Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top 5 winery recommendations in the Piedmont wine region

Earlier this year I shared with you my top 5 winery recommendations in the Tuscany wine region.  Today I'm sharing my 5 favorite winery visit to the Piedmont wine region.  My first visit to the Piedmont wine region in 2009 was fantastic and I can't wait to go back. Most I have written about already on my site if you have been following along. Let's get started!

Fratelli Revello La Morra Piedmont
Carlo and Paola

One of the days I decided to pull off the road at a winery I saw to do one of my last tastings of the day at Fratelli Revello. It was a busy time that I was there in the heart of the harvesting season, the first week of October. For more, here.....

Ascheri winery in Bra, Piedmont
Matteo Ascheri

I entered behind the gates that day located right in the city center and it opened up to this square which contained the Ascheri's operations. The owner, Matteo, pleasantly greeted me at the door and gave me a brief introduction of the Ascheri winery. For more, here....

Cantina Damilano Barolo Piedmont

The tasting room was very modern with multiple tables for tastings and walls lined with bottles on slanted shelves. I tasted their Nebbiolo d'Alba, Barbera d'Alba and three of their Barolos from different vineyards (Cannubi, Liste and their “Lecinquevigne” which comes from 5 different towns/vineyards). For more, here....

Carlo Giacosa Barbaresco Piedmont

One of my many great experiences exploring the Italian wine regions was a visit to Carlo Giacosa’s winery in Barbaresco in the Piedmont region, which is in the northwestern part. It was a random stop that day, but Carlo Giacosa himself couldn’t have been more welcoming. He invited me to sit down while he shared his wines and homemade prosciutto served by his hospitable wife, Carla and his daughter, Maria Grazia, now running the winery along with her father.

They grow Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, typical of this region, from 5 hectacres of land. For the first time ever they introduced their first white, Sara, named after the youngest Giacosa member of the family, in March 2014 from the Arneis grape with the Langhe DOC designation.

For a feature of one of Carlo Giacosa's Barbarescos I took home with me with a typical Piedmont recipe read more.

Azienda Agricola Paitin Neive
The Paitin winery has a rich history of producing wines in
 Barbaresco since 1796 when Benedetto Elia first purchased the estate. More land was acquired through the years as vines were also replanted. In 1893 his grandson,Giuseppe, rebuilt the wine cellar and in this year is when they starting producing their Sori Paitin Barbaresco. I'm still storing my Sori Paitin Barbaresco made from 40 year old vines and look forward to sharing that with you eventually. Today Second Pasquero Elia, whom took the winery over in 1965, along with his sons Giovanni and Silvano are producing the wines at Paitin on about 42 acres (17 hectacres) of land. I met Giovanni upon my arrival and he provided me with a tour and sampling of the wines. It was very neat to see wines at that moment being packaged that were actually being sent to my hometown of Boston. I'll be covering this winery more in depth in upcoming articles so stay tuned.

Giovanni Pasquero Elia Paitin winery
Giovanni Pasquero Elia of Paitin

If you venture to the Piedmont wine region you may want to check out one or more of these vineyards and let me know what you think. You will not be disappointed. If you have been to others that you loved I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, September 26, 2014

5 generations of tradition in Barolo winemaking w/Agricola Giacomo Fenocchio

As many of you know that follow my blogs I love the Piedmont wine region not only for its wine, but its food, people and the overall beauty of the land.  I had sampled some pleasurable wines from this region last week meeting the export manager that shared with me a variety of wines from Azienda Agricola Giacomo Fenocchio.  
Giacomo Fenocchio vineyards in Piedmont
Vineyards of Fenocchio 
The Fenocchio estate was founded by the patriarch of the family, Giovanni Fenocchio, in 1864.  There have been five generations worth of winemaking within this family still carried on to this day by Giacomos' sons, Claudio, Albino and Alberto. 

Claudio Fenocchio wines in Barolo, Piedmont
Claudio Fenocciho
It wasn't until the 1960's when the family began exporting their wines and today are exporting over 80% of their wines.  Prior to World War II all the wines were consumed locally.  This presence abroad is what has driven folks to explore this winery as I did and appreciate yet another family that has such rich culture and traditions and whom highly respect the land on which they live and work. 

