Labor of Love Review – Gastronome Extra!

 

Another glowing review of Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte! 

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Gastronome Extra

Gastronome Extra is the seasonal online magazine of the United States bailliage (chapter) of the international gastronomic society Chaine des Rotisseurs. The centuries old organization that King Louis IX — St. Louis — founded in 1248 as a guild of goose roasters is a premiere gastronomic organization that promotes culinary and oenological education and camaraderie at the table, something much-needed these days. From its inception, the Chaine served as a vehicle to develop and preserve culinary techniques.

The Chaine was resurrected in Paris in 1950 after two world wars that decimated the French food and wine industries, and a 200-year hiatus due to the French Revolution when guilds fell out of favor — an understatement. Today, the modern Chaine consists of over 25,000 passionate supporters of fine dining and protectors of the culinary arts in over 80 countries, including the United States.

The Review

The cover of Gastronome Extra’s summer issue features Elisabetta Vacchetto’s beautiful photo of Barolo living legend Chiara Boschis. Open up the magazine and on page 11 you’ll find a glowing review of my book, Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte, the cover of which Chiara’s hands grace.

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Cover of Gastronome Extra! Photo credit — Elisabetta Vacchetto
Print
Labor of Love Cover Design by Cindi Yaklich (Epicenter Creative) and photos by Elisabetta Vacchetto and Pierangelo Vacchetto.

Note — one correction in the Gastronome Extra! article — we did not sell out the first printing. We had to reduce the first run by 1,000 books when we chose to print in Italy, so we ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund that 1,000. In less than three months since publication, we sold well over half of the first edition, a large number of books considering our constraints as an indie publisher, but it is incorrect to say we sold out the first edition. See the Labor of Love Kickstarter campaign for further details.  

Other Reviews of Labor of Love

Visit my Press & Reviews – Labor of Love page for more reviews of my book.

Share the Love — Spread the Word — Pour the Wine

The book and Labor of Love’s wine families will be the focus of several upcoming wine-book pairing events in California, Colorado, and Louisiana. These events will feature wines from the wine families in the book, foods of the region, and book reading and signing with a healthy dose of spirited conversation about this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site.

September 9th — Prima Vini Ristorante, Walnut Creek, CA
September 11th — San Francisco Wine School, S. San Francisco, CA
September 23rd — Book Bar, Denver, CO
October 25th — Rebellion Bar & Urban Kitchen, New Orleans, LA
October 26th — Swirl Wine Bar & Market, New Orleans, LA

 

And more to come on the East Coast! Watch this space.

WINETWOFIVE: All in the Wine Family

 

All in the Wine Family

Valerie Caruso and Stephanie Davis, the wine educator brains behind the popular website and weekly podcast series WineTwoFive, graciously invited me to participate in this past week’s podcast they titled: All in the Wine Family (click to listen — preferably with a glass of Piemonte wine in hand!)

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They aired the podcast the morning of my author event at the energetic tea room with a vinous twist PlatformT in Glendale (Denver).

PlatformT in Glendale (Denver), CO.
PlatformT in Glendale (Denver), CO.

The tea room that also serves a wide variety of other libations such as coffee, wine, and spirits, and savory and sweet bites to pair with the drinks, is the brainchild of Law Brothers Group of Denver.

Every other Thursday, the bright gathering spot in a new commercial development on the corner of S. Colorado Blvd. and S. Cherry Creek Drive — just steps away from my old flat on Cherry Creek — becomes a venue for author events. It’s a small, intimate setting that allows authors the opportunity to connect with readers. I’m truly grateful to the Law Family for their dedication to supporting writers, particularly independent authors like me. 

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The bar served “Chapter 3” wines — Matteo Correggia — from Denver’s Giuliana Imports for their by-the-glass wine special: Roero Arneis and Roero Nebbiolo.

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We raised our glasses to Ornella Correggia and all the wonderful wine families across the world who toil to make the vinous creations we all enjoy. With that, I began my reading followed by an intriguing question and answer session and book signing.

Reading to my readers

During question and answer, the WineTwoFive ladies shared with the enthusiastic audience some of their thoughts on Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte. 

Valerie Caruso (left) and Stephanie Davis (right) with me at PlaformT.
Valerie Caruso (left) and Stephanie Davis (right) with me at PlatformT.

A great time was had by all, particularly me! Thank you, Jeremy, Ron, and Chris Law for your kind hospitality and to Naomi Boylan of the Law Brothers Group for organizing this special evening for me and my oenophile readers.

Thank you, Jeremy, Ron, and Chris Law for your kind hospitality and to Naomi Boylan of the Law Brothers Group for organizing this special evening for me to connect with my oenophile readers.

Next Event
Thursday, August 11th
Ridge Stree Wine/Breckenridge Cheese & Chocolate
Ridge Street Alley (near corner of Adams St. & Main St.)
Breckenridge, CO
6:00 p.m.
SEATING LIMITED!
RESERVATIONS ADVISED!
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Where to buy the book?

