• Nebbiolo Day: Colombo on finding an identity for Réva wines

    Piedmont is time and again one of the key wine regions that sommeliers are turning to for some of the most dynamic wines coming out of Italy. It is a reputation that the relatively new Réva winery in Langhe is certainly playing its part to live up to. Here winemaker, Giana Luca Colombo, shares his passion for what it is trying to do and why its Nebbiolo wines are so important to help build its own identity.

    Piedmont is time and again one of the key wine regions that sommeliers are turning to for some of the most dynamic wines coming out of Italy. It is a reputation that the relatively new Réva winery in Langhe is certainly playing its part to live up to. Here winemaker, Giana Luca Colombo, shares his passion for what it is trying to do and why its Nebbiolo wines are so important to help build its own identity.

    mm By February 21, 2019

    If you are looking to attend the Nebbiolo Day tasting on March 5 in London then you won’t find a more passionate winemaker or wine project than at the Réva winery.

    Tell us something about the history of the winery and when it was set up and has grown? 

    The winery is a new project that only started in 2012. It is owned by a Czech investor and I manage the production side and my colleague, Daniele Gaia, looks after sales and marketing. It is a great opportunity for young people (where everybody is under 30 years old) has the possibility to manage a whole winery with total freedom about what they do. For the first two years we concentrated on working on our style of wines and understanding the potential of our vineyards, before then focusing on approaching the market.

    Why do you grow Nebbiolo and what sort of styles of wine do you hope to make from it?  

    As a Langa producer we cannot have an estate without Nebbiolo vineyards. Nebbiolo is part of our land and our hills. It is what we breathe, so we cannot have a winery and leave it out. The key it is to understand what Nebbiolo can do in every single plot we manage and the try to transfer that into the wine. So it is more a question about vineyard potential than a winemaker style.

    Giana Luca Colombo at the Réva winery in Langhe, Piedmont

    Has the style of your Nebbiolo changed over the years and if so how and why? 

    Yes they have, but I just focus  on what I would drink myself when I am in restaurant. As a winemaker I look for a neo-classical style, where I am mainly using big oak barrels for a variable period, depending on vintage, in order of retain the grape’s perfume and taste. My aim is to produce wines that have the grape’s and the vintage’s fragrance and taste. So I try to do as little as possible during the winemaking, and not to manipulate anything at all, but, instead, follow the wine’s evolution with a lot of care attention.

    Which Nebbiolo wines do you export to the UK? 

    Both young Nebbiolo d’Alba with one year of ageing, and Barolos 

    Why do you think they are suitable for the UK market ? 

    It is a question of market knowledge. UK is an experienced market where people drink many different styles of wines, and grasp the high quality and uniqueness of our wines. They recognise the same quality that we can see in our own wines.

    Do you have a UK importer?

    Friarwood is working  with to distribute its wines into premium channels in the UK

    Yes, we are working with Friarwood. 

    What are the main price points for your wines and which channels of the trade are you looking to sell into?

    As a small winery we do not compete for the lowest price, but for the highest quality possible. We hope to sell our wines in places where people can talk about them properly to their customers, like restaurants, wine shops, and maybe through some online retailer. It’s important to be able Communication of our wines and terroir are really im

    portant to have the whole experience when they are tasted.

    What other wines do you make? 

    Dolcetto d’Alba; Barbera d’Alba superiore and Langhe Bianco (Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris).

    What are your other major export markets and why?  

    The US because it is both a mature and big market for Italian wines with many potential customers. After the US it is at home in Italy. We are investing a lot of energy in the domestic market in order to build our brand. Finally Scandinavia where people look for quality rather than low price and they are really curious.

    How do you see 2019 shaping up and what are your big opportunities and challenges? 

    2019 looks like being a year where a lot of macro politics decisions could interfere in a good or bad way. We pay close attention to these and follow them in the hope that our politicians will decrease tensions and increase our confidence for our good future. It is too early to say how things are going to work out. 

    Why should a buyer or sommelier come and taste your wines at the Nebbiolo tasting on March 5?  

    It’s not so common to find the energy and passion we have for our wines, so it would be a great pleasure for us for them to come and discover our new approach and hopefully enjoy the wines with us.  

    • The Nebbiolo Day tasting takes place on March 5 at the Lindley Hall, Elverton St, London SW1P 2PB including more than 90 winemakers and 500 Nebbiolo wines. It will include in-depth seminars and master classes by Walter Speller (www.JancisRobinson.com) and the guru of Italian wine maps Alessandro Masnaghetti (www.enogea.com). You can also test your knowledge of the many styles and guess the origin of more than 90 wines on the Nebbiolo Trail. To register go to http://huntandspeller.com

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