The members of the Bera family, in my opinion, exhibit all the characteristics of the Langhetti. They are original, creative, adventurous, and deeply rooted in the land. Tenacious workers and epicureans, they are open to new knowledge and yet the bearers of tradition. Reserved and at the same time available, each one of them contributes to the whole of a family that is strong and dynamic.
The winery is a recent creation; in fact it is younger than the youngest of the Beras. It was the dream of the preceding generation, and has been realised by the current generation. Now the goal of the family is to grow and to continue to confirm their success.
The care that the family gives to their grape vines is fully manifested in the production of the wine that I like so much. For example, at their winery you can find the aged and rare Dolcetto, which is quite extraordinary.
Their cuisine is also delicious; I recommend testing it while you are buying wine!

Giovanna


Il Bosseto: The winery of the Bera family

The family

The family name “Bera” appears to have its origin in the English word “Bear”. There are records of a noble family that came to Italy around the year 1000, following barbarian invasions. The family reputedly came from northern Europe – perhaps from Germany or England. Its family crest was a bear, a symbol of power, pride, and cleverness, but also of cruelty, harshness, and royalty. Until the 800’s, the bear was the king of the animals. An offshoot of this family established itself in the Langhe, and it is from this that we descend. We are two brothers, two sisters, and a mother that have in common a love for the land, the vines, and the wine that we produce.

The Wine Producing Company il Bosseto

Il Bosseto

Il Bossetto takes its name from “Bosso”, which is a wild bush found in the Mediterranean area. It is an evergreen shrub with small oval leaves which are glossy and perfumed. The bosso is a fundamental element of the “Italian” or “formal” gardens, characterised by geometrical shapes. It is also a feature of “topiary art”, which creates animal figures, and shapes rich in elaborate details. These shapes are formed from clever cuttings of the shrubbery, and constant care is devoted to maintaining their pleasing forms. Examples of these can be found in the gardens of the castle of Boboli in Florence. To a lesser extent, there are traces of it around the Langhe castles (Govone, Serralunga, Magliano Alfieri). Long ago, it even surrounded old churches, and was used as a hedge to delimit spaces in the gardens and vegetable patches of monasteries. Our company is in fact located on the spot where, once upon a time, there stood a powerful monastery dedicated to Saint Alessandro.

The bosso is a bush that grows slowly. It is patient and tenacious; qualities that we appreciate and try to cultivate in ourselves.

The company

It is located on the border between Trezzo Tinella and Triso, and is almost entirely devoted to the cultivation of wine grapes. The majority of the implants are recent. And while favouring these, we have still tried to leave the existing plants and fittings of the area as a mark of respect towards those who have preceded us, and so as not to impoverish the landscape. Among the vines, you can find Madernassa pears, antique apples, muriche, and peaches with white flesh. On the land one might still find the large concrete vats that were once used to blend verderame with lime to create treatments for the vines. In addition to these, there are wells dug into the tuff that once allowed for the transport of water to the family. You might also come across some small stone walls, and a pond where carps are raised.The vines are surrounded by the typical ravines of the Langhe, where oaks, locust trees, elms, and pines grow. The Bossetto is oriented towards biological cultivation; it has been many years since we have used herbicides. In addition to this, we make use of verderame and sulphur to cultivate the vines typical of the region: Moscato, Dolcetto, Nascetta.

Our Wines: Particularities, Anecdotes, and Memories

The Moscato

MoscatoUntil recent years, did not enjoy the popularity it has today – but our family has always cultivated it. Our paternal grandparents came from Castagnole and Castiglione Tinella, villages where this vine variety has always been grown. One of our childhood memories is related to the must (the sweet grape juice from which the wine is fermented) that would be filtered through sacks during the winemaking process. We would start filtering a couple of days after the harvest, towards the end of October. The sweeter the grapes were, the more the must needed to be filtered. The sacks often got clogged, and after supper the women had to go out in the windy autumn air and wash them in big tubs close to the water tank. The Moscato was drunk mainly in the summer, or on special occasions, such as when the parish priest came to give blessings. The few families of the village that produced it guaranteed its provision to the two parishes for celebrations, given its low alcoholic content.

