CA DEL BAIO
In the glittering crown that is Piedmontese wine there are the twin jewels, shining brighter than all, of Barbaresco and Barolo. Located in the Langhe area south-east of Turin, this is the spiritual and historical home of the Nebbiolo variety, producing wines of finessed power.
Nebbiolo is a variety that is commonly compared to Pinot Noir for its sublime ability to express a sense of place. Traditionally the grapes of Barbaresco had been sold to the larger producers in Barolo, and ended up bottled under that name. Beginning in the late nineteenth century recognition grew for the unique taste of the wines of Barbaresco, and from 1894 wines began appearing using that designation.
The Grasso family’s roots in the region coincided heavily with this revolution in Barbaresco, and has since through their Ca’ del Baio winery also been indelibly intertwined.
Giuseppe Grasso, great-grandfather of current Ca’ del Baio scion Giulio, moved from his home in Asti to the Cascina Vallegrande property in Treiso di Barbaresco in 1870. His son, Luigi, would go on to plant the family’s first vines in 1921. Three years later the Grasso family wines were first made available for sale, in tiny quantities and only for visitors to the farmhouse.
In recent years and in further nods to the terroir-sensitivity of Nebbiolo, wines from single vineyards have become quite popular, and some cru have achieved fame and heightened prices as a result, both from Barolo and Barbaresco. The Grasso family were prescient of this and Barbaresco’s typicity; actually beginning separate vinification of wines from the original Vallegrande estate as early as 1965.
In addition to the flagship Nebbiolo, Ca’ del Baio produces Dolcetto, Barbera and Moscato, with Riesling also being planted recently with an eye to the future. The Moscato in particular is a dream, delicately sweet and superbly refreshing.
All wines produced, and the farming done to produce them, are done with sustainability front and centre. Ca’ del Baio is a proud member of the Green Experience; an initiative begun locally in Piedmont to collaborate and transparently participate in sustainable practices. This includes the elimination of chemical weeding and fertilisers and preserving and protecting local biodiversity both flora and fauna. Ca del Baio are also heavy proponents of using natural yeasts and absolutely minimal intervention in the winemaking process.