Maps from Alessandro MasnaghettiSHOP VITICULTURAL MAPS
Masnaghetti's acclaimed viticultural maps afford an unprecedented view of Barolo and Barbaresco.
As in Burgundy, the vineyards of the Langhe tell a tale of everchanging soils, minerals, slopes, exposure and ownership. But have you tried to find all this information on a map?
Until recently, it wasn't possible. But now, thanks to the tireless work of Alessandro Masnaghetti, Nebbiolo lovers can learn things about Piedmont's great vineyards that we could never have known before...simply because the information wasn't available.
Above, the front of Masnaghetti's village map of Barolo's Verduno commune.
Masnaghetti, publisher of the respected Italian wine journal Enogea, has issued a series of breathtakingly detailed maps on each of the Langhe's major viticultural areas. His goal, eventually, is to map the entire Langhe, and so far he has issued seven maps. Four are of the Barolo zone: Serralunga, Monforte d'Alba, Barolo and Castiglione Falletto. The other three are of the Barbaresco zone: Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso.
Each map is large in format (23 x 33 inches) printed both sides. On the front is a detailed color map of the entire commune, showing all the major slopes and recognized crus-the latter broken down into individual historic parcels. For the visitors, all roads are accurately indicated along with important landmarks like cascina buildings.
The back of the map is even more of a gold mine. Here we find detailed discussions of the styles of wine produced on the various slopes of the commune. But even more tantalizing, each cru is broken down by ownership-with extensive information on altitude, grape varieties, history, the superiority of various parcels and important bottlings. Finally, Masnaghetti provides Google Earth Coordinates, allowing us to view each site from space at earth.google.com.
A Gift for Nebbiolo Lovers
Masnaghetti's maps are not only a breakthrough in the Langhe's cartography, they are a godsend for Nebbiolo lovers. Any visitor to the Langhe knows that there are few posted signs to guide us through the vineyards. But with Masnaghetti's new maps, any visitor can find their way, knowing not only the extent of a particular cru, but also who owns which part.
Masnaghetti continues the pioneering work of the late Renato Ratti who, in the 1960s and 1970s, drew the first truly comprehensive maps of Barolo. But as important as Ratti's maps were, they were not particularly detailed, serving primarily to locate the crus. They didn't pretend to explain why one section of a cru had better soil or exposure than another, nor did they take the all-important steps of breaking the crus down into parcels and showing ownership. And the scale of the maps made them of little use to the serious visitor to the vineyards.
In 2000, Slow Foods' wonderful Wine Atlas of the Langheexpanded on Ratti's work by revealing more about altitudes, slopes, exposures, roads and landmarks, but the Atlas' maps lack detail and again stop short of showing ownership. It was left to Masnaghetti to give us the maps of which we've long dreamed.
We Have Them!
Individual maps are just $9.95 (which is less than they sell for in Italy). However, we reward purchasers of four or more maps with a per-copy price of just $8.50.