(by Renato Ratti, 1985)
In 1965, I undertook my first vinification in a state of "purity," at once a rare luxury and terrible liability in the world of Barolo wines! All my efforts, however, were finalized towards a fixed goal: to be different, to set a new course.
That year, as I undertook wine-making directly in the first person, after having become acquainted with a great many Italian and European wine making areas, and after exploring every nook and cranny of the Barolo zone, I began to appreciate the differences, the qualitative possibilities of each sub zone, the distinctive characteristics, and the opportunities of highlighting said distinctions if pondered in their state of purity.
In 1975, through analysis, we had the technical confirmation of the diversities contained in each identifiable sub zone. They were indeed chemically unique, different from one another in composition and structure.
In 1968, having to place my 1964 vintage (truly a great year) on the market, and wishing for it to have its own niche outside the mainstream, (which with rare exception, singled out age and longevity as the main parameters of quality in a Barolo), I developed a classification of the various vintages, the result of painstaking archive research with the help of Stefano Genesio, hailing from the township of La Morra.
In 1976, we received the technical confirmation of the effect of rainfall precipitation upon the variability of the grape harvests vis-a-vis my research spanning the breadth of twenty-four vintages.
In 1980, both concepts (the possibility of isolating the sub-zones and the obligation of indicating the vintage) became part of the norms governing the production of "DOCG" Barolo.
In 1971, along with Massimo Martinelli, my nephew and wine cellar associate, I established a new technique (already experimented in 1965), of vinification, maturation and bottling to reach a new and longed-for elegance, refinement and longevity for Marcenasco Barolos.
The pedigree of origin of a determined sub-zone and the delimitation of its area, the classification of the characteristics pertaining to the various vintages and the process of bottle refinement to both propitiate and maintain distinction, smoothness, elegance and longevity, are three crucial moments to be lived in the first person, concepts that I consider both as matters of substance and style.