Italian Indigenous Varieties: Cornarea Nero from Piedmont

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This week’s indigenous grape variety entry will be a short one because I could find very little information on this variety on the internet or in other sources. The variety, Cornarea Nero, hails from Piedmont in the North-West corner of Italy. It is a cross created by Giovanni Dalmasso in 1936 between Barbera and Nebbiolo. The idea was that is would be able to show the best characteristics of these typical Piemontese parents and add color to a wine. Just a refresher note on the difference between a cross and a hybrid: a cross is between two varieties of the same species, i.e. Vitis Vinifera while a hybrid, is between two different species say a Vitis Vinifera and a Vitis Lambrusca, native to America.

In other wine news, it was great to see so many familiar faces at the Benvenuto Brunello tasting yesterday. Next week is also a big week for Italian wines with both the Vinitaly/Slow Wine Events on Monday, February 3 and the Tre Bicchieri on February 6 in New York City…I will be holding one of the classes on Prosecco at Vinitaly on Monday so come say hello if you are at the tasting.

In other not wine news, yesterday was the “Giorno della Memoria” or International Holocaust Remembrance day which celebrates the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in January 1945, the largest Nazi death camp, by Soviet troops. I lost 80 relatives in the camps and although I didn’t know them or their children, I certainly think of them and am happy that their memory is kept alive officially on this occasion. I meant to write about it yesterday but was out all day.

Another piece of news saddened me today that Pete Seeger passed away. I know he was 94 but you always want the good ones to last forever. What a man, what a life.

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