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Alessandro Masnaghetti’s work has been praised by journalists and publications ranging from Antonio Galloni and Jancis Robinson to John Gilman and the Wine Spectator. It’s no wonder his vineyard maps have been called the finest ever created and his books demonstrate that he is just as skilled with prose as he is with vineyard mapping.
The Rare Wine Co. has represented Alessandro Masnaghetti as the sole U.S. agent for his European maps and books for nearly a decade. And so it is a particular honor for us to be able to offer all of Alessandro's available printed works for Barolo & Barbersco below.
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Alessandro Masnaghetti revolutionized our knowledge of Barolo with Barolo MGA, The Barolo Great Vineyard Encyclopedia. This now-classic book brought us out of the dark ages in terms of our knowledge and understanding of this greatest of Italian wines.
He followed with two more landmark works: Barbaresco MGA, The Barbaresco Great Vineyard Encyclopedia (published 2016) and Barolo MGA Vol. II: Vintages, Recent History, Rarities and Much More (published early 2018).
But the original Barolo MGA, The Barolo Great Vineyard Encyclopedia was arguably Alessandro’s greatest accomplishment, and the work that has done so much to elevate the world’s understanding of Barolo. As a compendium of what we know of the vineyards, growers and wines, it has become the go-to book for those of us with a passion for Barolo.
We sold nearly 1,000 copies in just the first year of publication. And we were sold sold out for nearly two years, turning down literally hundreds of further requests for copies. But in the meantime, Alessandro was hard at work on revised edition, which he released in 2019.
Even bigger and better than the original, it is a whopping 464 pages in length (56 more than the 1st edition). And not only have all the maps been updated for 2019, so have the listings of wines and wineries. Production figures are current as of the 2017 harvest.
The Deepest Look Yet at Barolo’s Soils & Geology
Alessandro's newest edition will continue to advance the world's knowledge of Barolo. And its most compelling feature is a lavishly illustrated chapter on the region's geology.
He has long rejected the popular notion that Barolo can be understood by dividing the zone into two parts based on soil. According to Alessandro, who may know more about Barolo’s vineyards than anyone alive, such a division explains very little about why individual crus can have such distinctive character.
And so, working for years with three highly regarded earth scientists, he’s managed the first “complete description of the complex geology of the Barolo production zone.” Even if you own the first edition, you’ll want the second for this chapter alone.
Encyclopedic in its Scope
The 2nd edition of Barolo MGA, The Barolo Great Vineyard Encyclopedia is the result of a quarter century of study, unlocking the mysteries of why Barolo's soil produces such profound wines. Representing an incredible 11 years of work, it demands a place in the library of anyone who loves Barolo. And that includes owners of the 1st edition.
Barolo MGA includes more than 200 3-D images of the region's vineyards; in-depth analyses of the individual communes; 170 fact sheets on each cru and a directory (with contact information) of growers and producers. In addition, a glossary demystifies over 750 place names, brand names and historic zones. Text is in both Italian and English.
Barolo MGA Vol. I, 2nd Edition
The Great Vineyard Encylcopedia
by Alessandro Masnaghetti
464 pp, hardcover.
Alessandro’s energy, curiosity and passion for Barolo is fathomless, and his tireless research has now yielded a second book on the subject—Barolo MGA Vol. II: Vintages, Recent History, Rarities and Much More—covering the evolution of the Barolo region from the early 20th century until today.
The essential companion to the first volume, Barolo MGA Vol II is a fascinating exploration of how Barolo’s area under vine has transformed, both the entire region and particular crus.
Masnaghetti also discusses how changes in climate, yields, clones and viticultural practices have affected the harvest periods of the nebbiolo grapes and crus. And he covers many other subjects as well—some of which have either rarely or never been written about before—making Barolo MGA Vol. II a treasure trove of information for anyone seeking a greater understanding of The King of Wines.
Each topic is covered in extraordinary detail, as we’ve come to expect from Barolo’s greatest contemporary scholar. Once again, we’re reminded what a treasure Alessandro is and why, over the past five years, he has become a wine icon, despite never having made a bottle of wine.