The Fenocchio family believes in continuing the traditions of what Barolo is known for and doesn't believe in altering much the traditional ways of making these wines like some of the modern style winemakers.  They balance their yields and try to produce the wine as naturally as they can with natural yeasts.

2009 Fenocchio Barolo BussiaI tasted the 2009 Fenocchio Barolo Bussia.  This Barolo comes from the area of production, Monforte d'Alba, but the specific cru named Bussia.  The Fenocchio family aged this barolo for 6 months in stainless steel followed by 30 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and finished with a year in the bottle.  This wine is 100% nebbiolo, which is required by the Barolo DOCG law.  It comes from 30 year aged vines with south to south-west facing slopes. It had rich black cherry with hints of licorice.  Nice structured tannins.  I compared this wine to their 2009 Fenocchio Barolo Villero, but I enjoyed the complexity and depth of the wine much more with the 2009 Fenocciho Barolo Bussia.  

This wine has received a number of awards including 93 points from the Wine Enthusiast and the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri.
Wine cellars of Azienda Agricola Fenocchio Piedmont
Barolo is one of the best wines in all of Italy and is a wonderful wine to pair with aged cheese and meats.  It's a very powerful, complex wine and usually is on the pricier end.  Definitely a wine to splurge on and with the holidays it's the perfect time of year to celebrate.  Although, when I open a bottle like this it becomes its own celebration.  When you think of the history and the process this wine goes through it's well worth the investment. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bostoniano feature of PSP Imports & Tenuta Santo Pietro

Growing up in Italy and having also lived in the United States, Nicola Savignano and his brother Giuseppe Savignano both had the opportunity to live the dream of many by buying real estate in Tuscany on a vineyard and in addition making wine. Nicola and Giuseppe's parents came to Boston in the mid to late 70's. Their dad was an importer and distributor of Italian foods into the states, including the popular brand Barilla. Around the year of 1987, the Savignano family after having spent 11 years in Boston, returned to Italy where the sons including their younger sister all went to college and grad school as well as the military service.

Nicola Savignano PSP Imports

In 1996 they moved back to Boston where they were involved in separate business ventures for about 10 years. At the same time that Nicola had left his company he was working for at the time that had been bought out and relocated, Giuseppe was getting out of his ownership of a restaurant and wine bar that he owned in Rome. This is when they had the opportunity to purchase Tenuta Santo Pietro.

Giuseppe Savignano Tenuta Santo Pietro

They had known of the land where Tenuta Santo Pietro was situated from their interest in buying and developing old ruins that they could renovate and build as vacation homes. They were finding beautiful farms that were not being utilized well and were growing grapes in bulk and selling off to cooperatives to make peasant wines. These were the wines where you would stop at the side of the road with big jugs and fill up with wine and consume them rather immediately.

Tenuta Santo Pietro Pienza

One estate was of particular interest to them that had been poorly taken care of with inefficient vine growth. The beauty of the building and views were completely overgrown and the view of the Tuscan town Pienza was completely obstructed. It took close to two years of the Italian bureaucratic system and obtaining permits along with renovations to get the business going. After their purchase they went through a lot of transformation where vines were replanted and they cut back on yields to be able to start to produce quality grapes. During renovations they uncovered one of the walls where tons of ivy had been growing and a plaque was discovered with the name Tenuta Santo Pietro and so the estate was named.

The inn at Tenuta Santo Pietro was opened in 2009.  They started making small quantities of wine with the 1st vintages in 2007 including their Chianti, Pio, and the “super tuscan”, Viper.  These vintages were first brought over to the Boston area by Nicola at the end of 2010 to see how the market would receive them.  The next vintage was in 2009 since they skipped a year to cut back on yields.  This vintage was kept in Italy since they still weren’t producing a whole lot.  The restaurant on-site was opened in 2011 and that was the first year for their first white, vermentino.  In 2013 the vermentino was introduced to the Boston area as well as well as the international blend, Perceptum.  