The vine plots were planted in 1953, set in tight rows through which an ox could barely pass. We sometimes feel our work is a masochistic endeavour, since all of the labour needs to be done manually, given that there is not enough space between the rows for a tractor to pass. Now we produce D.O.C.G. (Designation of Origin Controlled and Guaranteed) Moscato wine called “submerged cork” to distinguish it from spumante. We have also named the wine obtained from the must of supermature grapes “ambrosia”, after the mythological nectar of the gods.

The Dolcetto

DolcettoThe Dolcetto is a vine variety native to the Langhes and Monferrato. The red grape and its DOC (Designation of Origin Controlled) take their name form the areas in which it is cultivated- Dolcetto d’Alba and Dolcetto di Dogliani, as examples. It is a delicate grape – yet difficult, demanding in both the vineyard and in the winery. The name probably comes from the sweet and sugary taste of the grapes. The Dolcetto is an elegant and rewarding wine, ideal for every meal. In the mid-20th century, it was the most appreciated full-bodied wine of Barbera. After the birth of a child in the area, there were always celebrations with a glass of Dolcetto. And if the baby was a boy arriving after one or two girls (and thus ensuring the continuation of the family name), the father-in-law would offer a celebratory glass to the mother-in-law. In spring, people would come to buy carboys of Dolcetto to bottle during the new moon in March. The wine of the previous year would be a hearty accompaniment to the stews they would eat for lunch when they came to buy wine.

The Bossetto is used to produce both a young and an aged Dolcetto. The grapes of the Dolcetto vine often have problems with the grapes dropping off. Long ago, nothing was wasted in the production process, and the harvesters gathered all of the grapes that had fallen during the harvest before cutting the bunch. Children were asked to check beneath the vines in order to save what had been lost. Less fortunate harvesters had to rely on their chickens to find errant grapes!

The Nascetta

NascettaIt is a white wine with a noticeable mineral flavour. It has existed for a long time on these hills, and was traditionally cultivated alongside other white grape varieties such as Timorasso, Malvasia, and Livertiin, which was so bitter that the housewives of the high Langa used it instead of rennet. For years, these grapes had all been pressed together and because of this, when the current potential of the Nascetta variety was discovered, nobody remembered how to process it on its own.

Nowadays, there are very few farmers that cultivate this vine, and there is not enough land to plant new vineyards that might fully exploit its potential. Every producer now makes wine in his own distinctive way. As a result of this, you can find many different Nascettas on the market, and this is a great boon to wine connoisseurs.

For a more detailed explanation, check out our website: http://www.ilbosseto.it/

Merenda “sinoira”

These days, the Langhe is a region envied by many for its wines, truffles, hazelnuts, and beautiful vistas. However, until the 1970’s, the economic reality in these villages was very different. Every family raised pigs, chickens, and rabbits, and needed to cultivate grassland and wheat for subsistence farming. The grasslands were mown for hay during the summer. This was the hardest season, since the wheat also needed to be harvested, and the manual labour entailed in these tasks was difficult and taxing. Those who worked the land laboured all of the long hours of daylight, and for this they needed to be well-fed.
The massaia, or housewife, who was in charge of keeping an eye on the children, would prepare a basket with food and in the mid-afternoon would bring it to the men and women that were hard at work in the fields. These merende sinoire were eaten later than the usual meals, and were composed of substantial, filling, and easily-available foods.

We had the Moscato wine and the eggs, and so our grandmother used to prepare a cold zabaione. She used to beat ten egg yolks with sugar, then add the whipped egg whites into the mix. She would then pour a bottle of fresh Moscato into this cream, and everyone was given a bowl of it to dip a slice of bread in. After the merenda, the country folk would get back to work until twilight. These days, we offer these same merendas to the clients that come to our winery as a sign of hospitality. We do this because our wines have a strong connection to the produce of the land, and good food strengthens and reinforces the ties of goodwill and friendship. The dishes that we offer are the traditional meals of the region: soups, gnocchi, jams, eggs in salmonidae, friciulin (potato pancakes), wild herb pancakes, and bagnet and bunet (sauces and pudding).
Venite a trovarci, vi aspettiamo! (We look forward to your visit!)

Marinella Bera

The Underground Cathedrals … of wine?

