Sunday, November 11th 2018
LOTS UNDER THE HAMMER FOR 393,900 EURO
Grinzane Cavour, November 11th 2018 – The finest specimens of Alba White Truffle went under the hammer at the XIX edition of the Alba White Truffle Auction, featuring once again the tried-and-tested combination of this magnificent product of the earth and international solidarity.
Marvellous lots of prized Tuber magnatum Pico were bid for paired with prestigious magnums of Barolo and Barbaresco wine.
Contesting first three lots each were the public attending in Grinzane Cavour - in the castle located amidst a Unesco heritage site where the regional Enoteca which bears its name is based – and in Hong Kong, once more at the “8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana” restaurant of three-star chef Umberto Bombana, who for many years has been at the forefront of Italian haute cuisine in the Asian metropolis, as well as a fervent supporter of the Auction and its goals.
At the same time, a charity event linked to the premium produce and white truffle of Basilicata was taking place in the 2019 European Capital of Culture, Matera.
The final and most valuable lot was contended for live by satellite between Grinzane Cavour, Hong Kong and Matera.
THE PROCEEDS AND SOLIDARITY
The total proceeds of the 2018 edition of the World Alba White Truffle Auction amounted to 393,900 euro.
The final lot, a splendid specimen weighing 880 grams, was acquired by a young Hong Kong businessman for the considerable sum of 85,000 euro, following a “duel of honour” live with the Langhe and Basilicata.
The 2018 Auction proved to be a crescendo of excitement accompanied by the sound of the auctioneers’ invitations to raise the bidding in the room, producing funding for initiatives aimed at improving people’s health and wellbeing.
The proceeds raised in Grinzane Cavour are being donated in part to the New Alba Bra Hospital Non-profit Foundation, and partly to others yet to be identified.
Benefiting in Hong Kong will once more be the “Mother's Choice” Institute, which helps children without families and young mothers in difficulty.
The funds resulting from the auction in Matera will be allocated to the “Con Cuore Impavido” (Braveheart) association which works on behalf of Motor Neurone disease sufferers and their families, and to the non-profit Italian Federation of Chefs which mobilizes in the event of emergencies.
Tomaso Zanoletti, President of the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour: “The favourable year for the fruiting of truffles made it possible to present specimens of exceptional beauty and quality, which were highly appreciated by the competing publics. Once again Hong Kong showed its passion for this marvellous product of our land, as well as its sensitivity in contributing major resources to charity, as did the guests in Grinzane and Matera too. A warm thank you must go to all those who have made it possible once more to do good through the Alba White Truffle”.
Matteo Ascheri, President of the Consortium for the Safeguarding of Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe and Dogliani Wines: “This strategic alliance between the great wines of the Langhe - Barolo and Barbaresco - and the Alba White Truffle is capable of speaking an international language and being ambassadors of our Unesco hills throughout the world. On eastern markets, in particular, the culture and passion for our wines and cuisine is growing, and as a result demand and exports are increasing too”.
POINTS OF INTEREST ON THE 2018 AUCTION
Winning over the public during breaks in the hall in Grinzane were the trifolau – truffle-hunters in the local dialect – who accompanied their trusty dogs, the cross-breeds known as tabui who are the real stars of the truffle hunt.
Groups were present from the various local areas: the Upper Langa, Lower Langa, Roero and Monferrato.
Taking the limelight in Grinzane as well were the Chinese: a group of businessmen from the Far East who had come especially to take part in the Auction. The most spectacular lot was knocked down to Zhang Yong, the owner of a chain of more than thirty top restaurants.
PLACES AND PERSONALITIES OF THE 2018 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 star of television cooking shows, journalist Benedetta Parodi. Together, these three outstanding celebrities produced moments of amiable, enjoyable entertainment.
In attendance were numerous representatives of institutional and political authorities, law enforcement agencies and the business world. Among others, member of the Regional Council Alberto Valmaggia (responsible for the Development of the Mountains, Forests and Truffles), President of the Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo Bank Foundation Giandomenico Genta, President of the National Truffle Study Centre Antonio Degiacomi, and Director of IPLA (Institute for Forestry and the Environment) Igor Boni.
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.
Present in Matera was the Director of the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourist Board, Mauro Carbone, along with Luca Braia, the Basilicata councillor responsible for Agricultural and Forestry Policy, and Paolo Verri, the Managing Director of the Matera 2019 Foundation, who presented the extraordinary project promoting the city and its surrounding area which earned it recognition as “2019 European Capital of Culture”.
2018 TRUFFLE AMBASSADOR
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 brothers Enrico and Roberto Cerea, owners of the Cerea Group created by the family of the same name, which comprises top level establishments including the three Michelin star “Da Vittorio” restaurant in Brusaporto and an international standard catering service which is renowned in may countries abroad. The award was collected by the wives of the two chefs, Giustina Carminati and Veronica Teodori respectively.
During the course of the event, three testimonials of merit were also awarded to friends of the Auction by the President of the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour, Tomaso Zanoletti, and the Mayors of Alba and Grinzane Cavour, Maurizio Marello Gianfranco Garau respectively. The recipients were the Alba wine entrepreneur Bruno Ceretto, originator and supporter of the Alba White Truffle Auction; Lombardy businessman and sports executive Guido Borghi, who has always been a connoisseur of the premium local food and wine, as well as a generous supporter of the Auction for many years; and “signor Enzino Iacchetti”, whose congeniality and professionalism has over time made him the public face associated with the event.
Particular gratitude was expressed to Tomaso Zanoletti, President of the Enoteca which organizes the event, by Mayors Maurizio Marello and Gianfranco Garau on behalf of their Municipalities of Alba and Grinzane Cavour, the co-owners of Grinzane Cavour Castle, as he will be passing on the baton after twenty years at the helm of the body.
Contacts and information:
Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour – Tel. 0173/226624
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – website www.castellogrinzane.com