Tenuta Santo Pietro

From that point forward a portfolio was assembled of 20 wines from Tenuta Santo Pietra along with 3 other small to medium-sized family owned wineries from the Tuscany and Abruzzo region including I Lauri, Fabrizio Dionisio and Antico Colle.  PSP has expanded throughout MA and NH and is in discussions with distributing to other states as well including TX, MN and ME.  By the end of September, PSP Imports will have doubled their portfolio in size expanding to other regions including Piedmont, Veneto, Sicily and a wider range within Tuscany.  The company will consist of a little over 50 labels from 11 wineries.  Future discussions include doubling in size again with wines from other winemaking regions in France, Spain, South American and possibly some wines from the US. 

Nicola and Giuseppe’s strong passion behind building the PSP Imports brand and portfolio has driven the company to what it is today with many opportunities ahead.  The mission is to not only sell wine, but build relationships with their customers and create a personal experience and go the extra step with a smile.

PSP Imports Boston wine importing

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pecorino? I thought we were talking about wine.

Now I know today's blog may raise some eyebrows when I say pecorino. You're instantly thinking of the cheese known oh so well to the Tuscany and Sardinia regions in Italy. Percorino Romano and Pecorino Toscana are cheeses made up of sheep's milk. I have fond memories of visiting a local deli in the town of Pienza in Tuscany and buying a small block of cheese to nimble on between vineyards along with a fresh pecorino and prosciutto sandwich enjoyed on the wall on the outskirt of the city center viewing the Tuscan countryside. It's definitely one of my favorite cheeses produced in Italy. When you have the opportunity to buy it from the source fresh it's oh so good! Although today I'm not talking food, I'm talking wine. Pecorino produces white wine native to the regions of Abruzzo and Marche, but is also found in Umbria and Lazio.

Pecorino cheese

Pienza, Tuscany
Not a bad view while enjoying lunch ~ Pienza
Last week I sampled the 2013 Valori Pecorino Bianco DOC at the Masciarelli grand portfolio tasting that I spoke about the other day. Valori is one of the brands that fall under the Masciarelli Wine Company's portfolio. The owner of the Azienda Agricola Valori winery, Luigi Valori, has been producing wines in the Abruzzo region at his estate since 1996. His vineyard is located in the northern province of Abruzzo, Teramo, which is situated on the hills of Sant'Omero and Controguerra. His vineyards consist of about 64 acres (26 hectacres) of vines that are 40+ years old. With the vicinity to the sea and the Gran Sasso mountains, along with vineyards about 160-300 meters above sea level with exposure to the south are the influences that characterize the wines produced at the Valori winery. 

Luigi Valori in Abruzzo
Luigi Valori

2013 Valori PecorinoThe 2013 Valori Pecorino Bianco on the nose providing a lot of citrus and minerality that carried through to the palate. It had mouthwatering, zesty acidity with a nice crispness to the wine. Dare I say this wine goes well with Pecorino cheese ; ) I recommend seeking out both the pecorino cheese and pecorino wine on your next visit to your local wine shop and tell me what you think.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The revivial of susumaniello

I love discovering new grapes and rare ones at that! This week I had the honor of attending the Masciarelli Wine Company's grand portfolio tasting at the Boston Harbor Hotel right on the water. A beautiful event and a great showcase of Italian wines from many regions of Italy. I'll be sharing a variety of wines and grapes with you over the next week or two, but today we're going to start with an indigenous grape to the area of Puglia that was almost extinct, but it's being brought back and largely due to the efforts of Tenute Rubino.
Brindisi Italy
Brindisi in Puglia

What is Susumaniello?
If I said the word susumaniello to you how many people would know what that means? It's actually the name of a grape indigenous to the area of Brindisi in Salento, Puglia. Puglia is a region located on the southern heel of the boot.  Ivan, the Export Manager, explained to me that “susu” means go and “maniello” meaning donkey. Go donkey! Being dialect I wasn't familiar with what either of those words meant. That's what I find so interesting in Italy how people from different regions have a hard time understanding one another. Donkeys are obviously used to carry lots of weight and with this grape being a very productive wine in it's youth the vines must carry the burden of holding these abundance of grapes on the vine.

Susumaniello is a very small blackish grape with thick skin that produces red and rose wines. A lot of times it's used as a blending grape, but the wine I sampled was 100% susumaniello, which I always appreciate more being able to explore its true characteristics.

