Castello di Verduno’s Pelaverga is a bottle that the staff consumes in quantity. It’s one of those delicious, food friendly and habit-forming wines that we always want on hand. The Pelaverga grape is a specialty of Verduno in the Barolo zone. While Verduno’s Monvigliero vineyard has enjoyed sudden fame among Barolo collectors, Pelaverga has become a go-to glass pour at thoughtful Italian restaurants. The explanation is easy: it delivers an incredible amount of interest and sheer drinkability for an affordable price. This is a somewhat crude comparison, but Pelaverga is Piedmont’s answer to Cru Beaujolais. Given how enjoyable Pelaverga is and its current fame, the fact that in the 60s there were only a few vines interplanted with other varietals throughout Verduno seems extraordinary. To a large extent, Castello di Verduno is responsible for Pelaverga’s comeback. In the early 1970s, Castello di Verduno planted the Basadone section of the Massara vineyard. Today, along with Burlotto, Castello di Verduno stands as the top example of the grape. 2017 is a lovely example of the Castello di Verduno’s Pelaverga. It has a vibrancy, a floral spice and a lovely undercurrent of savory notes. We liked it so much when we tasted it we bought every bottle that we could get our hands on.