Canavese, Piedmont



Ferrando exemplifies the tradition in the Northern Piedmont, Alto Piemonte. Founded in 1890 by Giuseppe Ferrando, it is today run by Ferrando’s fifth generation: Roberto and Andrea. This is a historic estate and a reference point in the region of Piedmont, producing outstanding wines from the sub-regions in which they grow: Canavese, Caluso and Carema. 

Red wines are based on Nebbiolo, or Spanna as it is called locally, supplemented with some Barbera and Neretta. Whites, which comes from Caluso, are made of Erbaluce. Through all their wines, there is a sense of purity, finesse and delineation highly praised for decades. In fact, their Carema (both Bianca and Nera) counts among the most sought after Nebbiolo in Italy — a connoisseur Nebbiolo that can be placed among the greatest varietal expressions from the Langhe.

The Ferrando-family farms 4 hectares of vineyards in a close to organic manner. The vines grow in soils based on glacial moraine. In the vineyards Copper and Sulphur are the main treatments, and Carema is under in the process of becoming full organic. Winemaking is careful and traditional. The grapes are de-stemmed before fermentation for reds and before pressing for whites. Ambient yeasts carries out fermentation, ageing occurs in older oak of various sizes. The wines are only lightly filtered, if needed.

You cannot talk about Ferrando and not delve a little deeper into the vineyards of Carema, since they have played a major role in preserving these vineyards and its reputation from extinction. Carema is a small DOC  with a massive history, made up of just 16 hectares in total of which 2,5 are owned by Ferrando. Carema lies in the very north of Piedmont, bordering Valle d’Aosta, so this is where the alpine regions starts it true ascent. 

These are extreme vineyards, very mountainous with the majority being steep terraces 350-700 meters above sea level. The terraces are built up with  supporting stone structures that also helps ripening due to their ability to store heat from the days sun. Vines are trained in a pergola like system, locally called, Topie. Carema being the coolest growing region in all of Alto Piemonte, this training system maximizes exposure and aids ripening. Soils here are contain rocky slate and mineral rich moraine. Even though there is a minimum requirement of 80% Nebbiolo for Carema DOC, Ferrando masterfully uses 100 % Nebbiolo, being recognized in Italy as some of the most compelling Nebbiolo produced – making it the “Mountain Barolo”.