Tenute Rubino Oltreme SusumanielloWine tasting of Susumaniello
I sampled the 2012 Tenute Rubino Oltreme Susumaniello from Salento. This wine is aged in stainless steel only. This wine was balanced with soft tannins and on the nose and palette blueberries stood out to me the most along with some plum. Tenute Rubino originally started with 94 acres (38 hectares) of vineyards planted with this grape and now currently have 47 acres (19 hectares) through its revival process.

Pairings with Susumaniello
Tenute Rubino recommends pairing this with “savory dishes such as stuffed aubergines and peppers, orecchiette with tomato sauce, risotto with porcini mushrooms. It pairs well with cold cuts, semi-cured cheeses and grilled meats.”

I'm all about supporting anything going extinct whether it's animals (yes I've adopted elephants and rhinos after my African safari) or wine. Get out there and find yourself a susumaniello and support ancient history!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wine tasting of the Lakes Region New Hampshire at Hermit Woods

Hermit Woods Meredith, New HampshireTaking a break from Italy for a day to feature a winery from my home area.  I've been fortunate to have spent most of my life in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, specifically Lake Winnipesaukee, since I was born.  My parents have always owned a home there and we traveled there every weekend from when I was a baby. Till this day I still frequent this area often year round as its beautiful for all its seasons in so many ways. 

In recent years I started discovering the wineries of New Hampshire.  Earlier this year in February I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the new winery that was opening nearby on Main Street in Meredith, Hermit Woods, prior to their grand opening.  Their original winery began in 2011 in Sanbornton, NH as a partnership between Bob Manley, Ken Hardcastle and Chuck Lawrence.  Due to the growth of the winery they have relocated to this wonderful establishment in downtown Meredith, a great edition to the community. 

Hermit Woods winery New Hampshire

Hermit Woods creates a unique spin on wines by producing drier style wines with fruits like elderberry, kiwi, apples, blueberries and rosehips.  I must say I was hesitant at first, as I always am, at going to wineries that are producing “wine” out of fruit.  I have sampled some in the past and what they are producing is hard for me to call wine.  I love when I am proven wrong and can open my eyes to wineries that are doing something well and Hermit Woods is that place for these fruit based wines.

Hermit Woods Lakes Region wineryHermit Woods wine tastings
I met with Bob and Ken on both of my visits at the pre-opening as well as my tasting this past weekend.  They have a beautiful tasting room with wine barrels displayed overhead upon your entrance.  There is also an outside tasting area on the deck that is seasonal.  The actual production facilities are located underneath the tasting room where the wine is stored in temperature controlled rooms along with 550 gallon tanks.  This expansion and relocation to Meredith has allowed them to increase their production.  In their old establishment they produced about 1,000 cases annually and now in their new facility they are producing about 2,000 cases with the hope of expanding to 4,000 cases soon.
Oglethorpe Meredith at Hermit Woods

Ken, Hermit Wood's winemaker, has been making wine since 1996.  He has a passion for experimenting with fruits and other elements like oak and yeasts for the future tailoring of wines that they will produce.  They use fruits and 100% pure honey from NH, ME, VT and PA.

Wine tasting at Hermit Woods Meredith
My recent tasting I sampled wines made from kiwi, apples, mead, blueberries and peaches.  My favorite wines from the tasting were the 2013 three-honey wine, 2013 heirloom crabapple wine and the 2013 deep blue.

•                     2013 Kiwi
•                     2013 Harvest Apple Wine
•                     2013 Three-Honey Wine
•                     2013 Petite Blueberries
•                     2013 Heirloom Crabapple Wine
•                     2013 Chuck's Peach Folly
•                     2013 Deep Blue

fruit wines of Hermit Woods
The Three-Honey wine had an aromatic nose along with a silky texture and elegance to it on the palate with a light touch of honey. This wine is made from three unfiltered white honeys, also known as spring honey.  The wine is produced solely on honey, water and yeast.  It won a gold medal at the top mead competition, Mazer Cup, in Boulder, CO. 

The second wine I enjoyed was the 2013 Heirloom Crabapple wine.  It's made from the dolgo apple that in the 1800's was originally used in making cider.  This started as an experiment as they first tried these apples from Bob’s yard.  Due to the feedback and demand for this wine it has grown to be a favorite among tasters.  This wine is made of  95% crabapple and 5% blueberries.  I enjoyed the crisp and tartness of this wine.  It was like biting into an apple and the finish was enjoyable as it lingered.

