Dalla Terra: A Guide to the Best of Italy

Brian Larky, Dalla Terra’s chairman and founder, is a pilot, deep powder skier, white water guide, and dive master. He is also a UC Davis trained winemaker who after five years at Ca’ del Bosco in Lombardy returned to the US to become a winery agent. In 1990 he started Dalla Terra (meaning from the earth) under a business model called Winery Direct, which foregoes the importer and sells directly to the distributers. None of this would matter if all eighteen producers in Larky’s portfolio of family-owned wineries weren’t superb representatives of the styles and traditions of their respective regions. But when you look at his list—Tenute Marchesi di Gresy in Barbaresco, Alois Lageder in Alto Adige, Casanova di Neri in Montalcino, Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico, La Valentina near Pescara, Masseria Li Veli in Puglia, to name a few—you realize that Dalla Terra is all about delivering the highest quality wine at the best value.

A standout in the Dalla Terra portfolio is the Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco. Founded in 1873, Vietti is one of the oldest family owned estates in Barolo. Its winery, which is built into the hillside of Castiglione Falletto, contains dusty bottles originally intended to be rations for the commanders of Napoleon’s forces. While Vietti is famous for its single vineyard Barolo bottlings, their grand cru Nebbiolo can be sampled for a relative song with the Nebbiolo Perbacco, an entry-level wine made from a blend of their grand crus. “Perbacco,” fittingly, is an old-Italian expression for “Wow!”