14 September 2018
Piedmont has recently been given a welcome boost, not just by the arrival of Sig. Ronaldo but by the news that Giacomo Conterno has bought the Gattinara cantina of Nervi. The latter a stamp of approval that confirms the sense of revival that now pervades the Alto Piedmont region; the former gambling that Juventus could finally win The Champions League! Indeed, on Monday 10th September, Mattia Antoniotti, the latest & fifth generation of his family to produce Bramaterra, will be presenting his wines at a small dinner at The Quality Chop House…& revealing just why Conterno didn’t buy Antoniotti instead!
The vineyards of the Alto Piedmont lie to the north-east of the Langhe or ‘Basso Piemonte’, between the towns of Novara & Biella, & under the gaze of Monte Rosa & the Alps. Compared to the sedimentary, calcareous soils of the Langhe, caused by the evaporation of the once extensive Mediterranean sea c. 7 million of years ago, Alto Piedmont is based on acidic, igneous rocks & morainic soils caused by the tectonic & glacial movement some 13 million years before. Older geologically than the Langhe, the denominations of Alto Piedmont can also claim to be just as long in the tooth as their upstart ‘cugini’ of the Langhe, with the likes of Bramaterra, Gattinara, & Boca tracing their roots back to the Middles Ages, prior to being awarded the DOC in the 1960s & ‘70s.
Mattia’s family have been farming the pink porphyry, limestone & wooded slopes of Bramterra since the 18th century. His father Odilio recalls accompanying his father on the back of the cart as they made their way to sell their wine in the Biella market soon after the end of WW2; a labour that took all day. In 1960, Odilio took the revolutionary step of bottling their wine from their tiny property. Mattia has recently joined his father as they farm the Nebbiolo, Croatina, Vespolina & Uva Rara vines, while planting new single vineyards with which to take their story forward.
At this exceptional dinner Mattia will pulls the cork on Bramaterra vintages 2015 (anteprima!), 2009, 2001 & the rare 1985!