Wine Families Web Store — only availability of signed books online

Amazon

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LABOR OF LOVE WINE-BOOK PAIRING EVENTS!

 

Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte is touching the hearts and minds of not only oenophiles with a passion for Piemonte, but also people across the world who love great stories about courage, familial bonds, and history. And who doesn’t love Italian heritage and culture? A great way to celebrate these wonderful families than at a wine-book pairing event!  

Piemonte Celebrations! 

As my loyal followers know, we had a fabulous global world premiere of my book at Ca’ del Baio in Treiso (Barbaresco) with friends, family, local dignitaries, and, of course, the wine families, on June 2, 2016.

Signing vintner Giuliano Iuorio's book at Cà del Baio. What a thrill for me!
Signing vintner Giuliano Iuorio’s book at Cà del Baio. What a thrill for me!

We followed that event with a smaller, but equally emotional event at the Castello di Monticello on the 5th of June. Thank you, Contessa Elisa Roero di Monticello for your amazing hospitality and Eugenio and Pierangelo Vacchetto for organizing it! 

(L-R) Bruce and Claudia Kiely, Suzanne and Dani Hoffman, Susan and Rusty Richardson.
(L-R) Bruce and Claudia Kiely, Suzanne and Dani Hoffman, Susan and Rusty Richardson.
Introducing the USA to Labor of Love at Bookworm

The Bookworm in Edwards Riverwalk hosted the USA launch on July 7th. Nearly 70 people joined for the aperitivo featuring wines from Cà del Baio (Chapter Six), Matteo Correggia (Chapter Three), and Marsaglia (Chapter Seventeen) that Jarrett Osborn, owner of Riverwalk Wine & Spirits, poured.

Jarrett Osborn of Riverwalk Wine & Spirits pouring a glass of Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Vallegrande for Dean Johnson.
Jarrett Osborn of Riverwalk Wine & Spirits pouring a glass of Ca’ del Baio Barbaresco Vallegrande for Dean Johnson.
Photo credit: Townsend Bessent
Photo credit: Townsend Bessent

It was appropriate that we would have this special event at Bookworm since I had spent so many hours there during the gestation of Labor of Love. The owner of this popular indie bookshop, Nicole Magistro, is a passionate supporter of independent authors and routinely provides venues for author events and launches for many indie books.

Nicole Magistro and Suzanne Hoffman. Photo credit: Townsend Bessent
Nicole Magistro and Suzanne Hoffman.
Photo credit: Townsend Bessent
Upcoming Events!

Labor of Love and the wines of its wine families pair beautifully for author events. We have lots of those coming soon!

Thursday, August 4th
6:00 p.m.
PlatformT
Glendale (Denver), Colorado

Books available at the event!

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Ridge Street Wine/Breckenridge Cheese & Chocolate
Breckenridge, CO
Thursday, August 11th
6:00 p.m. 

Books available at event!

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Prima Vini e Ristorante
Walnut Creek, CA
Friday, September 9th
5:30 p.m. reading followed by tasting of an awesome wine line up!

Books available at event!
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San Francisco Wine School
San Francisco, CA

Sunday, September 11th
2:00 p.m.
Details coming soon!

Book Bar
Denver, CO

Late September
Stay tuned for details!  

And more to come in Louisiana and Piemonte before the end of the year!
If you’d like to have me visit your town for a book-wine pairing event for your organization or at your local indie bookstore, email me at suzanne@winefamilies.com!
ARNEIS ASKS THAT YOU WATCH THIS SPACE!

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BOOK REVIEW: SASSI ITALY TOURS LOVES “LABOR OF LOVE!”

 

Read Sassi Italy Tours lovely review of Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte.

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You can then purchase your very own signed copy here on my website.

But first, enjoy this excerpt from the book?

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Chapter Three – Matteo Correggia

In March 2013, under gray skies with a drizzly fog
blanketing the earth,
I met Ornella Correggia.

I knew of her from her wines, and I knew her story. But I didn’t know her. As I gazed into her deep, warm brown eyes, a calm feeling washed over me. Time has deepened my conviction that an aura of tranquility and deep peace surrounds her and nurtures all in her universe. One cannot infer from the serene demeanor of the woman I know today how very tested Ornella has been.

Ornella Correggia and her daughter, Brigitta. Photo Credit: Carlo Avataneo
Ornella Correggia and her daughter, Brigitta. Photo Credit: Carlo Avataneo

In most Piemonte wine families, women ascend into the operation and management of family wineries by choice or, as in recent years, through inheritance. For the matriarch of the esteemed Roero winery Matteo Correggia, on the outskirts of Canale, cruel fate propelled her to the helm. Early in the evening on June 12, 2001, the untimely death of her husband, Matteo, shattered Ornella’s world. Tragedy not only destroys lives but shapes them, too. For Ornella, the sudden reversal of fortune called for her to summon courage she never knew she had to continue her husband’s legacy for her young children. Would they grow up to want the vintner’s life for themselves? No one knew. But Ornella was determined the family’s winery would be there for them if they chose to perpetuate their father’s legacy.

