Collection: Conti - Piedmont

Once an Italian epicenter for Nebbiolo production, the microscopic, high-altitude haven of Boca is one of the smallest yet historically grand wine regions of our times. Sadly, it became largely abandoned after the Second War and almost fell into complete oblivion by the ‘90s, but a few steadfast winemakers, Conti included, dug in their heels and persevered. Today, the region is in the middle of an explosive and deeply rewarding renaissance, yet the wines remain ridiculously hard to track down. That’s why I rush at every chance because Conti’s entire production could easily fit into my walk-in closet. So, it should go without saying that there’s hardly enough to go around for everyone—there never has been nor will there ever be.

The village of Boca is one of the smallest wine appellations in Italy, made up of only a handful of hectares split between a couple of dozen producers—at one point in the ‘90s, just 10 hectares of vine remained! Like Barolo 90 minutes to the south, the Nebbiolo grape reigns supreme here and soils are dominated by limestone and clay. However, there are some small details that set Boca, and especially the wines of the Conti family, apart from the pack. First, the blending varieties Vespolina and Uva Rara play a quiet but masterful supporting role behind Nebbiolo in today’s wine. Next, if you look closely while walking the Conti vineyards, you’ll notice some of the most exotic-looking soil ever planted to Nebbiolo. The Contis’ tiny holdings are full of porphyry and crystals held together by reddish sand and clay. The soil literally twinkles in the sunlight and its unique mineral composition is evident in every sip.

The Conti sisters understand that such unique terroir and their combined years of perfecting organic and biodynamic practices (herbicides have never been introduced to their vines) means they need not fuss too much in the cellar. There is very little in the way of technology or modern gadgetry at Conti. The minuscule amount of juice produced from their vineyards is fermented in a stainless steel tank. There are twice-daily punch-downs during fermentation and after malolactic fermentation is complete, the wine is transferred to old, handmade, 500-liter oak botti. It rests here for a minimum of three years before bottling and sees further maturation before exiting their cellar doors—today’s 2019 is their current release. 

 

“We did not inherit the land from our parents, but we are renting it from our children”. This is the sentence that still echoes in my head after talking to Elena. One of the three sisters who run the Cantine del Castello.

Making wine naturally for Elena and her sisters is nothing else than a commitment to the future of the family, the landscape and a promise made to their father Ermanno. 

This means that no chemical are allowed in the vineyards, nor in the cellar where long spontaneous fermentation are made with indigenous yeasts and without the use of any enzymes, clarifying agents, stabilizers or acidity regulators.  

Salute!

3 products
  • Il Rosso delle Donne - Boca DOC - 2019
    Vendor
    Conti
    Regular price
    $74.00
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  • Spanna Colline Novaresi DOC - 2021
    Vendor
    Conti
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    $28.00
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    $28.00
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  • Rosato - 2021
    Vendor
    Conti
    Regular price
    $23.00
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    $23.00
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