Some cathedrals announce their presence with lofty spires that draw the eye skywards; Milan, Cologne, Westminster etc. But others are hidden away underground, and you might never even know they are there unless you have visited them for yourself. The latter can be found in the area of Asti in Canelli, capital of Italian sparkling white wine (Spumante) since 1850 when Carlo Gancia imported the “champenoise” method from France.

Recently they have been called “Underground Cathedrals”, with naves, ambulatories, transepts, and large cross vaulting that would not be out of place in the great cathedrals you might find on the surface. Built from exposed brick set into the tuff hills, they constitute authentic masterpieces of architecture.

These cathedrals of spectacular beauty, uniqueness and historicity are composed of galleries, underground passages, long corridors and broad vaults emphasized by a clever play of light that highlights the imposing excavation works and exposes, in certain areas, the tuff of Canelli.

The cathedrals have their origins as small conservation caves, likely built during the XVII century, and remodelled and enlarged throughout the centuries into the form they take today. Built in order to preserve land products, salt, and other goods that passed along the trade routes for Savona and Vado Ligure -historical ports and commercial hubs on the sea of Canelli – 15 kilometres of underground galleries, reaching 40 metres in depth, stretch below the ground of Canelli.

Over time wine became the primary good produced in the area, and the calcareous tuff of Canelli proved to be a precious ally to winemakers. Hard to carve and incredibly stable; it is a perfect insulator and thus maintains a constant humidity and a temperature between 12 and 14 degrees – ideal conditions for the aging of great wine. For this reason, starting from the second half of the IX century and during the first years of the XX century, several kilometres of galleries were dug under the city of Canelli. These galleries served not only for the storage and aging of wines, but also for the entire process of winemaking. The remains of this process (presses, filtering systems, vats, barrels and machines) are still visible today and stand as tangible memories of the past.

Some of these Cave-Cathedrals (in which darkness protects the wine during the long and delicate stages of its preparation) have produced the most prestigious sparkling white wines (Spumanti) with the traditional method. While visiting, you could be lucky enough to see the “cellarman” working on the bottles that are in the “pupitres” (he works on every single one of them every day, and there are thousands).

In summary, these are the main stages that are carried out in the production of the wine:

  • Over the course of the first period in the cave the wine acquires its “perlage” and the complexity of a bouquet from the fermentation process. It is during this stage that the bottles become frothy;
  • The bottles are then transferred to the “pupitres”, which are the wooden wine holders that have become the symbol of the Classical Method. Here, every day, the cellarman rotates every bottle 90 degrees and inclines it towards the ceiling for the sediments to deposit in the bottleneck;
  • The process continues with the “degorgement”, during which the cap of the bottle is gently removed to eliminate the sediment. In the last phase the “liqueur d’expedition” is added, which is a secret dosage of wines, sugar cane and other ingredients that give a unique touch to each one of these sparkling wines.

Thanks to their beauty and importance, the “Underground Cathedrals” have been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO within the “Wine landscapes of Piedmont: Langhe Roero and Monferrato”.

I highly recommend you experience the magic of these unique and charming sites in person!
They can be visited by making an appointment:

Web site Reservations
BOSCA cantine@bosca.it
CONTRATTO visite@contratto.it
GANCIA franco.ferrero@gancia.it
COPPO www.coppo.it/cantine

 

Enjoy your visit and wine tasting!

Giovanna

I went to see the 73 rd edition of the lighting of the furnace beneath the direct-fire still at the Levi distillery in
Neive, which elicited a whole host of emotions within me and enlivened all 5 of my senses!
This event had a bit of everything: a magical place, the ritualistic fire, the band, the poetry and design work
of Romano Levi, the grappa labels that he designed himself and often dedicated, the wonderful things to
taste …I hope that all of the many special people who read our blog enjoy learning about this extraordinary
place and its history.
Happy reading and a (virtual) toast with the grappa from the Levi distillery!
Giovanna

The Wild Woman of the Langhe and the grappa of Romano Levi

The Italian Comune of Neive is located at the centre of the Strada Romantica of Langa, and is the most
complex with 100 kilometres’ worth of pathways to explore a mesmerising and alluring landscape. This area
is home to ancient traditions, such as that of the legendary ‘Wild Woman’. This symbolic image, in which
the conflict between man and nature was reconciled within a female figure, once languished in the
background with mythology but was then made famous beyond the confines of the Langhe by labels
designed by the “Angel of Grappa”, Romano Levi of Neive.