Lastly, the 2013 Deep Blue is made 100% from blueberries only.  The blueberries are grade A tiny blueberries brought in from Downeast Maine.  It takes about 1 pound of blueberries to make a 375 ml bottle of this wine.  There was a beautiful lusciousness of this wine.  It was like liquid blueberry pie in a bottle.  I'd love to know how this would taste over pancakes instead of syrup.    

The Lakes Region has a lot to offer and making a stop at Hermit Woods is well worth the visit.  Grab a bottle for a picnic, a gift or just because.  A great upcoming event is the Barrel Tasting Weekend October 4th and 5th from 11am to 5pm at a number of the wineries in the Lakes Region.  Don't miss it!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Piedmont Pleasures: Carlo Giacosa's Barbaresco & Porcini Risotto

Welcome to our 4th Wine Pairing Weekend event. I was very excited when this month's theme was focused on regional food and wine pairings. Being a lover of Italian wine and having traveled throughout Italy, many regions came to mind, but a region I love for both their food and wine combined is Piedmont. Piedmont is located in northwestern Italy bordering Switzerland and France. I have written some articles of this region that you can enjoy this weekend. You must explore this regions wine and food and today we'll get you started!

I partnered with Elisa from Milk, Honey & Rum, which is a website dedicated to the culinary delights of the Piedmont region. Her website is great as you can search for recipes depending on seasons, types of food, different courses or even dietary restrictions. Elisa, being from Turin and having lived in Piedmont throughout her life, loves to share her fond memories of food and how it contributes to the lives of the Piedmont residents and those that enjoy the savory goodness from this region. Today I'll feature one of the recipes from Elisa's site. Another site whom I've enjoyed from the Piedmont region is Turin Epicurean. They share the local culture, food and wine of the region.

The fall is a wonderful time to be in Italy, especially Piedmont. Majority of the time I have traveled over to Italy has been in the fall. When I visited Piedmont last in 2009 it was also in October. Food festivals are in abundance in Piedmont with some of their prized cuisine including truffles and mushrooms.

Being a fan of mushrooms I couldn't bypass the recipe that Elisa shares on her site: a porcini mushroom risotto. Being in Italy this is a perfect time of year for tracking down porcinis. I remember visiting local folks that had husbands out hunting down truffles or maybe got lucky enough to find some porcinis to bring home for dinner. I wish I could walk out into my back yard or the local woods and find these specialities! You can view Elisa's full recipe and details to try on your own.

I followed Elisa's recipe, minus having the fresh porcini mushrooms, so I substituted them for the dried porcini mushrooms that I soaked in wine, trebbiano di montepulciano to be exact, while I was preparing the risotto. My addition to the end of the recipe was a 24 month aged parmesan cheese that I shaved on the top that I must say was quite delicious. I topped it off and opened my special 25 year aged DOP traditional balsamic vinegar that I purchased from Acetaia di Giorgio in Modena last October. Opening the bottle and smelling the balsamic again brought back my visit there and to my wonderful tasting. All I added were a few drops on the top of the risotto as the richness and density of the balsamic will make your taste buds go wild. 
Acetaia di Giorgio Traditional Balsamic Vinegarporcini mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms have a very distinct taste and earthiness along with a pungent smell. While I was cooking my meal I kept smelling the wonderful aromas of the porcinis soaking in the glass. For this food and wine pairing I chose a red wine that itself lends its earthiness and with porcini mushrooms being a meatier type of mushroom I felt this was a good option. One of my most memorable winery visits in Italy was to Carlo Giacosa's winery in Barbaresco so I chose to open his 2005 Montefico Barbaresco to pair with this meal. It's very hard for me to part with my treasures I bring back from Italy, but this being a special occasion and meal it was worth it! That just means I have to get back to Italy to replace any items I used of course. 
piedmont food: porcini risotto with balsamic and parmesan

Even after not finishing the bottle that night the wine was still in tact the next day with just as good structure. The color of the wine had an elegant tinge of orange around the edges. On the palate was full body, high acidity and well-integrated tannins. I picked up some candied strawberries with a hint of cherry and a little bit of spice. The lengthy finish was enjoyable to savor every taste and bite.
2005 Carlo Giacosa Montefico Barbaresco

Wine Spectator's review

“Aromas of crushed strawberry, with a hint of cherry, follow through to a full body, with a sudden flash of very ripe fruit and a long, caressing finish. Balanced and fruity. Best after 2011. 650 cases made. -JS
Score: 92. —James Suckling, September 30, 2008.”
Piedmont Food & Wine
Cin Cin!

