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Piemonte

Piemonte en

In Italian, Piedmont means “Foot of the mountain”, the Alps greatly influencing the wines produced here. The vineyards lie at the foot of hills surrounding Turin, the region’s capital. Most of the DOC and DOCG wines are produced in more than 50 different appellations. Also, the region is well known for it’s red wines, especially for Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo.

The story of the Angelo Gaja Winery can be traced to a singular, founding purpose: to produce original wines with a sense of place which reflect the tradition and culture of those who made it. This philosophy has inspired five generations of impeccable winemaking. It started over 150 years ago when Giovanni Gaja opened a small restaurant in Barbaresco, making wine to complement the food he served. In 1859, he founded the Gaja Winery, producing some of the first wine from Piedmont to be bottled and sold outside the region. Ever since, the winery has been shaped by each generation’s hand, notably that of Angelo Gaja. Under Angelo's direction, the the native Nebbiolo grape was elevated to world-class esteem. Today, Angelo Gaja, alongside Guido Rivella, his winemaker since 1970, and his daughter, Gaia, advance their legacy. To fully realize their vision, all Gaja wines are produced exclusively from grapes grown in estate-owned vineyards, including 101 ha in Piedmont's Barbaresco and Barolo districts as well as estates in Pieve Santa Restituta (Montalcino) and Ca’Marcanda (Bolgheri). Gaja is widely credited with having instituted this practice, the objective of which is to soften the formidable tannins of the Nebbiolo grape, thereby producing a wine that is richer and more concentrated in its fruit expression than traditional models. Angelo Gaja is Italy`s most renowned and dynamic wine personality and his impact on wine production in the last 30 years cannot be overestimated.

Giacomo Borgogno & Figli is considered a dynasty of Barolo. This historic house prides itself as being a harbinger of the traditional style. The estate was founded in 1761, although today the family cites 1848 as the date of official establishment, coinciding with a document dated 1848 that attests to Borgogno’s first wine sale. The vineyards, approximately 21 ha, are found in the greatest sites within the Barolo commune including Liste, San Pietro delle Viole and Rue.

Especially notable is Borgogno's library collection of older-vintage Barolo, one they’ve diligently safeguarded since before WWII. The family continues the practice of cellaring considerable amounts of wine from the very best vintages even today. They periodically re-release, providing the rare opportunity to enjoy perfectly cellared, historic-vintage Barolo.

La Scolca is an artisanal winery, which pioneered modern, controlled vinification in stainless steel to preserve the subtle fruit of the Cortese grape. Founded in 1919, La Scolca ranks among the first producers of quality Gavi and stands among the most historic white wine producers in Italy. La Scolca led the movement to establish an exciting, new quality level for dry Italian white wines when the Soldati family launched their trademarked "Gavi dei Gavi" in 1966. Today, the estate is run by Giorgio Soldati, the founder’s great-grandson, and his daughter, Chiara, who represents the fifth generation. The estate’s 50 ha of vineyards are planted on the hills surrounding the family villa, in the Rovereto Superiore region of the commune of Gavi. Located at 50 km from the Mediterranean, marine air tempers the cool mountain air and all-day sunlight is ideal for ripening. Vineyards are planted on steep slopes composed of calcareous-clay and volcanic soils with iron, shot with veins of chalky limestone similar to that found in Champagne and Chablis, giving that characteristic flinty character. With Piedmont’s oldest Cortese vines (60+ years) and decades of pioneering, family winemaking tradition, La Scolca produces spectacular, complex and concentrated age-worthy wines now found on the world’s finest wine lists.

Renato Ratti winery was built on the family conviction that the greatness of Barolo is found in the vineyards of the Barolo zone and in the sub-zone of La Morra. Renato Ratti purchased his first vineyard in 1965 in the village of La Morra, a sub-region of Barolo, which is known for producing elegant red wines from the Nebbiolo grape variety. Ratti was among the first to produce a single-vineyard Barolo in the 1960’s and created the first detailed map of the region’s historical crus in the 1970’s. Since 1988, the winery has been run by second-generation Pietro Ratti, who oversaw the construction of a new gravity flow cellar in 2005. Nowadays, from the 40 ha of vineyards, the Renato Ratti winery produces around 150,000 bottles from the traditional denominations of the area: Barolo, Nebbiolo d'Alba, Barbera d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba. Among their most renowned vineyards are Marcenasco, the site where Renato created Barolo’s first single vineyard wine in 1965, and the two vineyards that are home for Ratti’s internationally acclaimed single vineyard Barolos today — Conca, in one of the oldest sub-zones in Barolo where Benedictine Monks made wine back to the 12th century, and Rocche dell'Annunziata, considered one of the most important sites in all of Barolo.

Travaglini is a family-owned wine estate in the tiny Gattinara appellation within north Italy's renowned Piedmont region. Established in the 1920s by Clemente Travaglini, the winery is Gattinara's one of the most esteemed producer of traditional, limited-production wines from the Nebbiolo grape (known locally as "Spanna"). Travaglini owns 59 hectares of land, 44 of which are planted with vines. Nebbiolo is the main grape cultivated and the vines are between 6 and 45 years old. A small parcel is dedicated to Vespolina and Uva Rara, two native varieties used in the production of “Cinzia” wine. In order to achieve the best results, all vines are planted facing south and southwest and trained using the Guyot trellis method. Planting density varies according to vine age, with the older plants at 3,500 vines per hectare and the younger plants at 5,000 vines per hectare. Travaglini wines are easily recognized by their distinctive bottle shape, featuring a unique curve that fits naturally in the palm of the hand and serves to catch sediment during decanting. Designed by a glassmaker to celebrate the excellent 1952 vintage, the bottle was so well received that family decided to keep it as their trademark.

The history of the Vietti winery traces its roots back to the 19th Century. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, however, did the Vietti name become a winery offering its own wines in bottle. Patriarch Mario Vietti, starting from 1919 made the first Vietti wines, selling most of the production in Italy. His most significant achievement was to transform the family farm, engaged in many fields, into a grape-growing and wine-producing business. Then, in 1952, Alfredo Currado (Luciana Vietti’s husband) continued to produce high quality wines from their own vineyards and purchased grapes. The Vietti winery grew to one of the top-level producers in Piemonte and was one of the first wineries to export its products to the USA market. Alfredo was one of the first to select and vinify grapes from single vineyards (such as Brunate, Rocche and Villero). This was a radical concept at the time, but today virtually every vintner making Barolo and Barbaresco wines offers "single vineyard" or "cru-designated" wines. With 35 hectares of vineyards, Vietti expects to not only increase production, but having greater control over the vineyards, looks to continually improve from a qualitative perspective.