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Barolo auctions

Itchefs-GVCI at the 10th asta del Barolo wine auction


Held by Gianni Gagliardo, a long time friend of our Group, at his La Morra’s winery located (Piemonte), the Barolo Auction has become a worldwide renowned event. Five GVCI Chefs gathered for the occasion together with the same number of members of the “Piemonte Stars” team (Michelin starred regional chefs), to propose their own interpretation of “cucina di incontro”, “the cuisine of encounters”…

On last September 30th, a GVCI delegation took part in the 10th Asta del Barolo Wine Auction held by Gianni Gagliardo, a long time friend of our Group, at his winery located in Serra dei Turchi, La Morra, in the province of Cuneo (Piemonte).


The Barolo Auction has {mosimage}become the most worldwide renowned event dedicated to the Barolo wine. According to Gianni Gagliardo, himself a producer of very fine Barolos, “the Auction represents a valid promotion tool and an investment on the future of the Barolo”, which remains one of the most significant Italian wines. The Italian Deputy Prime Minister, Francesco Rutelli, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities, was a special guest of this historic edition.

The five itchefs-gvci who attended the event were Gianni Favro (Gianni Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand), Roberto Galetti (Garibaldi Restaurant, Singapore), Pietro Rongoni (from Moscow, Russia), Stefano Savio (Quirinale Restaurant-London, United Kingdom ) and Alberto Gianati (Casa Italia Restaurant- San Juan, Puerto Rico). They were joined by Marisa Avalis, Italian specialty food expert and among the most active GVCI members.


Chef and journalist Enrico Bricarello wrote this note for Informacibo, the widely distributed Italian food and wine newsletter (www.informacibo.it). “The location of the event is more than noteworthy: the cellars of the authoritative vintner Gianni Gagliardo were the physical hub around which the Auction was held, an event that included the involvement in real time of wine enthusiasts from Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as the extraordinary participation of popular Italian TV journalist Bruno Vespa.

And the exceptional auctioneers, brilliantly led by Giancarlo Montaldo from Gagliardo’s home dining room, assisted by Andreas Larsson, recently elected the World’s Best Sommelier, connected live from Hong Kong, completely cleaned up the 38 batches of wines on sale.


Barolo was unquestionably the protagonist of the day.As well as the performances of, among others, the 5 GVCI Chefs gathered for the occasion together with the same number of members of the “Piemonte Stars” team (Michelin starred regional chefs), each one of whom proposed their own interpretation of “cucina di incontro”, “the cuisine of encounters” – the conscience of and search for shared flavours, at one and the same time in the form of finger food.

Gvci’s Gianni Favro from Bangkok proposed a Bollito Misto (mixed boiled meats) in spiced gelatine and Thai bagnet, whereas Roberto Galetti from Singapore combined Fassone special breed of beef from Piedmont with the typical peanut sauce kuah kacang, with spectacular results. Stunning proposal as well that of Alberto Gianati from San Juan de Puerto Rico, Steamed shellfish salami, a very delicate fusion of flavours (although it was a pity that the coriander didn’t arrive...), as did the “Fillet of spigola (seabass) with Gorgonzola and basil mousse “ by Pietro Rongoni from Moscow, cooked in a masterly manner. Dessert was the work of Stefano Savio from London with a dish with a colourful punch, Bread and butter pudding with white chocolate and raspberries.


The Piedmont chefs, as one can imagine, aimed at traditional dishes, perhaps somewhat adapted to the kind of service, with several proposals as a result: Walter Ferretto of the Cascinale Nuovo presented a delicate Calf’s tongue and goose liver millefoglie; Marc Lanteri of the Lovera Palace Restaurant in Cuneo stated his origin with a Baccalà bocconcino (salt cod titbit) cooked at a low temperature” on a pretty Provençal base of onions, capsicums and currants. Also Marco Sacco of the Piccolo Lago Restaurant in Verbania was there with his Bettelmatt Flan, blueberries and pear mustard, as were Andrea Ribaldone of La Fermata Resort in Spinetta Marengo with his Onion cooked with salt and stuffed with its own custard and Massimiliano Musso with his Yogurt chantilly on peach cream and orange and lime caramel, to do their very best to create a enjoyable experience... and how they succeeded!


The first afternoon, attention passed over to wine: the auction started. Among the lots featured in the catalogue, the one comprising a double magnum of Barolo Serre 2003 from Casa Gagliardo stood out; in fact, this highest bid was given the destination of the Don Bosco Hotel School of Sihanoukville, Cambodia with the purpose of creating a basis of teaching material and equipment for the institution’s students. Maybe that was the motivation that pushed the bottle upward to finally receive the robust bid of € 5500 – not bad at all! The three barrels (almost 300 bottles each) from the Serra dei Turchi vineyard also received an excellent bid, which included the personalizing of each bottle according to the buyer’s taste.


There were eye-opening bids for a double magnum of Barolo Carobric by Paolo Scavino who came up with € 1200, and for two bottles of Barolo Bussia di Prunotto at € 1060, placed by an enthusiast from Singapore. Indeed, each and every lot was a star and clearly indicated just how high is the worldwide interest in this product (Barolo); it is no longer a status symbol for the wealthy and nouveaux riches but rather a philosophy of life.


GVCI at Gagliardo's XI Barolo auction


The 11th Barolo Auction organised by Gianni Gagliardo and his winery was another great success. GVCI supported the event and some of its chefs were invited to host journalists from the countries they work in. Among them were Alessandro Colombis (Sihanukville, Cambodgia), Michele Camolei (Armani restaurant, Tokyo), Gianni Favro (Bangkok) and Dario Congera (Taipei), who were accompanied by Italy-based GVCI members and friends Marisa Avalis, Lorenza Vitali and Luigi Cremona. Michele Camolei sent in the following correspondence on the experience: “Let it be noted that there was a suggestive candle-lit dinner in the vineyard on the Serra dei Turchi, where, to the notes of a chilled jazz combo, we tasted (and ate) excellent “pieces” of Piedmont and drank farm culture tuned with the most modern techniques.


We diligently attended an interesting round table, held by expert speakers, on just what Nebbiolo might be and represent for these hills. We were truly enthusiastic about Asta; we tasted once and again Barolos of various vintners. We visited the cellars and flew over the vineyards in helicopters. We realized that the Gagliardos (father and son) are a splendid example of passion for ones own work, and also of the ability to keep pace with the times by means of both applying state of the art technology and paying close attention to new (and old) markets through dynamic, practical and intelligent marketing techniques.
Gianni Gagliardo is a long-time friend of GVCI as well as being a member of the group.