At 39, Matteo Correggia had already achieved global acclaim as a brilliant oenological visionary who saw Roero’s potential as a serious red wine producing region. Matteo was a shooting star, dazzling with his brilliance and vision, but unlike those that burn out, Matteo’s star continues to shine, thanks to Ornella.

Matteo Correggia. Photo credit: Azienda Agricola Matteo Correggia
Matteo Correggia.
Photo credit: Azienda Agricola Matteo Correggia

I never met Matteo, but I remember clearly the impact his death had on the region. The accidental death of a young man in his prime shook the close-knit Piemonte wine community to its core and reverberated across the globe. The year 2001 was one of shock and loss in the United States, leaving life forever changed. But three months before the events of that bluebird-sky day in New York in September 2001, the wine country in central Piemonte quaked with its own heartbreaking loss.

Matteo inherited the estate — already highly regarded for its bulk wines — from his father, Giovanni Battista Correggia, who died when Matteo was 23. Like his father, Matteo had a deep love for the vineyards, a love he shared with his mother, Severina, now over 80, who still is most at home among the vines. Like most of his contemporary vintners, Matteo believed the quality of his wines depended on vineyard health and the care given to the vines during the growing season. He was the only non-Barolo member of the young guns in Barolo known as the “Barolo Boys,” a group of young visionary vintners challenging time-honored traditions in the famous denomination. Like his comrades, Matteo gave more attention to vineyard management than had previous generations. He knew Roero could produce superior wines, but he believed the key to success lay more in the vineyards than even in the cantina. Caring for the soil was the task he was engaged in when fate struck its cruel blow.

In his homage to Matteo, journalist Sergio Miravalle describes the tragedy in his book, Matteo Correggia: La Cometa del Roero (Matteo Correggia: The Comet of Roero). Ornella gave me a copy of his book, in which she wrote a poignant message. I am in his debt for the following story.

(continued on page 49 of Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte)

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Review of Suzanne Hoffman’s “Labor of Love”

 

Piemontephile, Tom Hyland, reviewed Suzanne Hoffman’s Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte on his excellent Italian wine-centric blog, Learn Italian Wines. 

Piemontese Women Have Their Say
Learn Italian Wines
by Tom Hyland

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I’ve read dozens of wine books over the past few decades. Most of these works are meant as reference guides, filled with facts and figures about vineyards, cellars, grape types and other such data. A few have been exceptional, but all have added to my education regarding wines from around the world.

Now though, a new book has come along that is just as valuable as those others, but instead of information on clones or how vineyards are planted, the focus of this book is on people, specifically women in the region of Piemonte, in Italy’s northwest. The book, Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte, authored by Suzanne Hoffman, is not only a well-written, fascinating journey into this region’s history over the past hundred years or so, it’s also an engaging work that is quite refreshing, as it gives us a look at the individuals that make wine.

Hoffman, an attorney by trade, has been traveling to Piemonte with her husband for many years and slowly but surely, thanks in large part to the friendship of a Barbaresco producer, has been introduced to several local winemaking families. She tells the story of multiple generations of these families, with the focus on the women. One of the principal tenets of this book is that these women now have more visible duties as far as winemaking, sales and marketing, but the author points out that the women that made these wineries great along with their husbands, uncles and sons, had tremendous responsibilities in the past as well. Perhaps they weren’t doing any cellar work, but their behind the scenes labors were just as important some forty, fifty and seventy years ago.

A great example of how important women were to these firms can be found in the chapter on Cascina delle Rose, a small, traditional producer of stellar quality in Barbaresco. The current owner is Giovanna Rizzolio, an opinionated woman of fierce convictions (Hoffman labels her as “gregarious.”). In the family history that the author explores, it is Giovanna’s grandmother Beatrice Rizzolio that emerges as a strong influence, not only with her immediate family, but also with the community, as she would do others favors, such as lending money. As Hoffman points out, Beatrice did this with not with a written contract, but merely with “a handshake and meeting of eyes.” That was sufficient for Beatrice.

But there is more to this woman that simple favors for locals. Hoffman details her activities from 1943 to 1945, when the German army settled in the area. Beatrice stood up to these invaders, at one point putting herself in bodily harm, in order to protect a group of teenage boys. Stories such as these help give the reader insight into Beatrice and other strong women of Piemonte, which in turn help us understand the moral fiber of these people. Is it any wonder then why the local wines are so distinctive?

There are numerous stories of how local women stayed strong, as their decisions were needed. An example of this can be found in the chapter on the Poderi Oddero estate of Santa Maria, below the town of La Morra. The author notes that the Mariacristina Oddero, who learned about winemaking and terroir from her father as well as in her studies in Alba (she has a degree in vineyard management and taught classes on soil chemistry for several years), had to confront her uncle Luigi about the direction the winery would take – would it be bulk wine or improved quality through stricter work? The story is a fascinating one.

