20 YEARS OF THE WORLD
ALBA WHITE TRUFFLE AUCTION®
LOTS UNDER THE HAMMER FOR 420,000 EURO
Grinzane Cavour, November 10th 2019 – The finest specimens of Alba White Truffle went under the hammer at the XX edition of the Alba White Truffle Auction®, paired with prestigious bottles of Barolo and Barbaresco presented in large format magnums in display once again of the tried-and-tested combination of this magnificent product of the earth and international solidarity.
Splendid lots of truffles were up for auction in each of the four venues – Grinzane Cavour, Hong Kong, Moscow and Singapore – culminating in a competition between all four at the end for the magnificent final lot.
The last two lots in the Auction also featured two giant Moscato Panettone weighing 10 and 20 kilograms baked by the historic Albertengo company in Torre San Giorgio (Cn).
THE PROCEEDS AND SOLIDARITY
The total proceeds of the 2019 edition of the World Alba White Truffle Auction amounted to 420,000 euro, one of the highest amounts raised in the event’s history.
The sensational final lot with an Alba White Truffle weighing 1,005 grams was secured by a Hong Kong businessman for the incredible sum of 120,000 euro following a palpitating bidding war between all four venues.
The 2019 Auction provided close contests and great excitement in a crescendo of expectation and passion, demonstrating once more its ability to achieve wonderful results in support of health and wellbeing.
The proceeds raised during the XX World Alba White Truffle Auction are to be donated to the non-profit New Alba Bra Hospital Foundation and other deserving local bodies; in Hong Kong to the “Mother's Choice” Institute which helps children without families and young mothers in difficulty; in Moscow to the state-of-the-art Dmitry Rogachev National Medical Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology; and in Singapore to World Food Future – Educate, Discern and Nourish, which promotes food education and consumption awareness.
Roberto Bodrito, President of the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour: “An Auction has just been held in four different venues with excellent results. From Grinzane Cavour to Hong Kong, and from Moscow to Singapore, this event warmed spirits and aroused enthusiasm and amazement, but above-all enabled the raising of substantial sums for charity, which is its main purpose.
We are grateful to all those who contributed to the success of the XX edition of an extraordinary event which continues to take the name of the area and its premium produce ever higher on the most attractive international markets for our tourism and products, while guaranteeing funds for organizations and people in need”.
Matteo Ascheri, President of the Consortium for the Protection of Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe and Dogliani Wines: “The success of another World Auction confirms the interest and passion there is internationally for Piedmont’s excellent products, such as the white truffle and our great wines Barolo and Barbaresco. Once again the region’s food and wine system shows itself to be a winner and unique”.
Fabio Carosso, Vice-president of the Piedmont Region: “This edition of the event lived up as ever to expectations, with a great attendance and substantial proceeds to be donated to charity initiatives. Yet again, the success of the Alba White Truffle Auction® was confirmed in 2019, along with the great promotion work delivered by the entire area”.
POINTS OF INTEREST ON THE 2019 AUCTION
Charming the public during the breaks in the contest for the third year in succession were the trifolau – truffle hunters in the local dialect – from the Upper Langa, Lower Langa, Roero and Monferrato, along with their trusty dogs, the cross-breeds known as tabui who are the real stars of the truffle hunt.
The competition in the hall in Grinzane saw chef Yong Zhang centre stage when he bid 12,000 euro for the third lot weighing 470 grams.
PLACES AND PERSONALITIES OF THE 2019 AUCTION
Generating great amusement in the hall at Grinzane Cavour was historic friend of the Auction, Enzo Iacchetti, from Channel 5’s satirical news show “Striscia la notizia”. And conducting proceedings and putting the lots of truffles and wines up for auction was Rai TV presenter Caterina Balivo, alongside food journalist Paolo Vizzari.
Attending in Grinzane were also representatives of the world of entertainment, with singer and long-standing member of the Pooh, Roby Facchinetti, while a touch of charm and beauty was brought to the proceedings by top model Carmen Kass, a fan of the area and of the products and lifestyle of the Langhe.
Highly appreciated by the public were the musical interludes – in association with the Alba Music Festival - of tenor Gian Luca Pasolini and Korean soprano Injeong Hwang, accompanied on the piano by Michela Verda in arias by Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi.
Numerous representatives of institutional and political authorities, law enforcement agencies and the business world were in attendance. Among others, Vice-president of the Piedmont Regional Council Fabio Carosso (who has a specific mandate for the Truffle), the Piedmont Region councillor responsible for Agriculture Marco Protopapa, the President of the Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo Bank Foundation Giandomenico Genta, and the President of the National Truffle Study Centre Antonio Degiacomi.
In Moscow – following the prestigious press conference held on Thursday November 7th at the Embassy in the presence of the Italian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Pasquale Terracciano, and the President of the Piedmont Region Alberto Cirio – on Sunday November 10th the President of the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourist Board, Luigi Barbero, was in Red Square, where a premium Alba White Truffle-based lunch was prepared by Chef Davide Corso of the Bosco Cafe in the Gum department store.
In Hong Kong, chef Umberto Bombana hosted the Auction once again in association with Mother's Choice and Maria Pranzo’s Arète Food&Wine, while acting as ambassadors for our great wines were the President and Director of the Consorzio Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani, Matteo Ascheri and Andrea Ferrero.
At Singapore’s National Gallery, the President of the Piedmont Region Alberto Cirio, the Italian Ambassador to Singapore Raffaele Langella and the Mayor of Grinzane Cavour Gianfranco Garau were present to see the great enthusiasm for the first edition of the Auction to be held in this extraordinary eastern metropolis and international financial centre, where palates were delighted by Michelin-starred Chef Beppe De Vito, owner of five restaurants in the city.
2019 TRUFFLE AMBASSADORS
It is now customary for the Alba White Truffle Auction® to present the special “Ambassador of the Alba White Truffle in the World” award to chefs who employ the prized hypogeous fungus with particularly great skill. Receiving it this year were: Massimiliano Alajmo whose renowned Padua family heads up a group dedicated to cuisine of the highest level ever since Le Calandre was opened by his father Erminio and awarded its first Michelin star in 1992 under his mother, chef Rita Chimetto. In 2002, Massimiliano became the youngest ever chef - at the age of just 28 - to receive three Michelin stars for the celebrated restaurant in Sarmeola di Rubano (Pd); and founder and executive chef of the Xinrongji group, Yong Zhang, who was born in the small southern China town of Linhai in the province of Zhejiang. With two restaurants in Shanghai - one with a single Michelin star and the other with two - as well as a one Michelin-star restaurant in Hong Kong, over the years the chef has specialized in outstanding menus pairing dishes with the Alba White Truffle.
During the event, a testimonial of gratitude was awarded to Tomaso Zanoletti, who - along with the organizational staff - contributed considerably to growing the Auction to today’s extraordinary results while presiding over the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour.
The World Alba White Truffle Auction®is organized by the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour, and the Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani, with the precious support of Regione Piemonte and Enit-Agenzia Nazionale Italiana del Turismo in association with Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero and Ente Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba.