Friday, November 24, 2017

The Barolo Zone by the numbers

The raw data presented in Masnaghetti's Barolo MGA provides an opportunity for a more detailed comparative analysis of the Barolo subzones. I attempt such an analysis in this post.

The relevant data were entered into a spreadsheet with columns being associated with subzones and rows associated with relevant characteristics. Some of the information provided in the Results comes directly from Masnaghetti (MGAs, for example), while others come from summations of columns and/or rows, averaging of columns and/or rows, and calculations of ratios. All calculations were completed using the embedded spreadsheet tools.

The chart below shows the distribution of wineries in the Barolo Zone. A total of 246 wineries are shown across the zone when the Masnaghetti numbers are summed. There is an average of 41 wineries per subzone, that average being padded significanty by the La Morra (62 wineries, 25% of the total) and Monforte d'Alba (53 wineries, 22% of total) contributions.

Chart1. Wineries in the Barolo Zone, by subzone. A total of 246
wineries and an average of 41 per subzone.

Chart 2 below shows the distribution of MGAs (cru-equivalents) across subzones. Barolo, La Morra, and Serralunga d'Alba have almost similar numbers followed by Castiglione Falletto with approximately half of their MGA totals. All of the remaining subzones fall into the 11-or-less category.

Chart 2. MGAs in the Barolo Zone, by subzone. A total of 177 MGAs
and an average of 29.5 MGAs per subzone.

Chart 3 shows surface hectares by subzone. La Morra and Monforte d'Alba are markedly larger than the other subzones but, if you look at Chart 2, has fewer MGAs than La Morra and Serralunga d'Alba, giving an indication that its MGA must be hefty.

Chart 3. Surface hectares by subzone. A total of 8,084.84 ha across all
subzones and an average of 847.47 ha/subzone.

Chart 4 shows the area under vine by wine and total on the left side of the chart and the percent of each subzone under vine on the right side. The numbers used here are from Masnaghetti's 2013 data. A total of 2,426.83 ha is under vine in the zone with an average of 437.81 under vine per subzone. A total of 1,984.17 ha is planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo with an average of 330.70 ha per subzone planted similarly.

Chart 4. Area under vine by variety on left and percent of each subzone under vine to the right.
Chart 5 shows that with the exception of Monforte d'Alba (29.77%), Novello (34.32%) and Roddi (45.75%), all of the subzones devote in excess of 50% of their surface area to the growing of grape vines. In the case of Castiglione Falletto, the percent devoted to grape-growing exceeds 100% and I am unsure as to whether this is an anomaly or a mistake on the part of Masnaghetti in presenting the numbers. I will pursue this with Mr. Masnaghetti at next year's La Festa del Barolo.

Chart 5. Percent under vine by subzone
Chart 6 shows areas devoted to the varying wine types as a percent of the areas under vine. Barolo is far and away the prime wine but there is not insignificant contributions from the other wine types in the Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, La Morra, Serralunga d'Alba, and Verduno subzones.

Chart 6. Varieties planted as a percent of land under vine.
All of the Masnaghetti caveats concerning the data carry through to this exercise. Also, the reader is reminded that averages are just that and can be skewed by extremes at both ends of the scale.

©Wine -- Mise en abyme

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