Hoffman writes about 22 wineries in Piemonte, ranging from famous Barolo producers , such as Giuseppe Rinaldi and Elio Altare, to lesser-known, but equally quality-minded firms such as Monchiero Carbone and Deltetto, both located in the Roero district. She has done a remarkable amount of research for this book, with most of it being sit-down interviews with the current generation of women, who took the time to narrate their family’s history to Hoffman. One telling remark comes from Gaia Gaja, daughter of Angelo Gaja, one of Piemonte’s and the world’s most famous vintners. The younger Gaja tells Hoffman that there is not a competition between fathers and daughters, as there might be with fathers and sons. “It is about open love, sharing knowledge and passing it on to the next generation,” she remarks.

There are more than two hundred, full-color photos in the book, along with a few dozen vintage black and white images. The photos are excellent and how gracious of the author to take the space at the end of the book to credit the local photographers.

All in all, here is a book that was written by an outsider, an outsider in name only. After reading Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte, you would swear that Suzanne Hoffman is someone that has been living in Piemonte for years. In reality then, she has become an insider. All of us who love the wines of Piemonte should read this book, if only to understand that these singular wines are great not only because of decades of work in the vineyards, but also the determination of these people as they present wines that represent their traditions, their heritage and their anima – their soul.

Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte / USD $55 / Euro 50

For further information or to order, please send an email to Suzanne Hoffman at:

suzanne@winefamilies.com

PUBLISHED BY
tom hyland
I am a freelance wine writer and photographer specializing in the wines of Italy. I live in Chicago and recently completed my 65th trip to Italy. I have visited virtually every region in the country and am constantly amazed at the wonderful variety of wines produced from indigenous grapes (I am never amazed at the quality of the wines!). I have been in the wine business for 35 years, have been writing for 17 years and have been a professional photographer for the past eight years. I currently contribute to publications such as Decanter and wine-searcher.com. I am a freelance photographer for Cephas Picture Library in England and have had my photos published in the publications above plus several more. View all posts by tom hyland 

Look for Tom’s latest book out in August 2016:

Hyland, Tom. The Wines and Foods of Piemonte. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016

LABOR OF LOVE: ENCHANTING READERS EVERYWHERE!

So what has been happening with Labor of Love?
Short answer: A LOT – BOOK LAUNCH!

Mi dispiace! A great deal has been happening and I’ve been quite remiss in updating my blog for my loyal followers. I’m thrilled to say, it’s all been good and getting better for me and for Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte.

Kicking Off Second Printing with Kickstarter

In April 2016, we were wildly successful with our Kickstarter campaign to raise capital for a second printing of the “opera” dedicated to the wine families of Piemonte.

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From Padua with Love

That same month, the Italian shipment of books arrived at Cà del Baio in Treiso (Barbaresco) from Verona Libri’s bindery in Padua in preparation for the June 2nd world premiere of the book.

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Sneak Peek and Love in the Press

Then came a raid on the books stored at Cà del Baio when several Langhe Ladies seized the opportunity to give journalists at Nebbiolo Prima 2016 a sneak peek of Labor of Love. Journalists weren’t the only ones seeing Labor of Love for the first time. As you can see from the video of Barolo vintner Chiara Boschis presenting the book, the Langhe Ladies enjoyed their little public relations coup.

Girl power in Alba during Nebbiolo Prima
Girl power in Alba during Nebbiolo Prima

The word was out and soon the local press was telling everyone about the book and the American woman who wrote it.

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La Repubblica
La Repubblica, June 1, 2016, by Fabiola Palmeri.
“Rehearsal” Supper at Ristorante il Centro

The Cordero family provided me with a gastronomic retreat from the heat and the hectic pace of interviews over the three-year odyssey to research Labor of Love. It seemed fitting that their restaurant in the Roero town of Priocca d’Alba would be the venue for our gathering of out of town friends and family the night before the book launch at Cà del Baio, not unlike the rehearsal celebration the night before a wedding.

Since I was like a deer caught in the headlights and not focusing on photography or notes that night, I am grateful to Claudia Kiely for her photographs she shared with me and to Keith Edwards and his wife, Parlo, for being attentive guests who help record the evening’s food, wine, and images. Check out Keith’s lovely post on his blog, Mise en Abyme. 

