Wine & Winemaking
General Barolo Region and Heritage
The Romans established Alba in the first century a.D.
The area of the Barolo has been under cultivation since that time, and the earliest written mention of Nebbiolo is from the 14th century. Vines were always interplanted with fruit and nut trees, and the valley floors were used for vegetable and grain crops.
The Langhe reportedly gets its names from the long and sinuous hills that look like tongues, “lingua” in Italian, which became “Langhe” with time. In the Barolo, the main hills run north-south, and the best vineyard sites are in the south-facing pockets of these hills or on the small ridges that extend fin-like off the main hill.
Similarity to Burgundy
The best vineyard sites are small, discontinuous and are often owned by several different individuals and/or entities. As such, the area most resembles Burgundy in the pattern of its vineyards – the best vineyards are fragmented, on the middle of the slopes, and the confusing array of owners makes choosing a wine difficult for consumers.
Much has been made of the changes in Piedmontese winemaking over the last 30 years. Beginning in the late 1970s, young winemakers started adopting techniques to lessen the severity of the tannins of Barolo and Barbaresco; in essence, to make a wine that could be enjoyed earlier in its life, one that did not require 25 years of patience for the tannins to soften.
The estate farms 27 hectares of vines, of which 75% are owned and the rest under long-term contract. Sandrone buys no grapes farmed by others! This approach insures the consistent excellence of the fruit from vintage to vintage.
Luciano and Luca work together brilliantly. Though they are 20 years apart in age, they share the bond of brotherhood, and each understands implicitly the needs of the winery and how to help each other succeed.
Vineyards in Serralunga
The Baudana vineyard in Serralunga was purchased in early 2011 for use in the "Le Vigne" bottling. The upper part is planted with exceptional 25 year old vines and will be used in the Le Vigne Barolo immediately. The lower section was be completely renovated in 2011.