The true origins of Barolo can be traced to the period of Italy's Risorgimento, the movement for the re-unification of the country, and began in the cellars of the castle of the Falletti marquises in Barolo. Giulietta Vitturina Colbert di Maulévrier, the wife of Tancredi Falletti, wished that her Nebbiolo-based wine be called by the name of Barolo, the township where it was born. Barolo, at the time, was a sweet wine. It was Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, a friend of Giulietta Falletti and the first Prime Minister of a United Italy, who made the first dry version. The estate of Giacomo Fenocchio, founded in 1864, still makes Barolo in this traditional style.
"For over five generations - explains Claudio Finocchio, estate owner along with his brothers and house winemaker - our estate produces, ferments, and ages great wines from the grapes of our proprietary vineyards in the heart of the classic zone for Barolo. My great-great grandfather Giovanni Fenocchio, the head of the family dynasty, was accustomed to say: "everyone makes wine in the same way because this is how it should be made, it is not up to us to change an entire method and culture."
The Barolo of the Fenocchio estate is made with a lengthy period of skin contact during fermentation, never less than ten days, and without the use of rotary fermentation tanks.
Shortcuts are never used. "Fermentation is completely natural" - continues Claudio Fenocchio - "and is entirely carried out by the local micro-flora, with no use of selected yeasts. Temperature is kept under control by means of daily pumping over of the cap skins."
Barolo is a noble and demanding wine, one to be made without any attempt to force or to speed up the results, with respect for the time it needs and the rules which this imposes. It is a wine which was born to evolve over time, a wine to wait for.
"Our Barolo" - declares Claudio Fenocchio - "is aged for five months in stainless steel tanks and two years in Slavonian oak casks, some as large as fifty hectolitres, and is then given an additional year of bottle aging. No use whatsoever is made of small oak barrels, too aromatic for this wine, which would risk modifying its unique personality. Complex and intriguing aromas and flavours emerge over time for palates ready to perceive new and different sensations, and truly fascinating ones."
The Fenocchio brothers personally take charge of the vineyards work, which is carried out with modern techniques, those suitable for maintaining ecological balance and respect for the environment. The work is carefully and meticulously done but without any attempt to drastically reduce yields: approximately 5,5 tons per hectare (little more than two tons per acre) in the case of the Barolo Villero, seven tons per hectare (2,8 tons per acre) for the Cannubi and Bussia Barolo.
Balanced yields, neither excessively generous nor excessively low, give wines of fine balance, with proper tannic structure and colour concentration and no loss of finesse in the wines. Barolo is a wine which one falls in love with, a unique wine born in a unique place.
To conclude, with the words of Giovanni Fenocchio, who has lived to preserve the traditions of this great wine: "finding new techniques and formulas might be interesting, but the more you experiment with novelties the more our wines will remain unique."
Loc. Bussia, 72
12065 Monforte D'Alba (CN)
Tel. +39 0173 78675