Ristorante il Centro in the center of the Roero town of Priocca d'Alba.
Ristorante il Centro in the center of the Roero town of Priocca d’Alba.
Elide Cordero, chef and co-owner of Il Centro.
Elide Cordero, chef and co-owner of Il Centro.
Stairs to one of the most intriguing restaurant wine cellars in Roero.
Stairs to one of the most intriguing restaurant wine cellars in Roero for our aperitivo.
Il Centro wine cellar.
Il Centro wine cellar.
Marchesi di Grésy cellar master, Jeffrey Chilcott, sharing his vast knowledge of Piemonte and its wine and food with Rusty and Susan Richardson and Bruce Kiely.
Marchesi di Grésy cellar master, Jeffrey Chilcott, sharing his vast knowledge of Piemonte and its wine and food with Rusty and Susan Richardson and Bruce Kiely.
Smoked sturgeon with tarragon and anchovy sauce.
Smoked sturgeon with tarragon and anchovy sauce.
Veal leg with cooked under salt served with a dollop of Cavour sauce
Veal leg with cooked under salt served with a dollop of Cavour sauce
Lumache (snails)
Lumache (snails)
Not a snail person? No problem. There was a delicious quail dish as an option. I had snails!
Not a snail person? No problem. There was a delicious quail dish as an option. I had snails!
Ravioli stuffed with pork ribs
Ravioli stuffed with pork rib meat.
Oven roasted lamb shank
Oven roasted lamb shank
Mascarpone cream with coffee gelato
Mascarpone cream with coffee gelato

Of course, I couldn’t let the evening go by without presenting dear Elide with a copy of my book.

Giampiero, Elide, and Enrico Cordero with Suzanne after yet another gastronomic feast at il Centro.
Giampiero, Elide, and Enrico Cordero with Suzanne after yet another gastronomic feast at il Centro.
Launching “Labor of Love” into the World

Finally came the world premiere of Labor of Love at Cà del Baio in Treiso on June 2, 2016. Rain failed to dampen everyone’s spirits. In fact, the inclement weather necessitated a change in the seating arrangement to a “theatre in the round.” It was an intimate setting for an emotional presentation.

Members of 20 of the Labor of Love families, other wine producers, friends, dignitaries, and our guests from America, Israel, and Switzerland, including my editor Elatia Harris (whom I was meeting for the first time ever), gathered around, protected from the rain. Wine producer, historian, and author Maurizio Rosso of Cantina Gigi Rosso introduced the book in Italian. With her own wit and infectious laugh, my dear friend and Barolo vintner Chiara Boschis translated for the Anglophone guests in the audience.

I began by introducing Alberto di Grésy, proprietor of the highly respected Barbaresco winery Marchesi di Grésy whose words are the first of the book:

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Suzanne e altri
Suzanne Hoffman with Labor of Love photographer Pierangelo Vacchetto (center) and Alberto di Grésy of the Barbaresco winery Marchesi di Grésy (and that’s dear, sweet Aunt Angela Scavino speaking with Silvia Altare on the left).

Then, fighting the emotion that had been building for three years, I introduced each of the 22 families. I’m told there were no dry eyes in the audience.

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Teresa Vacchetto, Suzanne Hoffman, Pierangelo Vacchetto, and Maurizio Rosso of Cantina Gigi Rosso at the launch of Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte.
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Suzanne Hoffman (right) with my trusted translator, Barolo vintner Chiara Boschis, listening intently to Maurizio Rosso’s introduction at the launch of Labor of Love.
Signing vintner Giuliano Iuorio's book at Cà del Baio. What a thrill for me!
Signing vintner Giuliano Iuorio’s book at Cà del Baio. What a thrill for me!
Labor of Love at Castello di Monticello

Three days later on June 5th, at the Castello di Monticello in Roero, was the subject of an interesting panel discussion that focused on my motivation to write the book, why I chose these particular families, and, oddly enough, which wines from the region are my favorite. I’ll save that answer for another post! The Labor of Love photographic family trio of Pierangelo Vacchetto and two of his children Elisabetta and Eugenio, organized the event in the historic landmark.

Contessa Elisa Roero di Monticello graciously hosted us with Silvio Artusio Comba, mayor of Monticello, Giancarlo Montaldo, Carlo Passone, and my dear friend and translator for the event, Barolo vintner Chiara Boschis for the panel discussion about Labor of Love. 

ROERO EVENT

Castello di Monticello, ancestral home of the aristocratic Roero family.
Castello di Monticello, ancestral home of the aristocratic Roero family.

Once again, many of the wine families in Labor of Love attended to lend their support. Now all 22 had shown their enthusiastic support of the book at an event.

Contessa Elisa
(L-R) Silvio Artusio Comba, mayor of Monticello, Suzanne Hoffman, Contessa Elisa Roero di Monticello, and Labor of Love photographer Pierangelo Vacchetto.
Barolo vintner, dear friend, and excellent translator Chiara Boschis and Suzanne.
Barolo vintner, dear friend, and excellent translator Chiara Boschis and Suzanne.
(L-R) Bruce and Claudia Kiely, Suzanne and Dani Hoffman, Susan and Rusty Richardson.
(L-R) Bruce and Claudia Kiely, Suzanne and Dani Hoffman, Susan and Rusty Richardson.
Saying Good-Bye

Of course, I couldn’t say good-bye to the ladies of Labor of Love without our traditional feast together. This year, the ladies took Dani and me to the La Morra dining oasis Ristorante Bovio. 

