Calgary Wine Life: Technical Tasting with Barolo’s Claudio Viberti

26 05 2019

By Raymond Lamontagne

It all began when Cavalier Antonio Viberti purchased a restaurant, the Locanda del Buon Padre. In 1923, Antonio decided to start making wine in the basement, as many do in this region. The original intent was to keep things simple and just sell the wine to patrons in the restaurant. Well, Antonio’s son Giovanni had other ideas. Things began to expand. Eventually cement tanks for fermentation were installed, and in 1955 wines were sold in nearby markets for the first time. By the 1970s the operation had become a full scale winery, even if the family never forgot their roots as restauranteurs. Giovanni’s son Claudio Viberti, who was our host at this past week’s tasting event at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, took over management of winery and restaurant operations in 2008. He hasn’t looked back since. The man is a dynamo.

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Claudio tells a few of us early birds the story behind the rosé served before the beginning of the formal proceedings. First off, and much to our surprise, this rosé is 100% Nebbiolo. Secondly, the wine is made first as a white wine from Nebbiolo juice obtained via an extremely gentle press. Claudio also makes a small amount of red wine from the same batch, using this to fix the colour of the end product. No combined maceration on the skins was involved, à la pink Champagne. I start scribbling notes. This is dry as a bone but does yield a subtle candied character, with the robust illusion of a sweet finish after a rather dense midpalate. Fairy-like whispers of strawberry, raspberry leaf, and nectarine flit about a more solid core of Parmesan cheese and those pink wintergreen mints, a rather burly rosé with a shimmering coppery finish. This is a rare wine but seems unlikely to remain so. Read the rest of this entry »

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Calgary Wine Life: Cork & Canvas CPO Tasting @ Willow Park

6 03 2013

[Cross-posted at www.calgaryisawesome.com]

My two year-old son is going to his first symphony on Sunday.  Before the matinee performance of Peter and The Wolf, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is putting on an Instrument Petting Zoo so that kids like mine who haven’t experienced live music can see and feel for themselves the difference between an oboe and a piccolo, a trombone and a timpani.  Our city’s remarkable orchestra is constantly innovating like this, striving to make symphonic music more accessible to a broader audience, whether it’s putting on these Symphony Sundays for smaller children or lending their arsenal of talents to performances of music from video games, The Lord of the Rings, or rock and roll bands like Queen.  This fun and unpretentious vibe extends to the CPO’s fundraising efforts as well:  if you want to, you can adopt your own member of the orchestra for a year, or book a concert for your child’s elementary school.  Or, like me, you can drink.

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