After 16 years of a fruitful, illustrious parternship with the “bear” of Neive — the taciturn, often gruff but always grand Bruno Giacosa – the winery’s cellar master, enologist, and right-hand man, Dante Scaglione (left), has decided to leave the winery — a painful decision, made after many long, unforgettable years working with Bruno.
VinoWire’s Franco Ziliani spoke yesterday with Dante: a serious person, capable, and responsible, a person that we all would have liked to have seen manage the technical aspects of the winery, especially after an illness that severely limited Bruno’s presence and contribution in the historic cellar in Neive (website) and the Falletto estate in Serralunga d’Alba.
With his typical reserved manner and style, Dante merely affirmed his long-meditated choice, the result of difficulties that became apparent in his conversations and rapport with Bruno Giacosa’s daughter, Bruna, who has been taking an increasingly greater role in managing the estate. Evidently, Dante and Bruna did not enjoy the same partnership that Dante shared with Bruno — a collaboration based on faith and an exchange of ideas.
Nothing more and nothing less, and no unseemly accusations against the winery he will officially leave Friday, March 7, after bottling the new vintages of the young wines (over all, he said, he was very happy with the 2007 vintage for the Nebbiolo-based wines). A simple turning of the page in the history of Langhe wines and the end of a partnership that was born when Dante began to work with enologist Giuliano Noé, who regularly performed technical analyses of Giacosa’s wines. At the moment, Dante has made no future plans.
After so many years and such an extraordinary experience with Bruno Giacosa, it will be difficult for Dante to sign on as an employee of another winery. He hopes to consult with some of the few wineries that share his winemaking approach and to continue to develop the Giacosa philosophy. After all, the wines of Bruno Giacosa were partly also Dante’s wines.
According to Dante, his place will be taken by Giorgio Lavagna, son-in-law to the manager of the Falletto estate in Serralunga d’Alba (which is owned by the Giacosa family), a talented enologist who has many vintages under his belt at the celebrated Batasiolo winery in La Morra.
We look forward to Lavagna’s new partnership with the historic estate and to Dante’s next project. Even after the end of a long and fruitful partnership, the show must go on.
– Franco Ziliani