One of the cooler experiences you can have in Italian wine country is a visit just after the harvest time, when the grapes are collected and pressed, and the sweet smell of fermenting must fills the cellars and tank rooms.
On a recent visit to the lovely Cantina Francone in Neive (just to the southeast of the Tanaro River, outside of Barbaresco village), we had the luxury of tasting the latest Arneis pressings at the tail end of the fermentation–straight from the tank! Fabrizio–a fifth generation wine maker carrying on his family tradition–personally gave us a taste right as the fermentation was coming to a close. We can honestly say we were the first Americans to get to taste the 2016 Arneis; you can still taste a little residual sugar at this point, but the character of the wine is undeniably magic. 2016 is going to be a great year for Piemonte. You heard it here first. We’re more than grateful to Fabrizio for taking a moment out of his day in a busy time of year to show us his amazing wine production process.