2019 #Piemonte | Gattinara vineyards
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
If you would like to see beautiful Gattinara vineyards, not only wineries located in the town, then you have to drive out of the town and climb up onto the hill, where Torre delle Castelle is located (google map is your best friend, as usual).
The road is super narrow and extremely steep, with a super sharp curves, where you absolutely have no control of what's going on in front of you because of permanently upcoming turns... and it's basically a one way only, but of course everybody want to drive up & down in the same time, so the local rule is - when you are on this road, no matter if you're in the car or on the moto, you have to "beep" every 20-30 seconds to be sure that any venichle heading towards you, which you can't see becasue of next turn, at least can hear you and push the brakes on time. This is how local people do and actually I found it very useful while driving there in reality. When you finally got on the top of the #hill through that difficult serpentine part, you see it absolutely worth doing. Highly recommended on the sunset time with simply amazing must see views in the golden hour.
Gattinara established as a DOC in 1967 and became a DOCG in 1990. The whole vineyards' area is about 90 ha, which is basically a super teeny tiny zone if compare it to any other more or less significant Italian (or not) wine region.
The valley with #Gattinara vineyards itself, as said, is small but super beautiful, especially enjoyable in the sunny day with bright blue sky, when you can clearly see and match where all the crus are located.
By the way, on the map it look something like this.
In the middle of Torre delle Castelle's zone there is a nice small catholic church called Capella della Madonna della Neve ("neve" means "snow" in Italian, well Madonna means Madonna, you know). The church is open and you can get inside to stay in a quite atmosphere, think about life... so on and so forth.
On the other side of the hill there is a spectacular panorama of Gattinara town itself. Isn't it an amazing postcard? On the background you can see Ghemme town, another famous wine production zone, where the producers like Rovellotti and Torraccia del Piantavigna are located.
On the left you can see another small local town called Romagnano Sesia, not that much famous for wine production, but more important for textile industry, e.g. well-known worldwide Italian high quality cashmere producer Loro Piana is located right there, did you know that?
One more interesting thing is on the hill of La Torre, which was shown and explained to me by Fabrizio from Paride Iaretti estate (big thanks for that). There are "experimental Nebbiolo clones vineyards" around La Torre, which we were able to see as they are basically open. It's hold by University of Turin, where the students study oenology & wines, and local association of volunteers of Gattinara.
These experimental vineyards has their own perimeter, the vines are planted not based on the rules of Gattinara DOCG (width, trellising system, etc.) as the grapes are not use for #wine production, of course. But they are being planted, grown and carefully studied by university's students, who can probably create some new famous Nebbiolo clones in the future, who knows... I was curious and shameless enough to taste these experimental #Nebbiolo grapes right from the vines - they were full of sugar in the mid of September already, even though usually Nebbiolo is being harvested much later (in the beg of October), that means they still had plenty of time to ripen even more. Global warming is already here, do you want it or not.