Tag Archives: canavese

Mountain Men and Mountain Wine

Enofaber introduces Vincent Grosjean

Fabrizio Gallino lives in the Piedmont, north of Torino near the Valle d’Aosta, in the land called Canavese. He a family man who works as an editor, and in multimedia and the web, but his passion is wine and food, Canavese, Italian, and otherwise. He’s been an AIS sommelier since 2008 (encouraging me via Twitter before my own final exam), and continues to deepen his knowledge around all aspects of it — a search that never ends, he says.

Fortunately for us, he also writes, maintaining his blog enofaber.com. I like the way he writes about the experience of drinking wines, meeting vintners and other “personaggi” he comes to know (mostly small producers and lesser known wines); it’s not a report or a review, he says; he prefers to relate more “the emotions of the moment,” as he puts it.

I am delighted that he’s given me permission to translate selected articles here. The first is from a visit with Vincent Grosjean of the Maison Vigneronne Fréres Grosjean in the Valle d’Aosta. Enjoy.


Vincent is a man not much taller than me, well placed with large, calloused hands that make you remember that the earth is low… 

Hands like two shovels, that if one slapped you across the face your head would spin for three days.

Vincent who, when I first arrived at the vineyard for a visit, made me wait half an hour because he had other things to take care of. I was also met with some suspicion.

Vincent, arrives now to shakes my hand firmly, give me a pat on the back and smile at me, eyes and mouth. Still maintaining a bit of a “low profile,” but much more jovial now and friendly. Maybe he came to understand that my love for the Valle and his wines is authentic without any ulterior motive.

So much so that he let me taste this wine, retrieved from his personal stock: Pinot Noir 1989, 22 years old. In 1989, I was 16; I did not drink, I did not smoke and I’d just become interested in women (mamma mia, how much time I’ve spent on least two of these activites). 

Well, this wine is like Vincent. It’s of him. Healthy, compact, all in one piece, but richly faceted. The smell of woods after a spring rain, a scent that fills the air once you seek it out.

This is the land of damp woods that crown to Ollignan, the village where Maison Grosjean vineyards are located. But there are also traces of the freshly cut meadow grass that surround the vineyards; of spices, of the herbs found in these mountains. Verticality, in every sense. At the beginning — just like Vincent — it’s rough, surly, calloused. You have to know to wait for it. You’ll then be presented with a truly memorable wine, but only when the it decides. It also has the power to last, last, and last.

Stainless and in one piece, just like Vincent Grosjean.

Merci bien, Vincent


Grazie a te, Fabrizio…


Leggi l’italiano? Vai all’articolo originale.

Images courtesy of grosjean.vievini.it