 

The Wild Woman

An ancient tale about the Salige describes the Wild Women of the Langhe as “recurring figures in the sagas
of the Alps, which represent the deepest feminine, bodily and instinctual roots: the archetype of nature
wild and free, untouched by civilisation and its discontents”.
The Wild Woman is characterised in Langhe peasant society as the bearer of a culture deeply rooted in the
annals of time, in close contact with nature and its secrets, with trades linked to seasonality, with the
wisdom of elders interspersed with popular and superstitious religiosity.
Within the collective consciousness of the Langhe, the figure of the Wild Woman has always been bold and
forthright: a woman who does not easily adhere to dominant social conventions, one who pays no
attention to appearances and one who resists the conformity that pervades the countryside; an
independent woman who is proud, autonomous and able to fend for herself and, often, others as well; a
female archetype that embodies difficulty and joyfulness, material hardship and the spiritual riches of a
rural life unchanged over time.
Romano Levi, well known in Neive as an artisan grappa maker, poet and label designer, brought the myth of
the Wild Woman back to life and made it famous. For him, the Wild Women are visions, memories of the
past. When he walked to school through the streets, he would encounter “beautiful dishevelled women,
who were a little bit crazy, a little bit like witches and a little bit like fairies”.
Romano Levi recalls the ‘Wild Women’:
“As a kid, I would walk through vineyards on my way to school. Often, among the rows of vines, there were
so-called ‘ciabòt’, tiny shelters where winemakers and peasants took refuge … I used to pass by in the
morning and sometimes I saw these women coming out of the shelters, beautiful and dishevelled, a little bit crazy and lonely, often living on the fringes of peasant society. They were mysterious, had no constraints,
they disappeared and then came back. They were a little bit like witches and a little bit like fairies.
They were free, as all women should be to be able to enjoy the very best that life has to offer”.

The grappa of Lidia and Romano Levi

“I make grappa: the blood of fire, pangs of life and poetry are yours.”
Romano Levi

For more than sixty years, brothers Lidia and Romano Levi produced a truly unique grappa known as ‘The
Grappa of the Wild Woman’, continuing the traditions of their ancestors. It is not just the distilling of the
marc that made it unique, but Lidia’s skill in bringing together immersed herbs within the bottles, or
Romano’s poetic, hand-designed labels.

“The Wild Women climbs over the hills” – “The Wild Women surmounts all the confines.”
Romano Levi





The grappa is magnificent and he treats the labels that he painstakingly crafts by hand with the utmost
dedication and respect. The names are a timeless reminder of his great love for Women who are
respectable, unseemly, wild, influential and suppressed, Women who climb hills, who allow themselves to
be touched or not, who have silvery golden hair”. Luigi Veronelli (oenologist, chef, gastronome and writer)
http://www.lacucinaitaliana.it/storie/luoghi/luigi-veronelli-cucina-vino-olio-storia/

The home/distillery of the Levis is now a vibrant Museum where Grappa continues to be made. It is a truly
special place that occupies its own unique space in time, where the Genius Loci of Romano Levi continues
to be at the heart of the art, methods, working times, simple and essential objects, scents and serenity
involved in the making of the Grappa.
http://en.distilleriaromanolevi.com/romano-levi/#distillery
http://en.distilleriaromanolevi.com/romano-levi/
https://www.facebook.com/DistilleriaRomanoLevi

History

The Monfalletto Cordero di Montezemolo estate boasts many centuries of history. Its origins takes us back to 3rd April 1340, when Pietrino Falletti becomes the owner of the La Morra comune, thanks to a loan granted to the municipality of Alba. Over the centuries the Falletti property increases, is sold, dismantled, lost, inherited and so on, with the rise and fall of various branches of the family throughout the Piemonte region. Nevertheless, ownership of the land in La Morra although somewhat altered, continues for sixteen generations, from 1340 until the death of Countess Luigia Falletti di Rodello in 1941. The family line having died out, the property passed to the nearest descendant, Paolo Cordero di Montezemolo, the Countess’ nephew and father of the current owner Giovanni Cordero di Montezemolo, who still leads the firm alongside his children Elena and Alberto.

