Giacomo Oddero and his family operate Poderi e Cantine Oddero, in the La Morra area of the Barolo appellation in Piemonte, Italy.
Giacomo, who was born in the mid-1920s, remembers the difficulties encountered in the Barolo region in the aftermath of World War II, as well as the specific changes that helped set the Barolo area on a path to prosperity. He recalls the challenges posed by families leaving the area in lean times, and the cooperation that was necessary to make region wide changes in wine production standards. Giacomo specifically mentions the process of codifying the Barolo appellation rules, encouraging growers in the area to register their grape production, and the move to make less wine of a higher quality. He also discusses the family purchases of vineyards like Brunate, Rionda, and Rocche di Castiglione, and the differences he finds between single vineyard Barolo and a blended Barolo classico. Giacomo talks about why he chose to stay in the Piemonte during hard times, and the decisions that he and his brother Luigi undertook when the two worked together, when their winery was known as Fratelli Oddero. Giacomo also mentions several other prominent names in the Barolo region, such as Renato Ratti and Battista Rinaldi. Finally, he explains what a public initiative undertaken during his tenure as mayor ultimately entailed for the region. Those who want to understand the culture and history of the Piemonte region will find this interview to be a treasure trove of information.