"Il mio Barolo" - Barolo, my way - by Mario Fontana
"My philosophy to winemaking is the same as my philosophy to life. I believe that good things come from hard work. We live closely in touch with the land and follow the rhythms of the seasons. We must be patient, try to do things well, and always look to improve. Everything needs to be kept in equilibrium, in balance. I seek this in the vines, in my wines, and in my life."
For me, Barolo is not just a wine. It is part of my culture and my identity – it defines who I am and where I come from. When I drink Barolo, I remember my grandfather. Indeed, Barolo seems to contain within it something of the spirit of the true man of Le Langhe. It has the same enduring forza – strength, dignità – dignity, and a character that is at once immensely hard, austere and honest.
My Barolo is like my grandfather, like those men from another age – the ones who never wanted anyone to know easily what they were thinking. This wine is just the same: it does not ever reveal itself easily or cheaply. You have to discover it, slowly and thoughtfully. The appreciation and discovery of Barolo is not something that should ever be fast: you must have time, patience and experience.
But that is the way it is with all the best things in life, those things that are complex and have true depth of character and meaning. With Barolo, sometimes a single bottle is not enough. You feel that yes, you are getting close to understanding it, to unravelling some of its many layers. But then the wine is gone: you need to open another bottle!
In such wines as this, will you find the greatest satisfaction. Like all the greatest wines in the world, Barolo always has something more to give; the sensations are always different. It is a wine that – non finisce mai – never finishes, never fails to surprise, a wine that brings the greatest pleasure.
Little by little you will come to fall in love with Barolo, to become infatuated with it, and to understand and appreciate the special hardness and austerity and honesty that comes from the land from which it is born, my land: Le Langhe.
This is my Barolo. This is my life.