spicy flavors of cedar. The wine is ripe and round on the palate with a remarkably long finish.

Barbera D’Alba DOC 2005 (750 ml) Price: $30.99 Sale Price: $24.79
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Bruno Giacosa Barbera D’Alba Falletto
(Wine info not in the attached sheet)

Barbera D’Alba Falletto 2005 (750 ml) Price: $69.99 Sale Price: $55.99
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Bruno Giacosa Barolo DOCG
Rated 92 pts by Wine Spectator – October 2005 (Vintage 2001)
“…[Appealing] plum, blackberry and cedar character… Full-bodied, with fine, velvety tannins and a long, rich finish. A gorgeous, pretty wine.”

Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Nebbiolo harvested from the Falletto zone in Serralunga d’Alba. Aged in large, 4-10 year old French oak barrels for a minimum of 3 years. The resulting wine is garnet colored with orange reflections, and spicy aromas of dried fruit flavors are present on the palate. A wine with great aging potential.

Barolo DOCG 2001 (750 ml) Price: $123.99 Sale Price: $99.19
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Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto DOCG
Rated 93-96 pts by International Wine Cellar – Nov/Dec 2004 (Vintage 2001)
“Good full red. Wonderfully scented nose of red berry syrup, rose petal and minerals. Dense, lush and seamless, but with racy, fresh fruit and compelling inner-mouth perfume. Solidly structured, layered and very deep, with a palate-staining, perfumed aftertaste. A great Barolo in the making. Likely to be long-lived…”

Tasting Notes: Especially impressive for firm but elegant tannins. This Barolo is rich in raspberry, leather and anise aromas. Very refined and balanced with abundant flavors of chocolate and tobacco. Big!
Recommended with beef dishes (especially those with a Barolo based sauce) some game and smoked cheeses.

Barolo Falletto DOCG 2001 (750 ml) Price: $174.99 Sale Price: $139.99
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Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche Del Falletto Docg
Rated 96 pts by Wine Advocate – October 2003 (Vintage 1999)
“Full-throttle…rivals the legendary 1996 Barolo Falletto Riserva”
“Darker and deeper in color, even more potent and penetrating on the nose, explosive on the palate with a medley of sweet fruit, licorice, mint, chocolate, and tar… tightly wound but oh so sumptuous and rich on the finish and aftertaste…”

Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Nebbiolo selected from 4 parcels of the prestigious Falletto vineyard. Aged in large barrels for 30 months, this is a stunning example of Barolo’s potential. Its perfume is intense and elegant and reminiscent of black truffles, sweet tobacco, spices and chocolate. On the palate it is full, warm and extraordinarily velvety, with lively character and personality.

Barolo Le Rocche Del Falletto Docg 2003 (750 ml) Price: $299.99 Sale Price: $239.99
Barolo Le Rocche Del Falletto Docg 2003 (1.5 Lt ) Price: $619.99 Sale Price: $495.99
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Bruno Giacosa Reserva – Red Label
Rated 97 pts by Wine advocate – (Vintage 2001)

Tasting Notes: The Riserva wine is produced only in the best vintages. For 30 months the wine was refined in French oak barrels, followed by three years of bottle aging. Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto presents a typical color with orange reflections. The perfumes are elegant with notes of mature mulberry, licorice and cocoa. The flavor is full and warm, with soft tannins and great structure. A big and impressive wine, it is best served with aged cheeses, roasted meat and game.
Barolo Le Rocche Del Faletto Reserva – Red Label 2000 (1.5 lts)
Price: $659.99
Sale Price: $527.99
Barolo Le Rocche Del Faletto Reserva – Red Label 2001 (750 ml)
Price: $319.99 Sale Price: $255.99
Barolo Le Rocche Del Faletto Reserva – Red Label 2001 (1.5 Lt)
Price: $699.99 Sale Price: $559.99
Barolo Le Rocche Del Faletto Reserva – Red Label 2001 (3 Lt)
Price: $1,319.99 Sale Price: $1,055.99
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Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis Doc & Sparkling
Rated 93 pts by Wine Advocate – June 2006 (Vintage 2005) BEST BUY
“This offering is slightly above the $20 price required to be considered a “best buy,” but it is such a superb example of Arneis, I had to include it….It possesses remarkable intensity and richness as well as superb purity, wonderful freshness, a gorgeous, persistent texture, and flowery, honeysuckle, white peach, pear, and apple liqueur-like aromas and flavors. One of the most glorious dry whites made in Italy.”

Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Arneis that was vinified in stainless steel. The wine remained in stainless steel tanks for 3 months before bottling. The nose reveals subtle perfumes of apples, pears and peaches. “Arneis” means
difficult or stubborn, which is an apt characteristic of this varietal as its delicate skin makes it a difficult grape to grow well. This is a very refreshing white recommended with a wide variety of foods, especially antipasti and pasta dishes.

Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis Docg 2006 (750 ml) Price: $27.99 Sale Price: $22.39
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Bruno Giacosa Spumante Brut

Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Pinot Nero grown in the Oltrepo Pavese. The riddling of the bottles was done by hand and the bottles were aged for 24-30 months before being degorged. The finished wine is straw yellow in color with a fine and persistent perlage. The bouquet is refined and elegant with aromas of fruit and yeast. On the palate this sparkling wine is dry and lively with excellent character.

Bruno Giacosa Spumante Brut 2003 (750 ml) Price: $41.99 Sale Price: $33.59
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Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo D’Alba DOC
Rated 88 pts by Wine & Spirits – December 2005 (Vintage 2003)
“A lively young Nebbiolo, this is fragrant with rose and fresh grape scents. A touch of tar in the tannins gives it the light stucture of a bistro red, for steak frites, Italian-style.”

Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Nebbiolo. Aged in large French casks for 14 months. Ruby red in color with violet and raspberry aromas on the nose. It has a very impressive mouth-feel with well balanced tannins that are firm yet not aggressive.

Nebbiolo D’Alba DOC 2005 (750 ml) Price: $33.99 Sale Price: $27.19
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Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto D’alba Doc
Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Dolcetto whose name translates as “little sweet one” due to the sweetness of the grape at harvest. However, it is usually vinified as a dry wine with minimal residual sugar. Giacosa’s Dolcetto was aged for 8 months after the harvest, two of which were spent in wood. The wine has deep purple colors and a perfumed nose that highlights the fruity characteristics of the grape. The wine is full of rich, ripe fruit flavor through to the spicy finish.

Dolcetto D’Alba DOC 2006 (750 ml) Price: $21.99 Sale Price: $17.59
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Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto D’alba Falletto Doc

Tasting Notes: Made from 100% Dolcetto, the wine is aged for 9 months in large oak barrels. Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one” due to the sweetness of the grape in spite of the fact that it is usually vinified as a dry wine with minimal residual sugar. Deep purple in color with a wonderfully perfumed nose. Full of rich, ripe, fruit flavor and a lingering spicy finish. This wine is meant to be consumed fairly young before the fruit fades.

Dolcetto D’alba Falletto Doc 2006 (750 ml) Price: $24.99 Sale Price: $19.99
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I Hope You Will Enjoy These Wines.

Bruno Giacosa Logo

“Bruno Giacosa…is a quiet and
dignified winemaking genius in Neive…
the least promotion-conscious
winemaker in Italy who prefers to
let his wines do the talking for him.”
— Robert M. Parker Jr.

The Giacosa family has been making wine in the Langhe region of Piedmont for three generations. Bruno Giacosa credits his winery’s success to his respect for traditional winemaking methods which enhance the characteristics of Piedmont’s varietals.

Bruno Giacosa wineyard

The Giacosa property covers 37 acres that are entirely cultivated to vines. The altitude of the estate, its ideal exposure (south/south-west), and the microclimate combine to create optimal winegrowing conditions. Giacosa makes wine not only with grapes from his property but also with grapes purchased from growers he has known for 30 years and trusts completely. In fact, he made his reputation as an outstanding selector of fruit.

In the vineyard, yields are kept intentionally low (less than 2.5 tons per acre) to concentrate the flavors in the fruit. The winemaking methods employed are scrupulous and traditional without ignoring the benefits of modern techniques.

About Bruno Giacosa

Bruno Giacosa Photograph

Bruno Giacosa was born in Neive in 1929. At the age of 13, he started to work for his father at the family’s winery and at the age of 20, he took over the family business with much passion and love.
A visionary pioneer, Giacosa was the first to produce the famous Roero Arneis which received official DOC status in 1985. In his continuous quest for something new and stimulating, he began production of Extra Brut Spumante, made from 100% pinot noir, regarded as the best spumante in Italy.
Although he identifies himself as a traditionalist, he does not ignore the continuing evolution of the winemaking field. He has adopted a number of modern techniques that have further enhanced the quality of his wines while maintaining their unique character.

One of his daughters, Bruna, is a significant presence in the family winery. Born in Alba, she got involved in the winery at a very young age with the same passion and enthusiasm for the wine as her father. Today, Giacosa is successfully managed by both Bruno and Bruna, with Bruna focusing her expertise on local and international marketing and public relations efforts.

Part 2 – An Italian Legend Bruno Giacosa and his Wines

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