Pushing the envelope in the Piedmont

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Marco Parusso is never quite content.

In the three decades since he took over his family's small, obscure estate in Monforte d'Alba, Parusso has built it into a noteworthy producer.  

Yet what really distinguishes Parusso are his unusual approach to winemaking, his restless curiosity and his daring experiments. He is constantly tweaking his methods to coax more from his Nebbiolo.

"Marco is a person who is never quiet. He is like a volcano," says Giacomo Conterno, the young winemaker at Aldo Conterno, Parusso's neighbor in Monforte. "We always need people who are hungry, and Marco is hungry. He always wants more from his wine."

"There is not one way I make wine," explains Parusso, now 52 and built like a bear. "Just one objective: to make wine that is fine and elegant with fruit and soft tannins."

From more than 60 acres of vines, Parusso now produces about 10,000 cases below the old family home, in the modern cellars he runs with his sister, Tiziana. His dry wines regularly include four Barolos, two Barberas, one Langhe Nebbiolo, a Dolcetto, two Sauvignon Blanc-based whites and a Nebbiolo-based rosé and classic-method sparkler. 

His unusual methods began in earnest in the mid-1990s, when he experimented with further ripening harvested grapes by leaving them in a ventilated room at ambient temperature for days prior to fermentation. 

"It was a technique used by the Romans....read the full blog at winespectator.com