Barolo MGA Vol. II is a stunningly complete investigation of how both human and environmental influences have shaped Barolo over the past century. Whether providing the first English translation of Lutati’s pathbreaking 1929 On the Delimitation of Wine Zones—or describing in detail the temperatures, rainfall and harvest dates of each vintage since 2000—Alessandro leaves few stones unturned.
He includes an exhaustive cru by cru record of harvest dates from 2007 to 2017. And he digs deeper with historical harvest records of such celebrated producers as Cavallotto (from the 1931 vintage) or Giuseppe Rinaldi (from the 1975 vintage).
Then there’s Alessandro’s first-ever history of Serralunga d’Alba’s Vigna Rionda, which Bruno Giacosa made famous from the 1960s to 1990s with his epic Barolo Collina Rionda. In five maps (1970, 1990, 1997, 2007 and 2017) he tracks the changes both of plots and owners over the years.
Alessandro also looks at changes to Barolo’s wooded areas, a subject of great concern in these days, making some highly interesting discoveries along the way.
The book is accompanied by a folder containing three beautiful, full-color, large-format maps. The first two are of the entire Barolo MGA in the years 1970 and 2017, encompassing the period of greatest change in the region’s history. The third large-format map displays harvest periods for each cru, color-coded from very early to late ripening.
The book itself contains a number of colored maps and charts.
Barolo MGA Vol. II is the same size as Alessandro’s earlier Barolo and Barbaresco books—designed to accompany them on your bookshelf.
Barolo MGA Vol. II
by Alessandro Masnaghetti
284 pp, hardcover.*
Twenty Years in the Making
Educating the world about the mysteries of Piemonte is nothing new for Masnaghetti. Like Barolo MGA, his book on Barbaresco is, in Alessandro’s words, “a unique and indispensable work.” It is a detailed and fully documented photograph of the vineyards of Barbaresco. But of course it is much more than that. It is a compilation of all the information he has unearthed over the past 20 years, as he unlocks the mysteries of why Barbaresco’s hillsides produce such profound wines.
The book includes seventy 3-D maps that show the contours of the vineyards. There are four detailed analyses of the individual townships, along with 66 fact sheets on each individual cru. A glossary demystifies over 500 place names, brand names and historic zones. There is an index of Barbaresco producers, along with contact information. Just one edition is being published, with text in both Italian and English.
This handsome 257-page hardcover volume should grace the library of anyone who loves Barbaresco.
Barbaresco MGA: Barbaresco Encyclopedia
by Alessandro Masnaghetti
257 pp, hardcover
Prior to 2008, wine lovers could only dream of having maps to guide them through the complex web of vineyards in Barolo, Barbaresco and Tuscany. Such maps didn’t exist. But thanks Alessandro's tireless work, we now have a series of breathtakingly detailed maps to guide and inform us. They are not only a breakthrough in Italian cartography, they are a godsend for lovers of Italian wine.
His work has also expanded into Bordeaux which, incredibly, had never been fully mapped to reveal the actual location of each chateau’s vineyards. His work here promises to revolutionize our understanding of the great Chateaux of Bordeaux in the same way that he has deepened our knowledge of the great vineyards of Barolo and Barbaresco.
Mapping the Langhe
While Masnaghetti has now branched out into a number of regions, he achieved his first acclaim with his extraordinary viticultural maps of Barolo and Barbaresco, which reveal for the first time in map form the everchanging soils, slopes, exposure and ownership of the Langhe’s greatest vineyards.
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 Langhe expanded 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.
Folded maps are just $12.95. The unfolded version (were available) is $15.95.
|Masnaghetti Map: Barbaresco Region [Unfolded]||12+*||$15.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Verduno [Folded]||12+||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Valpolicella [Folded]||1||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Castiglione Falletto [Folded]||6||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Pauillac-St Julien-St Estephe [Folded]||12+||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Barolo Region [Unfolded]||12+*||$15.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Barolo Novello Commune [Folded]||4||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Castellina in Chianti [Folded]||4||$12.95||add|
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