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(Back Row: L-R) Maria Teresa Mascarello, Marina Macarino, Elisa Scavino, Daniela Rocca, Isabella Oddero, Francesca Vaira, Silvia Altare, and on the front row, Marta Rinaldi and Suzanne.
Labor of Love Comes to America

Soon it was time to head back to the United States to receive the shipment of 1,200 books from Verona Libri and to launch Labor of Love in the United States.

Almost there...
Almost there…
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Holding the baby!
Welcome to Colorado, Labor of Love!
Welcome to Colorado, Labor of Love!

I wasted no time in delivering books to the Bookworm of Edwards, the venue for the U.S. launch, and giving the very first book out of the U.S. shipment to Alisha and Giuseppe Bosco. Alisha has three photos credited in the book and she and Giuseppe have been incredibly supportive throughout my labor of love odyssey.

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Alisha and Giuseppe Bosco with Suzanne Hoffman (center) at Zino Ristorante in Edwards.
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Cafe and independent bookstore The Bookworm of Edwards – first delivery and venue of Labor of Love’s USA launch on July 7th, 2016.
Sending Labor of Love to Kickstarter backers!
Sending Labor of Love to Kickstarter backers!
Reviews!

Elisa Pesce who writes the delightful blog Uncorkventional attended the launch in Treiso. About three weeks later I discovered her beautiful post that gave me a chance to relive that emotional day when the wine families of Labor of Love experienced the book for the first time.

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Thank you, Elisa, for this lovely ending to your post:

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One of the biggest challenges for independent authors is getting their books on the radar of journalists to review it. Fortunately,   Giancarlo Montaldo witnessed firsthand the love the families of Labor of Love had for the book and he published my first newspaper review — a lovely, positive one — in the Gazzetta d’Alba.

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So who will be next to review my opera?

What’s Next? LAUNCHING IN AMERICA!

The Bookworm in Edwards, a vibrant independent bookstore and cafe in the Riverwalk complex along the Eagle River, frequently hosts author events. They are very welcoming and supportive of new authors, particularly those from Colorado. They graciously invited me to present Labor of Love for the first time in the United States on Thursday, July 7th.

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And more events to come in Denver, San Francisco, and beyond!

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Where can I find Labor of Love?

Labor of Love will be available at the Bookworm in Edwards, through many wine shops and restaurants, and in August, Amazon. To find out how you can obtain this groundbreaking book the Piemontese wine families have embraced, contact Suzanne Hoffman at suzanne@winefamilies.com.

Window of Zanoletti bookstore in Alba, Italy.
Window of Zanoletti bookstore in Alba, Italy.

APPROACHING KICKSTARTER SUCCESS!

Kickstarter has Six Days to Go!

Jennifer Martin who writes the always-informative Italian wine travel blog, VinoTravelsItaly.com, graciously posted an interview she recently conducted with me regarding my labor of love. We’re so close to crossing my Kickstarter campaign’s funding goal line and then some — and I am so grateful to my backers for their generous support – but pledges are still needed to change to 97% to 100%!

Click here to read my interview: Suzanne Speaks of her Labor of Love 
Girl power in Alba during Nebbiolo Prima
Girl power in Alba during Nebbiolo Prima

Culinary Musings from Silvia Altare

 

The glue that has held cultures together through time has been food, most importantly the family meal. The energetic dynamic in the kitchen as the food is prepared is matched only by the enjoyment of traditional dishes shared around the dining table. I’ve been blessed to be a guest around several family tables in Piemonte which is a quite an honor and evidence of acceptance. Those are epicurean memories I shall cherish forever.

Given the beauty of the simplicity and flavors of the cucina piemontese, I asked some of my wine families to share with me their favorite recipes for traditional dishes. Silvia Altare, one of Lucia and Elio Altare‘s two daughters, shared with me her recipe for one of the classics of cucina piemontese Vitello Tonnato. 

I don’t just love vitello tonnato because it’s such a delicious dish, but it reminds me of the cultural importance of gumbo in bayou country Lousiana where I was born and raised. Everyone has their own twist on the dish and the recipe becomes part of a family’s heritage as it’s passed from generation to generation.

Lucia Altare with her daughters Elena (left) and Silvia Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Lucia Altare with her daughters Elena (left) and Silvia
Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto

So here is Silvia’s recipe in her own words:

Silvia Altare’s Vitello Tonnato

I have learned cooking and from my mom and I love it!

Actually, both Elio and Lucia are good cooks. Lucia can set a wedding lunch for 30 people in 1 hour!

Here is the recipe of Vitello Tonnato, super quick and easy, everyone loves it. Even vitello tonnato sandwiches are a big deal here in my family, sometimes that’s what you get when you don’t have time to sit down for lunch!

