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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 to the tireless work of Alessandro Masnaghetti, publisher of the respected Italian wine journal Enogea, 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 god-send for lovers of Italian wine.
Alessandro’s 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.
We Have Them!
Folded maps are just $12.95. The unfolded version is $15.95.
|Masnaghetti Map: Verduno [Folded]||12+||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Valpolicella [Folded]||4||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Serralunga dAlba [Folded]||2||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Monforte d'Alba [Folded]||4||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: La Morra [Folded]||5||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Castiglione Falletto [Folded]||10||$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]||9||$12.95||add|
|Masnaghetti Map: Castellina in Chianti [Folded]||6||$12.95||add|
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