Cascina delle Rose, with its refreshingly open, ethereal Barbaresco wines is a new exciting addtion to our range. Giovanna Rizzolio, aided by husband Italo and his young sons Davide and Riccardo, tends her 3 hectares of vines as sympathetically and naturally as possible. The Barbaresco Cru/Vigna Tre Stelle on the right of the old road has a thin layer of earth over pure calcareous soil, while Cru/Vigna Rio Sordo to the left is deep-seated with more clay; stylistically, a perfect reflection of the ethereal, raspberry kirsch Tre Stelle and mulberry-rich Rio Sordo wines. Italo and Davide share the winemaking responsibilities; 2004 was Davide’s inaugural vintage after serving a nine year apprenticeship under Giovanna’s gaze. He also attended Alba’s well thought of Scuola Enologica Umberto 1. The wines are vinified in static stainless steel, using selected yeast, before being transferred to a battery of large 10 to 30hl slavonian oak botte, where they remain, silently, for between 15 and 18 months before bottling. Giovanna’s story is a fascinating one: descended from Napolitana, Milanese (Como), and local Monferrato stock, her family had been mill owners and silk merchants in the region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Located in the Barbaresco hamlet of ‘Tre Stelle’, Cascina delle Rose was bought in 1948 as the family’s summer retreat (‘una casa d’estivo’). At first the 5 hectares were farmed polyculturally: vineyards, hazelnuts, pastoral, maize, wheat, livestock – a classic fattoria setup, complete with contadini /peasants who worked the land and sold the produce on behalf of the Rizzolio family. This ancient ‘mezzadria’ system, one of the reasons why Italian vineyards, and with that wine, failed to keep pace with their French neighbours, was in place even when the cantina was inherited by Giovanna in 1992. She immediately took a broom to the old ways and took to her tractor, setting a new course that would realise the first bottling in 2002 and new winery in 2003.
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