MEAT

1 big chunk of ”girello di vitello”, which I think translates in English with veal roast beef, to be either roasted in the oven or boiled with water and vegetables (carrots, celery, and onions)

The time of cooking is always suggested by the local butcher, very important you want the meat to stay pink inside.

Let it rest until cold, so any extra juice or blood is eliminated. When cold and dry then you can slice it very thin, if possible with a slicer.

SAUCE

2 eggs (1 yolk and 1 full egg)
Pinch of salt
Sunflower oil

Put eggs and salt in a mixer glass, and start mixing with an immersion blender, start adding the sunflower oil very little at a time, and you will see your mixture texture magically turn from liquid to thick. Keep adding oil until the quantity of mayo you want is made. Finish with a couple teaspoons of lemon juice. It adds a little acidity and makes the mayo taste “lighter”

On the side chop:

A few salted capers
A few salted anchovies
A can of tuna in olive oil (Suzanne’s note – I use Genova wild caught yellowfin tuna!)

Add all these chopped ingredients to the mayo

TADAAAA! Take the veal slices, put the sauce on top and your vitello tonnato is done! Piece of cake!!!

Silvia’s Wine Pairing Recommendation – Elio Altare Barbera d’Alba

(Wine buying note: In Colorado, Giuliana Imports represents the Altare family and many other Piemontese wine families. And they also import fabulous artisanal olive oils that are available direct to consumers.)

Elio Altare with oldest daughter Silvia. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Elio Altare with oldest daughter Silvia.
Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto

Suzanne’s Note – Silvia didn’t have any photos of her dish to share in time for me to post, so here is one of Villa Tiboldi’s Vitello Tonnato.

Vitello Tonnato at Villa Tiboldi (Roero)
Vitello Tonnato at Villa Tiboldi (Roero)

Read more about the Elio Altare family of Barolo in my upcoming book Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte. 

Honoring Piemonte’s Mothers

They Labor with Love

As I was flipping through photographs from my book, Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte, I recalled how those beautiful mother-daughter relationships in Piemonte’s wine country motivated me during my labor of love. So I thought I’d share some photos from my files of wonderful mothers of Piemonte.

