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Thursday, May 9, 2013 at Del Posto, New York, New York
Sixty years ago, the short list of great Piemontese producers included an interesting name: Antonio Vallana. Based in the Alto Piemonte, the estate was founded by its namesake in 1937.
Vallana reached its zenith in the 1950s, when Antonio's son Bernando was known for making Spannas as great as virtually any Barolo. [Spanna is the name given to the Nebbiolo grape north of the Langhe.]
And over the next decade or two, Bernando Vallana's wines—bearing cuvée names like Montalbano, Cantino del Camino, and Spanna del Piemonte—became well-known as blue chips for Italian wine collectors in the New York area.
Later, in the 1990s, clients of The Rare Wine Co. got to know Vallana through a series of encyclopedic offers of the legendary wines of the '50s and '60s.
But this was not the end of Vallana's winemaking story. The family has continued—through three generations—to make not only Spannas, but also Gattinaras and Bocas, each from particular zone of Alto Piemonte. And today, Antonio Vallana's great-grandchildren Marina and Francis are using the same traditional methods and vineyards to make wines that would make their ancestors proud.
To celebrate The Rare Wine Co.'s appointment as Vallana's first-ever importer in California, we hosted, along with Marina and Francis, an historic dinner at Del Posto in New York City, featuring Vallana wines from the present back to the 1950s.
1954 Vallana Spanna del Piemonte
1955 Vallana Spanna di Montalbano
1958 Vallana Spanna di Montalbano
1958 Vallana Spanna del Piemonte
1961 Vallana Spanna del Camino
1964 Vallana Spanna di Montalbano
1975 Vallana Gattinara
1988 Vallana Spanna del Piemonte
1996 Vallana Boca
2004 Vallana Gattinara
2009 Vallana Spanna
2010 Vallana Spanna
2010 Vallana Spanna del Camino
These wines were accompanied by a menu created by acclaimed Del Posto chef Mark Ladner. The wine service was impeccable as usual, thanks to the skill and passion of Del Posto Wine Director Jeff Porter.
May 2013 — “The Rare Wine Co. set up this dinner focusing on the Nebbiolo (Spanna) based wines of Antonio Vallana e Figlio, one of the most highly regarded wineries in Alto Piemonte ... It is great to see the tradition renewed by a new generation at this historic estate. As Marina Vallana said, ‘We have a religious respect for our tradition.’”
- Ken Vastola
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