A bit of leisurely start to the day as we were seeing Paolo, from Rocci di Carpeneto at 1pm.
Lovely breakfast made by Mariangela Lauria at Agroturismo San Lorenzo. Homemade bread, fresh cheese from the goats on the farm, fruit from the farm, coffee etc.
We rode to Rocco di Carpeneto, lovely ride as it usually is in the countryside. Paolo met us outside and luckily, we didn’t have to keep him waiting too long as we didn’t have the hazmats on (the rain gods had been kind).
Unfortunately, Lidia was travelling; but we hope to see her next time.
We went into the tasting room, which has been done up really well. Some really cool wine art there. Paolo and Lidia have pretty much designed everything from scratch and everything is tastefully done, very colourful, sympathetic design, artistic, clean and beautiful
We spent some time talking about Paolo and Lidia’s story. Paolo is from Lake Guarda and Lidia is from Rome. They had careers in financial services in Milan but decided they wanted to make wine instead. So, they planned out the move and bought what is now Rocco di Carpeneto. This was only the second vineyard they saw and they fell in love with it. The previous owners sold grapes rather than make wine and fortunately, this meant that Lidia and Paolo could design everything the way they wanted, from scratch.
We then went out to the vineyards. Paolo is extremely knowledgeable about the vineyards and we had a really long and detailed conversation about the different vineyards and his methods.
There is the Rocco vineyard, which is recognised as a “historic vineyard” by Piedmont region. Rocco include barbera and dolcetto. Paolo showed us some of the empty spaces and how he is working on new plantings in these empty spaces, ensuring that the character of the vineyard does not change. We also went to Gaggero vineyard which includes barbera, dolcetto and cortese. There is also Vicario vineyard with the same varieties. Two new vineyards with nebbiolo and albarossa have been recently planted.
We were quite happy to see first-hand and learn about a small new planting that was taking place.
From there, it was onto the winery. Again, designed from scratch, arranged on three different floors and with a functional, eco-efficient structure. There is very minimal equipment used and also there is no temperature control. This is all keeping in line with the natural wine making philosophy that Rocco di Carpeneto follow.
The aging is done in different oak casks, acacia casks, terracotta amphora and concrete tanks, depending upon the wine.
From the winery, we headed back to the tasting area. It was a gorgeous day and we sat outdoors to taste some of the delicious wines with Paolo and Alberto (the resident oenologist) .
Paolo and Lidia use a very interesting method to name their wines. All the names are taken from Monferrino Glossario by Giuseppe Ferraro. This is 19th century dialect and I was able to see the original book from which the names are picked as well.
We tried Ròo (which means moon "halo") and is made 100% from Cortese grapes. A very refreshing and easy to drink white wine, which could be drunk anytime. "
We also loved Reitemp (which means "the ringing of bells informing of a storm getting closer"). This is a Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, excusively made from grapes hand-picked in the historic Rocco vineyard.
And Ratataura (which means "bat") is another Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG.
Ratataura is picked from different vineyards and aged for 20 months atleast vs Reitemp which is aged for 25 months atleast.
Besides this, we tried Losna (meaning "lightning"), which is an Ovado DOCG.
We finished off with another short tour to see the mushrooms and wild white garlic that Alberto had used to make lunch today. Unfortunately, we were too late for lunch, but we are definitely looking forward to trying out the pasta with mushroom and garlic next time.
After bidding our goodbyes to Paolo and Alberto, we headed off to Genoa. Quickly moved from “biker clothing” mode to normal humans going to a wine bar clothing mode and headed to Manin Vino. Situated in Piazza Manin, this is Genoa’s first and only natural wine bar. Met Elisa and Francesco, chatted over some more delicious wine and tagliarre.
We were able to try Rocco di Carpeneto’s Andeira. This is a sparkling made from Barbera grapes. Paolo had run out of bottles, so we were quite pleased to be able to get some at Manin Vino.
We could have stayed at Manin Vino forever, but being the considerate souls that we are, we decided to leave and let them close up. But only after extracting a promise from the lovely Elisa to see us the following day at 9.30am
To know what happened the following day at 9.30am, keep tuned for the next instalment of this blog.
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