Bricco delle Viole Dinner with Giuseppe Vaira
@ Fausto Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY, 8/18/2019

This Nebbiolo group (formed though the Vinous forum) put together a vertical of the flagship Barolo of the G.D. Vajra winery from the Bricco delle Viole vineyard. I got in touch with their winemaker Giuseppe Vaira and it turned out that he was available in New York City on Sunday, August 18th, and most of our group could make that date. We were pleased that their US rep Kevin Natoli was also able to join us. The Vajras view Kevin as a member of their family. He often does tasting of their wines in the USA.

For more background and information about the Vajra winery and the Vaira family see the links at the bottom of this page.

Click on any photo with a border for a larger view of that photo. Some larger photos contain more image as well as much higher resolution and are typically 3-4 MB.

Here is a photo of Giuseppe in the steep Bricco delle Viole vineyard taken by his brother Isi. You can see the town of Barolo in the upper left in this photo:

Fausto was opened in 2017 by restaurateur and beverage expert Joe Campanale and chef Erin Shambura. Erin was the chef at L'Artusi for six years. Joe was a partner and ran the beverage programs at a series of superb Manhattan restaurants: dell'anima, L'Artusi, Anfora, and a prticular favorite of our group, L'Apicio.

Working with the people at Fausto was a real pleasure. They set up a menu for our group that went beautifully with the wines. The food was superb and plentiful. The service was perfect. Perhaps the greatest compliment is that we only noticed the staff when we needed them. If you haven't been, go! One of the top Italian restaurants in the City.

Heading downstairs to the private dining room:

The menu:

Fausto co-owner Joe Campanale chats with Marc:
Brad and Suzanne taste the Champagne:
Kevin, Giuseppe, and Jon:


Giuseppe thanks us for organizing the dinner and speaks with passion about his family's winery:

Sparkling Rose

Flight One: 20th Century Bricco delle Viole
This flight and the N.S. della Neve were served with an antipasto consisting of three dishes:
Suppli (mozzarella rice balls in tomato sauce):
Pork Meatballs in a broccoli rabe pesto:
Panzanella (chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes):

Around the table:
Josh, Jamie, Brad, Suzanne, Marc, Ben:
Marc, Ben, Jon, Giuseppe, Kevin:
Ben, Jon, Giuseppe, Kevin:

Flight Two: 2004–2008 Bricco delle Viole
This flight served with three pasta dishes:
Whole Wheat Chitarra under Mixed Mushrooms, Parmesan, & Egg:
Garganelli under Veal Bolognese, Wild Arugula, & Piave Vecchio:
Orecchiette under Fennel Braised Pork, Wilted Greens, & Parmesan:

Flight Three: 2009–2011 Bricco delle Viole
This flight and the next one served with three main dishes:
Roast Chicken with Butter Beans, Tuscan Kale, Leek, & Chicken Sausage:
Roast Eggplant filled with Ricotta, Cherry Tomato, Garlic Confit, & Aged Balsamic:
Lamb Loin Chop with Garlic Puree, Swiss Chard, & Shallots:

Flight Four: 2012–2015 Bricco delle Viole

Bonus Barolo
This wine was an improptu gift from Fausto co-owner Joe Campanale. He knew that Giuseppe loves this old producer.
Lemon Ricotta Cake with Whipped Creme Fraiche:
Photo on the left from the Fausto website.


These terrific wines go from strength to strength. Still a terrific value in classic single-vineyard Barolo. Stock your cellar!

The winery's website says "Wines that do not need to talk out loud or flex their muscles. We ask them to touch the hearts of all." I think that is an accurate description of their flagship Barolo from Bricco delle Viole.

Happy people:

More on Vajra

The links below contain more background and information about the Vajra winery and the Vaira family.

The Vajra winery website.

In February of 2016, I had the good fortune to sit with Giuseppe and his brother Isidoro (Isi) at the Gala dinner of La Festa del Barolo. This link includes some background and some tasting notes on Vajra wines.

In July of 2016, I had the pleasure of visiting the Vajra winery and meeting the family. Here is my report on my visit there.

Two days after our dinner, Eric Guido hosted a visit by Giuseppe at Morrell where he is the wine director.
Here is his write-up, which is quite informative.

And here is a video of a terrific interview Eric did with Giuseppe during this visit:

My tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.


All original content © Ken Vastola