Cà del Baio (Barbaresco)
Giulio Grasso's mother, Fiorentina, and his late father, Ernesto, known affectionately as "Super Nonno."
Giulio Grasso’s mother, Fiorentina, and his late father, Ernesto, known affectionately as “Super Nonno.”
Luciana Grasso, destined to become mother of Paola, Valentina, and Federica, and nonna of Lidia and Anna, on her wedding day.
Luciana Grasso, destined to become mother of Paola, Valentina, and Federica, and nonna of Lidia and Anna, on her wedding day.
Paola Grasso, mother of Lidia and Anna Deltetto, with her proud papa Giulio looking on. Photo Credit - Karen Haeffner
Paola Grasso, mother of Lidia and Anna Deltetto, with her proud papa Giulio looking on. Photo Credit – Karen Haeffner
Deltetto (Roero)
Graziella Deltetto, mama of Carlo, Cristina, and Claudia, and nonna of Lidia (on her lap) and Anna.
Graziella Deltetto, mama of Carlo, Cristina, and Claudia, and nonna of Lidia (on her lap) and Anna.
Carlo Deltetto with his maternal nonna, Bibiana Brezzo.
Carlo Deltetto with his maternal nonna, Bibiana Brezzo.
Oddero (Barolo)
The Oddero sisters: Mariavittoria (left) mother of Isabella Boffa Oddero, and Mariacristina, mother of Pietro Viglino Oddero. Photo credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
The Oddero sisters: Mariavittoria (left) mother of Isabella Boffa Oddero and Giacomo Boffa,, and Mariacristina, mother of Pietro Viglino Oddero. Photo credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Maria Badellino Oddero, mother of Giacomo Oddero.
Maria Badellino Oddero, mother of Giacomo Oddero.
Carla Scanavino Oddero, mother of Mariavittoria and Mariacristina.
Carla Scanavino Oddero, mother of Mariavittoria and Mariacristina, and nonna of Isabella, Giacomo, and Pietro.
Albino Rocca (Barbaresco)
AR - 11 - Paola_DSC8134
Paola Rocca, mother of Simone and Daniele
Monica Rocca, mother of Viola and Francesco. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Monica Rocca, mother of Viola and Francesco. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Cantina Bartolo Mascarello (Barolo)
Franca Maccarello, mother of Maria Teresa. Photo credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Franca Maccarello, mother of Maria Teresa. Photo credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Cascina delle Rose (Barbaresco)
Giovanna Rizzolio and her sons Riccardo and Davide Sobrino. Photo credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Giovanna Rizzolio and her sons Riccardo and Davide Sobrino. Photo credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Cigliuti (Barbaresco)
Dina Cigliuti, mother of Claudia and Silvia. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Dina Cigliuti, mother of Claudia and Silvia. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Claudia Cigliuti, mother of of Giulia and Leone. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Claudia Cigliuti, mother of of Giulia and Leone. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Silvia Cigliuti, mother of Germano. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Silvia Cigliuti, mother of Germano. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Marchesi di Barolo – Family Abbona (Barolo)
Anna Abbona with daughter Valentina. Photo Credit - Cinzia Trenchi
Anna Abbona with daughter Valentina. Photo Credit – Cinzia Trenchi
Marenco Vini (Monferrato)
Teresa Benzi and Giuseppe Marenco on their wedding day. The couple would have three daughters - Michela, Doretta, and Patrizia.
Teresa Benzi and Giuseppe Marenco on their wedding day. The couple would have three daughters – Michela, Doretta, and Patrizia.
Michela Marenco, mother of Andrea and Eduardo Costa. Photo Credit - Eugenio Vacchetto
Michela Marenco, mother of Andrea and Eduardo Costa. Photo Credit – Eugenio Vacchetto
Patrizia Marenco, mother of Pietro Giraudi. Photo Credit - Eugenio Vacchetto
Patrizia Marenco, mother of Pietro Giraudi. Photo Credit – Eugenio Vacchetto
Cascina Castlet (Monferrato)
Mariuccia Borio with her late mother, Ermenegilda Gonella. Photo Credit - Franco Bello
Mariuccia Borio with her late mother, Ermenegilda Gonella. Photo Credit – Franco Bello
G. D. Vajra (Barolo)
Milena Vaira, mother of Giuseppe, Francesca, and Isidoro, and Giuseppe's wife, Sophie, mother of Lucia, Aldo, and another gift from God on the way. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Milena Vaira, mother of Giuseppe, Francesca, and Isidoro, and Giuseppe’s wife, Sophie, mother of Lucia, Aldo, and another gift from God on the way. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Marsaglia (Roero)
Marina Marsaglia, mother of Monica and Enrico. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Marina Marsaglia, mother of Monica and Enrico. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Giuseppe Rinaldi (Barolo)
Annalisa Rinaldi with daughters Carlotta and Marta and husband Giuseppe. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Annalisa Rinaldi with daughters Carlotta and Marta and husband Giuseppe. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Matteo Correggia (Roero)
Ornella Correggia and daughter Brigitta. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Ornella Correggia and daughter Brigitta. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Severina Correggio, mother of Matteo Correggia and nonna of Giovanni and Brigitta. Photo Credit - Carlo Avataneo
Severina Correggio, mother of Matteo Correggia and nonna of Giovanni and Brigitta. Photo Credit – Carlo Avataneo
Paolo Scavino (Barolo)
Anna Scavino with daughters Elisa and Enrica, and husband Enrico.
Anna Scavino with daughters Elisa and Enrica, and husband Enrico.
Giuseppina Scavino, mother of Enrico and Angela.
Giuseppina Scavino, mother of Enrico and Angela.
Enrica Scavino, mother of Giacomo Grimaldi. Photo Credit - Pierangelo Vacchetto
Enrica Scavino, mother of Giacomo Grimaldi. Photo Credit – Pierangelo Vacchetto
Punset (Barbaresco)
Marina Marcarino, mother of Pietro Celona. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Marina Marcarino, mother of Pietro Celona. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Monchiero Carbone (Roero)
Clotilde "Tilde" Raimondo, matriarch of the Monchiero family.
Clotilde “Tilde” Raimondo, matriarch of the Monchiero family.
Lucrezia Monchiero, mother of Lucia and Luigi. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Lucrezia Monchiero, mother of Lucia and Luigi. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Lucia Monchiero, mother of Francesco and Teresa, nonna of Lucia and Luigi, and her husband Marco. Photo Credit - Pierangelo Vacchetto
Lucia Monchiero, mother of Francesco and Teresa, nonna of Lucia and Luigi, and her husband Marco. Photo Credit – Pierangelo Vacchetto
Gaja (Barbaresco)
Clotilde Rey, gonna of Angelo Gaja.
Clotilde Rey, nonna of Angelo Gaja.
Lucia Gaja (left) and her children Gaia, Rossana, and Giovanni, and husband Angelo. Photo Credit - Andrea Wyner
Lucia Gaja (left) and her children Gaia, Rossana, and Giovanni, and husband Angelo. Photo Credit – Andrea Wyner
Livia Fontana (Barolo)
Livia Fontana, mother of Michele and Lorenzo, and nonna of Ettore. Photo Credit - Elisabetta Vacchetto
Livia Fontana, mother of Michele and Lorenzo, and nonna of Ettore. Photo Credit – Elisabetta Vacchetto
Falletti
Blessed vintner, Giulia Colbert Falletti, the last Marchesa of Barolo and godmother of modern Barolo.
Blessed vintner, Giulia Colbert Falletti, the last Marchesa of Barolo and godmother of modern Barolo.

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