Make this meal and enjoy a beautiful bottle of wine from this region and you'll feel that you have a piece of Italy, specifically Piedmont, at home!

Be sure to check out these great pairing from my fellow #winePW 4 bloggers!

Culinary Adventures with Camilla is posting "Chuletas de Cordero + Tempranillo"
Grape Experiences is pairing "Avantis Estate Malagousia 2013 and Greek Shrimp"
Curious Cuisiniere will share "Wisconsin Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Door County Winery's Peninsula Red"
foodwineclick is sharing "Minnesota Wine at the Midwestern Table"
Pull That Cork will be sharing "winePW 4: Sicily"
Confessions of a Culinary Diva will blog about "New Mexico: Burgers, Bubbles and Beer"
Rockin Red Blog will share about "A Rustic Meal in Valpolicella"
Cooking Chat is blogging about "A Paso Pairing: Grilled Tuna with Halter Ranch Syrah"

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you're reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme "Regional Food & Wine Pairings" on Saturday, September 13, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. Questions for the chat are posted here on the #winePW site. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later! Stay tuned for the October Wine Pairing Weekend, which will focus on "Fall Fruits and Wine Pairings" on Saturday, October 11. ᐧ

Friday, September 5, 2014

Producers in Italy using cement in winemaking

I wanted to include some examples of wineries in my post last week on the use of cement in winemaking in Italy, but Italians are very hard at work harvesting this time of year or getting ready for the harvest and were delaying in providing some information.  Today, I have two examples of producers that are using cement in their winemaking, Poliziano and Fabrizio Dionisio.

Earlier this summer I wrote my top 5 winery recommendations in Tuscany for Robert Dwyer of the Wellesley Wine Press with Poliziano being one of the features of the article.  David, the export manager of Poliziano, provided me with information as to why there is the use of cement at Poliziano.  Cement is an Italian technique used in different years.  The best quality and fundamentals of this technique include:
  • constant temperature control
  • good percentage of gas exchange
  • permeability
  • neutral organoleptics
cement storage tanks for winemaking at Poliziano
Cement tanks of Poliziano
Thermal inertia or constant thermal control facilitate the post-processing of alcoholic fermentation.  The must isn't subject to thermal stress in cement, therefore, it can mature and deposit in natural ways the dregs. 

In regards to the gas exchange and permeability, with the cement being porous it permeates a majority exchange of oxygen in respect to stainless steel, which is useful for the life of the yeast.

The neutral organoleptics is given to the fact that the cement is a lot more easier to clean in comparison to antique barrels.  This reduces a lot of the risk of unwelcome bacteria during fermentation. 

In a previous blog on the wines from Fabrizio Dionisio in Cortona, Tuscany I discussed that they use cement vats in producing their Syrah named “Il Castagnino”.  Their cement vats are glass lined.  Il Castagnino was produced to experiment with the Syrah grape and showcase Syrah in different styles in comparison to their flagship wine, Il Castagno, that has won a number of awards.  The Castagnino itself has also won awards receiving a 91/100 from James Suckling and 87/100 from Wine Enthusiast.  

Fabrizio Dionisio uses cement to produce a wine that is young and that exalts freshness and acidity where the smells and tastes aren’t masked by the aging in wood.  The Il Castagnino is always released the year following the vintage.  For example, the 2014 that they are harvesting now will be released in April 2015.  After the vinification in stainless steel, they leave it in cement for some months for the final assembly of the wine and to give it stability.  On a recent visit the partners of my company visited Fabrizio Dionisio and provided some great pictures of the cement vats to demonstrate what the wines are aged in. 
cement vats at Fabrizio Dionisio
Cement vat at Fabrizio Dionisio
What wineries have you been to or tasted at that used cement?

Visit wineries throughout Italy with this detailed map.