Farm Monfalletto

The cedar tree

At the top of the Monfalletto hill stands an impressive and majestic ancient cedar of Lebanon: it can be seen from any point on the perimeter surrounding the estate, which is covered with vineyards growing Nebbiolo grapes for the production of Barolo. From the tree’s hilltop position, in turn, the distinctive features of the entire area can be viewed; the shapes of valleys and hills as far as the borders of the land, giving an idea of its size. The tree is part of the history and tradition of this area: it was planted by Costanzo Falletti di Rodello and Eulalia della Chiesa di Cervignasco to mark their wedding in 1856, as a symbol of their love for the land.

The vineyards

The vineyards are laid out in a single block occupying 30 hectares, with the exception of the Enrico VI vineyard in Castiglione Falletto, and produce only DOCG and DOC wines. The Nebbiolo vines used for Barolo account for half the cultivated area, and this wine is the firm’s classic flagship product. Other important wines are Dolcetto d’Alba, Langhe Arneis, Barbera d’Alba and Langhe Chardonnay “Elioro”. The estate is located in a strategic position in the heart of the Barolo area, with excellent exposure and altitude for ripening of all the grape varieties. The winery was refurbished over ten years at the turn of the century, and today constitutes an example of the perfect integration of architecture within the surrounding landscape, a harmonious blend of modern and rural geometries.

The wines

  • Langhe Arneis
  • Langhe Chardonnay
  • Montezemolo brut
  • Dolcetto d’Alba
  • Langhe Nebbiolo
  • Barbera d’Alba
  • Barolo Monfalletto
  • Barolo Enrico VI
  • Barolo Gattera

The Langhe

The hilly Langhe region extends from the edge of the Roero area to the border with the province of Asti. Its distinctive characteristic is the parallel arrangement of crests and valleys which – in all likelihood – gave the area its name. (Langhe = langue = tongues of land). This has always been a land of great wines; indeed, in the hill country of the lower Langhe, vines are practically the only crop grown, resulting in an expanse of vineyards which is truly a spectacular sight. The main historical and geographical centre of the Langhe is the town of Alba, an important commercial and industrial hub in the province, but also the arrival and departure point for routes to the nearby towns.

Moccagatta_cole

The town of Barbaresco is easily recognizable from the lookout tower (XI sec.) With a square plan, the building probably belonged to a system of watch towers that had developed along the Tanaro river on the territory of the cities of Asti and Alba, heritage the Duchy of Monferrato.

From the top of the tower you can see all the surrounding countries, the course of the river Tanaro, Alba, Cherasco on the one hand, on the other Asti. The most famous of the wines produced in the municipal area is the Barbaresco who took the name from the country and made him famous.

Moccagatta Winery

Moccagatta_bric balinSergio and Francesco with their respective sons Martina and Stefano carry on the business of their father Mario that inherited in 1952 the cascina Moccagatta. In the 12 hectares of vine between Barbaresco and Neive grow Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and Chardonnay for an average annual production of 65,000 bottles.

The search of a balanced production, a special care over the vines from pruning to green harvest in summer, and the use of modern facilities and equipment in the cellar have turned out to be fundamental to produce high quality wine.

Moccagatta_bric balin buschet

The soil characterizes the three single vineyards Barbaresco. Basarin from Neive with a sandier soil is more elegant and richer in perfume, Bric Balin inside the appellation Muncagota in Barbaresco is richer in clay that produces a powerful and fruity wine, Cole, closer to the center of the village of Barbaresco, is more complex, full-bodied and concentered thanks to the Sant’Agata marl.

WINES

Barbaresco                                                            moccagatta_degustazione

Barbaresco Basarin

Barbaresco Bric Balin

Barbaresco Cole

Langhe Nebbiolo

Barbera d’Alba

Dolcetto d’Alba

Langhe Chardonnay Buschet

Langhe Chardonnay

                                                  

                                                

VISIT AND TASTING ON APPOINTMENT                               moccagatta_cantina bottiglie

MOCCAGATTA

Strada Rabajà, 46 – 12050 Barbaresco (CN) Italia

Tel 0039 0173 635228 – Fax 0039 0173 635279

e-mail: info@moccagatta.eu – www.moccagatta.eu

Langhe: Art contemporary and up cycled old things

034My friend Ann is too modest, the truth is what she creates is art by recycling old things. in fact she did not want the title that I suggested but I will use it all the same.  This lady has an extraordinary strength ( also physically), she has even built dry stone walls at her house and has created a splendid garden.She uses her creative vision to transform things and materials, that  other people have judged  as useless, into artistic objects.

