Boca, Italy, $64.99
Boca was once the heart of a vibrant wine-making area in Northern Piedmont that produced Nebbiolo wines from high altitude, south facing, terraced vineyards on volcanic soil. Then in the 1950's industrialization arrived in northern Piedmont and the farms and vineyards around Milan began to be abandoned as people left for the city and the easier money of the factories. Boca DOC was all but abandoned. Literally. It went from 100,000 acres under vine in 1950 to less than 25 acres in 1998. The terraced vineyards were simply abandoned and reclaimed by the forest.
In the 1990s, there was only one producer of note left in Boca - Antonio Cerri and he was 80 years old. Cerri made elegant long-lasting Nebbiolo wines that would rival anything from the south. But, Cerri was the last real wine-maker left in Boca and he always said: "With me, Boca will die."
But one person, came to buy his wines, one person revered him, one person was determined to carry on his legacy and ensure that Boca would not die with Anotonio Cerri. That person was Christoph Kuenzli. When Cerri passed in 1998, Christoph bought the estate and through 90 separate real estate deals he expanded Cerri's small vineyard to a manageable size of 16 acres to carry on the tradition of making great wine in Boca.