On Sunday 1 September, I returned to a winery that I had already had the pleasure of visiting thanks to the Press Tour organised by Pellegrini 1904 SpA at the end of June (I invite you to also read my previous article with all the tastings of wines from this winery: Fausto Coppi, Vigne Marina Coppi the passion of his grandson Francesco) and with which I fell in love. In this report, however, I do not want to be technical because I really want to share with you this beautiful experience at the centenary of Fausto Coppi which was beyond all expectations. Organising great events is not easy, but Anna and Francesco were truly excellent hosts.

I arrived at Castellania Coppi around noon, with the knowledge that a great day was ahead of me. I immediately met Marina Coppi and I found her to be an exceptional woman, as well as a fantastic hostess. Well, as she introduced herself, she 'confessed' to me that she was teetotal and vegetarian, but I was delighted to share with her that the most famous monk in the wine world, Don Perignon, was also both teetotal and vegetarian. A guarantee in short! This machine, on the other hand, I have no idea what model it is but I find it absolutely delicious!

After saying goodbye to everyone the first thing I did was to go and spy on the kitchen work and there I found a Giancarlo Tavani intent on preparing an orgasmic Piedmontese Fassona knife joke. Yes, I am not a vegetarian and although I love animals, I think I could never give up raw meat! The giardiniera felt homemade and was delicious, but I am a purist (or maybe not) with raw meat and I love it with a very delicate drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, very little salt and a raw quail yolk on top. The quality of the meat chosen by Francesco was insane!.

First we took a tour of the cellar, where I was also able to admire Fausto Coppi's bike, the same one on which Francesco cycled over the same hills as his grandfather and achieved an extraordinary result. Here I met fellow sommeliers, professionals and very interesting winelovers between one glass of Marine and another! Marine is to my taste the most successful white wine of the company. I am not saying this because the Fausto is not amazing... but because making a Favorita of this level is much more cramped in my opinion!

In any case, immediately afterwards I switched to the Faustowhich confirmed my tasting a few months ago! It presented itself in the glass a beautiful intense and brilliant straw yellow. The nose is elegant, complex and immediate with mineral and brackish notes, then clay, aromatic herbs and citrus fruits. In the mouth it is very pleasant and enriched with a very delicate white chocolate flavour. Structured and well-balanced between softness and acidity, with sapidity prevailing. Long citrus finish. As I said in the previous article, for me this is the winery's best wine, although I repeat that Favorita remains the most successful. In other words: the Fausto is extraordinary, but Marine, for a Favorita, still has an edge!

A spacious gazebo was set up in the garden where the famous Chef Enrico Crippa was intent on chopping some intoxicatingly fragrant herbs for his risotto. Enrico Crippa is a crazy chef: the 3 Michelin Stars for his Piazza Duomo restaurant in Alba lead him to be one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. In his contemporary cuisine, he mixes traditional Piedmontese cuisine with French and Japanese 'ingredients' from the places where he grew up. 

Alright, alright the wine cellar is delicious... the wine too... but let's cut to the chase: at past 1pm I could eat a one and a half tonne brontosaurus. What a pleasure to see chef Giancarlo Tavani laying an exquisite Parma ham on a fried dumpling so light and fragrant it almost seems impalpable! How wonderful, and how many I ate! They invited me to their Ai due Platani restaurant in Parma [Strada Budellungo, 104/a - 43123 Coloreto]... and I believe that, even though Michelin has already thought of it, you will soon see the review here on my Wine Blog given these premises! 😍

And now we come to his tomato risottowhat a spectacle! I find it absolutely incredible to create such a precious dish from such simple ingredients! Definitely the wonderful herbs that he used gave it an extra edge... but what perfection in its preparation! I saw that in the mantecatura he also used vinegar... I don't want to say a huge fib (and in this case Enrico Crippa is free to cane me in a comment), but I saw an influence from Japan in this gesture. I rarely cook risottos, but when I make my red risotto with beetroot I whip it with butter and rice vinegar... and I have always thought of doing this because I love Japanese flavours so much, as well as the organoleptic balance it can give without being intrusive like a wine might be! In fact, I only keep the mantecature with wine if the same wine is the protagonist of the risotto I am preparing...

A Giancarlo Tavani and his staff also deserve credit for these knockout ricotta tortelli! Super fat, full of ricotta and spinach until they burst, just the way I like it! Nothing I find sadder than that 'all pasta' stuffed pasta with a spitful of filling! I admit that I did encore... but it wasn't my fault! There were those who invited me to do so... and I hardly say no to certain indecently tasty proposals! Although the proposed pairing was another I went ahead with Fausto, my favourite timorasso produced by Vigne Marina Coppi! And what a sight to have lunch with this splendid view of the vineyards and the hillside!

I would like to point out that I didn't just eat and drink all day: there was a really emotional moment that made this day even more special! When Anna told me that Roy Paci (Biography on Wikipedia) e Valerio Binasco (Wikipedia biography) improvised I couldn't believe it: they seemed as one. Their interpretation of a piece dedicated to Fausto Coppi was unique, I got goosebumps even I who know nothing about bicycle racing and I also sold my MBM Honolulu Vintage last year! Roy Paci reproduced the sounds with his trumpet and it really seemed like hearing Fausto Coppi running on the asphalt, while Valerio Binasco read with a transport and skill that I can't even put into words.

After the evening was over, Anna booked me a beautiful room at the Relais Villa Pomela in Novi Ligure, a luxurious 1700s aristocratic residence... it was also wonderful end the evening lying on my terrace with a Nicaraguan cigar watching the fountain water dance in the light. But what impressed me the most was this reading room: I love the Victorian era and, in particular, I have read (and re-read) all of Oscar Wilde's novels... I would really have liked to re-read The Importance of Being called Ernest here and 'bunburare' all morning! Instead, work was calling me again....

Anna and Francesco really organised a special day in memory of their grandfather Fausto Coppi, and I am really happy to have participated. I sincerely hope that, with this reportage, I have managed to convey some of the magic I felt and that I have 'done justice' to this beautiful event. 

Cheers 🍷


Marina Coppi Vineyards

Via Sant'Andrea, 5 - 15051 Castellania (AL)

tel/fax +39 0131 837089

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