Giovanna

An english woman in Le langhe

Ann

Originally from the UK, in 2003 I began living permanently in Le Langhe. This has bought many new life experiences and has somehow released a creativity inside of me that must have been hidden away for years.

After first taking on the task of renovating our ruin ( in pre internet days) , I then turned to creating an anglicised Italian garden and finally my interests have now turned to an even more creative adventure.

In this throwaway society we live in today I have never been able to relate to the sheer waste of things. So when I saw so many abandoned houses here in Le Langhe with ; broken windows , shutters barely hanging , abandoned rusty farming equipment , relics of the past left for the mice to chew or wooden things just cast aside to be burnt, my mind started to think.

Many of these things from the past were skilfully hand crafted by someone with time and patience. They were made of good materials that have withstood the test of time as they were made to last or indeed to be mended.

The weathering by the passing of the years has, in my eyes, made them more beautiful. But if they were mended they would be of no use in their original form in today’s society.

A PASSION FOR OLD THINGS

My passion is therefore to give new life back to these pieces of rotting wood or rusty metal by transforming them with creativity and imagination into a contemporary, useable, unique object. It might be a simple candle holder made from a pair of rusty hooks or a photo frame from door hinges but it could be something bigger like a table or cupboard made from old doors, windows and shutters. It could even be a piece of art for a wall or the garden

P1020525-2Ceiling light made from a piece of a wooden cart and bed springs

011
Plate holder made from a wooden rake

075
Towel rail made from a bed warmer

014
Candle holder made from rusty bullhook

Since 2014 I have opened a display of my ideas in the Museo del Riciclo ( Recycle museum) in the small town hall of Camo near Santo Stefano Belbo.

www.cascinabricchetto.it/surroundings/open-air-contemporary-art-museum-and-recycle-museum/

It is open every morning but I would gladly show you around if you ring me in advance. Plus I have numerous larger pieces at home and a few exhibits in the restaurant Verderame in Castiglione Tinella

Ann Stefani

100-1Contact: call number + 39 3202698492 annstefani@tiscali.it

Monferrato wines
I present a beautiful-young-old company that produces excellent wines in the nearby Monferrato, knowledge comes from my great love for the Barbera d’Asti and initial encounter with Claudio exciting. Guests were from them for a tour and tasting were happy for both the rich tasting and for the warm welcome and again for the great expertise of Claudio.
Duilio Da Casto Winery

Our winery is a small family business that has been passed down for five generations. 

Our 7 hectares of vineyards are located in an area close to Agliano Terme. This area has  been identified as one of the most suitable terroir for the production of the Barbera grape.

Duilio My father takes care of the vineyards, the true heart of our winery, with the invaluable help of my mother Gabriella and my uncle Felice.

I have completed studies in Viticulture and Enology and now do my best to make and develop our wines.

The simplicity and the constant search for quality are the philosophy of our company, which produces wine that respect the land as well as the plants. Throughout the process we are inspired by the values that have been handed down by our ancestors. 

Claudio Dacasto

Wines

  • Monferrato Bianco Arneis “Vianus”
  • Vino Rosato “Vianus Rosè”
  • Piemonte Chardonnay “Bourg”
  • Barbera d’Asti
  • Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Camp Riond”
  • Monferrato Rosso “Forestiero”
  • Vino Spumante Metodo Classico Brut “Quattro”

Cellar, Vineyards and Tasting room – Fraz. Vianoce n.26, 14041 Agliano Terme

Vineyards and Tasting room – Fraz. Salere n.57, 14041 Agliano Terme

Tel. +393339828612
www.dacastoduilio.com
info@dacastoduilio.com

Between April and October every day from 5 to 7 pm , the rest of the year only with booking

It’s always well-accetped small notification before the tasting

Booking of the Tasting and tour of the winery: +393339828612 

Languages we speak

Italian, English, French

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