Mon 28 Feb 2011
Last year I was lucky enough to enjoy a sneak preview of the new Barolo wine museum. Recently I visited it again, after the official opening, and I was really impressed.
The visitor is initially taken to the third floor of the castle and the visit is structured like a descent into the depths of wine culture: the atmospheric concept of venturing into the myths and mysteries of Bacchus’ nectar is matched by the physical sensation of going down into the heart of the Falletti castle, as the route descends from the third floor to the basement.
But the museum is not focused on the history and details of making Barolo. It seems like the main goal is to get visitors involved and engaged, and less to inform them. There is little factual information here and visitors looking to get an in-depth knowledge of winemaking are likely to be disappointed.
The main idea behind this wine museum is that nowadays wine tourists want more from their wine: in their search for high quality, they are interested in wine history, learning about production techniques, and understanding the characteristics of the area in question.
Music accompanies visitors as they walk through 25 rooms of the museum, from Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to modern songs celebrating wine to which a special room is dedicated.
In another room, with leather club chairs, velvet curtains and movie posters on the walls, clips are running of films inspired by wine, such as “Sideways”, “Blood and Wine” and “A Good Year”.
At the end of the journey, down in the basement, there is a wine shop which displays rows of old dusty bottles and where visitors can finally taste barolo’s warm flavor and buy some of the best labels, from Vietti to Bruno Giacosa, from Sandrone to Gaja to Giacomo Conterno.