Obtained from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, the Barolo was born in the heart of Langhe hills,a few kilometers from the city of Alba, in Northwestern Italy, in the territory of 11 municipalities (Barolo, the village bearing the same, La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello, Grinzane Cavour. Verduno, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco and Roddi) that are located in a suggestive itinerary of hills, designed by the expert hand of man and enhanced by majestic medieval castles. A unique landscape that in 2014 was awarded as Unesco World Heritage site. These communes, unlike Barolo, are only permitted to cultivate Nebbiolo for Barolo on a part of their territory.
Among the many factors which influence the characteristics of a win, the soil is undoubtedly the most complex to describe and to fully comprehend, and it is possible for this reason that it exercises such a fascination on certain wine lovers.
The Barolo hills are mostly of marine formed, 10 millions of years ago. Geologically we can find 2 different kind of soil from two different areas: the Tortonian and the Helvetian. The Tortonian area starts from Verduno and includes La Morra and Barolo, ending in Novello. It is characterized by blue and gray marl. The Helvetian area passes through Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Monforte. It shows deposits of gray-yellowish pressed sands.
The Barolo wine coming from the Tortonian soil vineyards is characterized by the elegance, intensity of the perfumes and softness, while the Barolo wine coming from the Helvetian soil vineyards is strong with a great structure and longevity.
Nowadays, in order to understand Barolo’s importance it is necessary to appreciate its complexity. Each of the township included in the appellation has its own vineyards and crus with their own characteristics and, obviously, the quality of the vintage plays its great part: some were perfect and the resulting wine is simply a masterpiece.
THE HIGH QUALITY ZONES IN THE TRADITION OF BAROLO
Barolo was traditionally a blend of Nebbiolo grapes from different positions within the appellation. The first bottles of Barolo with the indication of the vineyard on the label appeared only from 1960’s. Starting from that moment the number of wines with an indication of the zone of provenance of the grapes continued to gradually grow, but it was only from the mid 1980’s that we could witness a true explosion of names which was followed, in lockstep, by the birth of new wineries and the consequent radical transformation of the appellation.
The need, therefore, to regulate this myriad of names began to be felt almost spontaneously in the early 1990’s, on the point that the townships – and successively the producers consortium – began, in scattered order, to sketch out the first cadastral delimitations. A delicate and complex task which required almost twenty years before it found its definitive form in the modification of the production rules on September 30th, 2010 and the consequent introduction of the crus, known in Italian by the name of Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive, or MGA, which took effect with the 2010 vintage.
The expression Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva (MGA) means a more specific officially delimitated area of production located within the Barolo DOCG appellation (and, essentially, the equivalent of the French term “cru”).