The cantina sociale has been a critical lifeline to small grape growers since the inception of modern winemaking throughout Italy. In particular, Cantina Sociale di Gattinara, founded in 1908, has offered families from the zone of Gattinara a steady path to continued independence and stewardship of the land. Forty families care for their own tiny plots, which total 15 hectares of vines rooted in the zone’s pure volcanic soils. Descending into the cantina’s historic cellar with its cement tanks and botti tucked beneath the centuries-old city center of Gattinara is like traveling back in time. Today, the cantina produces approximately 2,000 cases of wine annually. The resulting wines display a simple elegance and purity as well as a palpable connection to over 100 years of production.
Variety: The grapes are harvested together from the vineyards of participating producer-members and subsequently co-fermented. As a true field blend, the exact varietal makeup remains a mystery; however, its composition is roughly 60% Nebbiolo, 30% Barbera, 5% Vespolina, and 5% Uva Rara. Vineyards: All fruit is sourced exclusively from the parcels of cooperative members based in the communes of Gattinara, Ghemme, Roasio, and Romagnano Sesia. Vinification: Hand-harvested grapes are destemmed prior to a gentle pressing. Native fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks and lasts approximately three weeks. The wine is then racked into cement tanks, where it undergoes secondary fermentation. Following 9-12 months in cement, the wine is bottled and prepared for release. Fun Fact: A favorite of Gattinara locals! The cantina sees a steady stream of customers who arrive at the winery with their jugs and demijohns, eager to fill up directly from the tank before returning home for dinner and vino rosso with friends and family
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