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Barolo To Valpolicella: The Wines Of Northern Italy (Classic Wine Library)

Along with its companion volume, the highly successful Brunello to Zibibbo, this is a benchmark title on Italian wines. Nicolas Belfrage,a regular contributor to Decanter magazine, explores the mysteries of Northern Italian viniculture, focusing on dozens of wines ranging from the normale to the highest-quality single-vineyard masterpieces. Using many local and international grape varieties as signposts, he guides the reader through such magical areas as Valpolicella, South Tyrol, and Trentino as well as the hills of Bologna and the Po Valley plain, where Lambrusco wines really did once hang from trees. Enhancing his text with an extensive listing of producers, a helpful glossary of Italian terms, and even a guide to pronouncing Italian words, Belfrage has written one of the most complete and accessible guides to today's Italian wines yet to be published.

Series: Classic Wine Library

Hardcover: 356 pages

Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; Rev Upd edition (July 28, 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1840009012

ISBN-13: 978-1840009019

Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 8.8 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,661,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #208 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Buying Guides #870 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Cocktails & Mixed Drinks #1174 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Spirits

Those who have read the Faber & Faber guides to wine regions such as Burgundy, Alsace and the Rhône valley and expect something similar, may be disappointed, but of course you can't squeeze that much into about 350 pages. What we get instead is a kind of long essay which covers Italy north of Tuscany. Belfrage still manages, almost miraculously, to cover quite a number of producers (including some that are not included in the Slow Food/Gambero Rosso annual guide to Italian wines), and, what's more, he gives you an idea of what's going on. A very useful update ten years after Burton Andreson's groundbreaking atlas. If you want to know more, you need to read Italian (and get the regional guides published by Slow Food).

Nicolas Belfrage has used his extensive wine knowledge and more importantly his excellent understanding of Italy to write a book for the serious wine lover. Belfrage takes you completely across northern Italy and describes the wines of each area. While he doesn't give vintage charts for the wines, he does discuss the recognized better producers which allows the reader to find the wines and make his own decisions. More maps and some color pictures would have made the book more visually appealing, but would have increased the cost and made the book less travel friendly. It's definitely a condensed source of information that will prove very useful to the Italian tourist/wine traveler. I've been fortunate enough to have seen many of the wine areas in northern Italy. I wish I would have had this book with me. On my next trip, Belfrage's book will be packed in my carry-on.

This book is a disappointment ! Having bought other Faber books (publisher) I had expected a well-written walk-through of Northern Italy with extensive descriptions of many producers, many tasting notes and vintage charts.Verdict ? There are absolutely no vintage charts, the description of the vineries are superficial, the book is badly organised (no headers to indicate where you are in the book, for quick look-ups) and generally no specifications to the producers individual Wines. To me, this is a 'blah-blah' book... Conclusion: NOT recommendable, neither to the amateur nor the 'pro'

Together with "Brunello to Zibbibo" by same author, these books offer an excellent and thorough overview of Italian wine regions, their particularities with several in-depth lists if top suppliers in each sub-regions. Absolutely recommended to learn about Italy and its wines.

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