Located in the most northwestern area of Italy, Piedmont is bordered by Switzerland and France with the Alps and Maritime Alps surrounding two-thirds of the region. The seasons are some of the most extreme with abundant, winter snows and hot, arid summers. While ranked 7th in overall wine production, Piedmont boasts as the number one area for officially classified DOC-DOCG wines in Italy. There are no wines produced that have been designated IGT.
The most, noble vine is Nebbiolo from which the famous wines Barolo and Barbaresco are made-respectively producing 6 million and 2.5 million bottles each year, the quantities being small relative to many new world producers. Barolo has 3100 acres planted to vine in 11 communes. Barbaresco has just 1200 acres devoted to vine producing wine in 4 communes. Each commune has important cru vineyards reflecting the emphasis that Barolo and Barbaresco place on terroir. The key Cru sites of Barolo are within La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d Alba. The major crus of Barbaresco are found in Barbaresco, Neive and Tresio. Tradition and superior craftsmanship have always been important facets of production, but in recent years the introduction of new technologies and techniques have elevated the quality and stature of these wines even further.
While Barolo and Barbaresco are the most noted wines, the fabulous Langhe blends, well known within the region, are growing in recognition outside of Italy . Often combining native grapes (sometimes with Cabernet and/or Merlot), these structured wines provide wonderful alternatives for earlier consumption. There are also numerous wines produced from native grapes that are rising stars in their own right. Not only beautifully made, they are less expensive values for everyday consumption. Barbera and Dolcetto are examples finding increasing popularity in the U.S. Finally, with the Asti DOCG being 2nd only to the Chianti appellation in terms of production, one must not overlook the Moscato d Asti—a lightly, frizzante, sparkler, it is not only a desert wine but can be enjoyed on its own or to begin a meal.
It all began in 1897, when 23-year-old Luigi Einaudi (who was to become Italy’s first President in 1948) purchased the first of the Einaudi estates (poderi) at San Giacomo, near Dogliani, heart of Dolcetto country.
Here, Professor Einaudi resided in-between his academic work and the numerous activities as a financial writer and journalist. In spite of the magnitude and multiplicity of his interests, Luigi Einaudi personally implemented the finest, most up-to-date cultivation methods and equipment.
Today, the President’s descendants have chosen to maintain continuity with their extraordinary heritage while looking to the future, turning the oldest wine property in the Dogliani area into a cutting-edge classic.
Granddaughter Paola Einaudi, her son Matteo Sardagna, and Giorgio Ruffo – together with technical director Lorenzo Raimondi and winemaker Beppe Caviola – have proven a winning team. They have assembled some of the region’s finest vineyard sites under the Einaudi umbrella. Today, the total surface of the property (rather, the properties, i.e. 12 farmsteads) is 321 acres (130 hectares), 124 of which (50 hectares) under vine. The vineyards, in turn, are subdivided into seven terroirs. Four of these are in Dogliani (four hills, one of which is the Vigna Tecc cru, another the premier area of San Luigi), while Barolo comprises two crus (Terlo and Cannubi). Terlo is part of the estate’s original nucleus (marly-calcareous soil at 984 feet – 300 meters – above sea level) and supplies the select, single-vineyard Barolo of Costa Grimaldi as well as the Barolo Terlo. The south and southeastern slopes of the celebrated Cannubi hill, at an altitude of 722 feet above sea level, provide a Barolo of superb breed and longevity.
The underground winery, located at Tecc (beneath the guest quarters) and completed in 1993, was gradually doubled in size and provided with state-of-the-art barrel and barrique cellars, sophisticated humidity control systems, and a new-generation, temperature-controlled bottle cellar stocking over 200,000 bottles.
In December 2004, the family acquired a gorgeous new vineyard in Dogliani’s premier area, San Luigi.
In Matteo’s words, Einaudi intends to “grow even further with Dolcetto di Dogliani, which will, in the near future, total almost 200,000 bottles yearly: 150,000 regular Dolcetto di Dogliani, 40,000 Vigna Tecc, 10,000 I Filari.”
Dogliani is a historic Dolcetto terroir; in fact, the variety is thought to have originated here. This Dogliani supremacy was officially recognized in July 2005 by means of Italy’s top denomination, the DOCG.
The former DOC of Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore (going back to 6/26/1974) has become Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita as of the 2005 vintage.
Since then, the wine may be called either Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore DOCG or, more simply, Dogliani DOCG. Einaudi have chosen to bottle their regular Dolcetto di Dogliani as Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC. The crus, on the other hand, are named Dogliani Vigna Tecc DOCG and Dogliani I Filari DOCG.
From marly-calcareous soil at 1,000 feet above sea level, southeasterly exposed, in the Terlo area of Barolo. Incredible breed, intense and ample bouquet, full-bodied and velvety on the palate, with a lingering finish of spice, truffles and goudron. A cellar life up to 20-25 years.