The Barale family is rooted in Barolo, just as Conterno is in Monforte d’Alba, Burlotto in Verduno, & Cappellano in Serralunga d’Alba. And since 2012, Diego (nato ’80) e Damiano (’83) – fratelli e enologi – are the latest ramo/branch of this historic Barale family to be making Barolo wine.
The family dates back to the 17th century, & in 1870 Francesco Barale started making wine. The estate passed to Carlo Barale, who in turn founded the ‘Barale-Rinaldi’ cantina. In due course the families split, with Carlo’s sons Giovanni Battista & Giuseppe (father of Carlo & Sergio) establishing Barale Fratelli until the death of Giuseppe in 1984. Diego & Damiano’s father Carlo, himself an enologo, & their uncle Sergio took over Barale Fratelli until the tragic ‘scomparso‘ of Carlo in Sept. 1985; at this point the property passed to his brother Sergio.
In 2012, following the renovation of their fine & historic ‘Aie Sottane‘ property in the heart of the village, the giovani fratelli Diego & Damiano began their own estate with the release of 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo & with 2012 Barolo. Their distinctive ‘falce e coccinella‘ label does not shed light on their political sympathies, but reveals a mantra shared by the fratelli from the outset: ‘Lavoro e Natura, Audace e Fortuna’.
With land inherited from their father Carlo, the fratelli now have 8ha of vineyards in the communes of Barolo (vigne Monrobiolo di Bussia, Castellero, Cannubi) & Monforte d’Alba (vigna San Giovanni); 4ha of which are devoted to growing Nebbiolo da Barolo.
Both brothers tend to their vines, occasionally with the falce (!), following essentially biologico/organic principles but they do not agree with some of the more illogical practices that being ‘bio’ certified would entail; they don’t own a caterpillar tractor, but rely on a traditional tractor; they prefer to wrap over (arrotolare) the tops of the vines rather than to ‘top’ them. The vineyards are harvested & vinified separately. Vinification is classical, with fermentation in static stainless-steel tanks for up to 25/30 days (remontaggio), followed by ageing in 500L french tonneaux for approx. 24mths. For now they feel most comfortable, & in control with this smaller wood format…but that said, a 25HL botte is in the pipeline.
From vintage 2018, their classic Barolo becomes a blend of Monrobiolo di Bussia & San Giovanni, while their inaugural Barolo Cannubi will be released in magnum only. And from vintage 2021, they will assume ownership of their family’s vines in Castellero. They also make a fine old vine Dolcetto d’Alba & younger vine Barbera d’Alba from their San Giovanni vineyard.
Barbera d’Alba Superiore