Dott. G. Cappellano

Italy / piedmont

Producer Info

Is revered as one of Serralunga d’Alba’s founding fathers, and after whose family the largest square in the village is justly honored: ‘Piazza Cappellano’. Founded in 1870, the Cappellano family led by lawyer Filippo owned 150 ‘giornate’, or 60 hectares, around the village. His son Giovanni developed the family estate, renovating the vineyards and finding the time to build two hotels in Alba. For his ‘travails’ Giovanni’s vineyard was awarded bronze at the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition, which enabled him to developed sales (of grapes?!) in a French market devastated by phylloxera. Giuseppe, Giovanni’s brother, graduated as a chemist.

Consequently, he leaned more towards the more pharmaceutical side of wine production, inventing none other than Barolo Chinato; a fortified ‘aromatizzato’ wine that combines fine Barolo and spirit steeped in twenty herbs.

Unfortunately, Giovanni died in 1912 of a disease contracted while in Tunisia searching for phylloxera resistant vines. Giuseppe took over the running of the family estate. The responsibility was then passed down to Francesco Augusto Cappellano, an enologist, and then to his son Teobaldo, who returned from life in Eritrea to scale down the estate during the 1960s and to focus on high quality Barolo and Barolo Chinato; the latter at that time facing competition from mass-market imitations.

Augusto Cappellano, a trained chemical engineer, succeeded his father Teobaldo in 2009, renovating the cellars and focussing his energy on the great vineyard of Gabutti, from which their two Barolo wines: the more generous ‘Rupestris’ and the rare, ungrafted ‘Pie Franco’ wines are derived. Vinification is naturally traditional, using cement and slavonian botte grande. And of course he continues to continues in the family tradition of hand-making their original Barolo Chinato.

Tiny quantities are made from their 4 hectares, so demand exceeds supply!

> Organic, uncertified.


Barolo ‘Pie Rupestris’, Serralunga d’Alba

Barolo ‘Pie Franco’, Serralunga d’Alba

Barolo Chinato Vino Aromatizzato, Serralunga d’Alba


Tasting Notes

Barolo ‘Pie Rupestris’, Serralunga d’Alba 2012 – tasted with Augusto in the cantina on 6th April 2017; bottled in Guigno 2015 at approx. 50mg total SO2, c8k bts made: an extraordinary tasting on account of the time it took for the Pie Rupestris to come out of its shell, revealing its ravishing redcurrant skin beauty! Dried rose, rose canina, fresh rhubarb, hint of iron, balsam, essential oils that (only) Gabutti can give us, herbal cassis, speziato, with time revealing lift of pretty, salty red cranberry fruit, gorgeous texture, pulsating, little red berries, energetico, Augusto recalls the heat of first March & then August; it was the first year he employed 40HL wooden fermenting vats…gives the wines 1.5 yrs in bottle prior to release.

Barolo ‘Pie Franco’, Serralunga d’Alba 2012 – also bottled Giugno 2015, c. 1800 bts made!, in contrast to the Pie Rupestris, ironically the gnarled Pie Franco wine opened up from the start…before closing down just as Pie Rupestris spread its wings! Slightly darker hue, more intense, focused, fragrance of violets & fresh rose, limpid, precise, so fine, with sapid acciughe/anchovy, quinine, darker spice, salivating, really racy, sense of darker fruit, of hedonistic, tonic fresh, cologne, confounding…