Gianni Voerzio—much like his wines—is elegant, distinctive, and refined. He inherited the business from his father. Today, Gianni and his wife Franca produce about 70,000 bottles annually on their 14 hectares of wines.
Gianni’s signature floral wine labels feature the fruits and flowers from his native Piedmont region. Hints of dried roses and violets distinguish his Nebbiolo-based wines, such as Barolo for which Piedmont is famous. A late ripening, powerfully tannic grape, Nebbiolo produces austere wines that can evolve for up to 20 years into well integrated, luscious and complex wines with layers of nuance. Barolo is often celebrated as “the king of wines and the wine of kings.”
A traditional winemaker, Gianni also uses more modern techniques, including aging his wines in small French barriques. Located in La Morra in the southwestern tip of Piedmont, the area has been cultivated since 1000 A.D. Controlled alternatively by France and then by Spain for many years, La Morra came under the permanent auspices of the Duchy of Savoy in 1631. The “terroir” in the area is considered one of the most prestigious in the Barolo DOCG (Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita) zone. Wines from La Morra are softer and more elegant than those from other areas of the Barolo DOCG zone because the soils are more fertile and therefore produce riper and fuller grapes. Gianni also produces a series of exquisite wines using the other grape varieties for which Piedmont is famous, including Barbera, Dolcetto, Freisa, Arneis and Moscato. I tried his moscato at the last Vinitaly. It was far and away the best Moscato I have ever had. I know some people, like my esteemed colleague Terry Hughes from Mondosapore wouldn’t include Moscato in Italy’s ten best grapes but I think this Moscato might make him change his mind.
Gianni’s Arneis was on the wine list in every restaurant that I went to during a recent trip to Milan. These wines have overwhelmingly pleasurable aromas of peach and lemon together with crisp acidity and a long length. Gianni’s Dolcetto D’Alba, with its cherry, almond and cacao notes, has a long pleasant finish and good tannins. Typical of Italian wine, all of the Voerzio wines are incredibly food friendly and invite a return visit.
I have been lucky enough to taste many of Gianni’s wines because I often work with his US importer, Dancing Bear Cellars.