The jewel in our crown, produced only in the years we consider the best; this wine aspires to excellence without compromise.
In the past this was considered the riserva di famiglia–the family reserve wine, recognisable by its label dedicated to Quintino Sella, champion of Italian unification and minister in the Risorgimento government.
VARIETIES: Nebbiolo 85%, Vespolina 15%
Selective harvest and further selective sorting in the cellar
with technique of simultaneous inoculation
fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with pumping over and rack and return
southeast / southwest
beginning of October
300 metres above sea level
This geographic region has a subcontinental climate typical of the Po plain. It features numerous microclimate oases, which are influenced by the orientation of the hillsides.
These ‘oases’, which include our band of hillside in Lessona, achieve almost Mediterranean average annual temperatures.
Winter, usually beset with precipitation, rarely sees snow or excessive subzero temperatures.
Spring is temperate and humid, aiding resumption of the vegetative cycle, which often has an early start.
The dry, hot summer tends to fade gradually into an often dry and mild autumn. Temperatures fluctuate markedly between day and night, ensuring slow ripening of grapes.
Rainfall, abundant in the Biella area, declines substantially within a few kilometres: while Biella receives about 1500 mm annually, Lessona at 15 km to the east, receives an average of just over 1000 mm, chiefly in the spring months.
Summer rain is essential to the well-being of the vineyards: the free-draining sandy soil of Lessona would subject the vines to excessive water stress.
The soils suited to viticulture in the Lessona district are almost entirely composed of marine sands. Their pH readings are among the most acidic in the entire Italian viticultural panorama.
High concentrations of many elements such as iron and manganese strongly define the mineral framework of the wines.
Vineyard management is attuned to respect each individual vine: the high average age of our vineyards (about 40 years) requires us to respect every vine to ensure its equilibrium and well-being.
Working with old established vineyards implies additional costs and lower yields, but these vines with their deep roots produce grapes that profoundly reflect their terroir of origin.
Out of respect for our land and avoid erosion, we limit ploughing to a maximum of once a year (generally carried out at the beginning of winter).
We fertilise with manure, either natural or palletised, and by digging in grass clippings, which reduces the need for added nitrogen.
Almost all work, from winter pruning to harvest, is carried out by hand.
Vines are arranged in rows and are Guyot-pruned with 8-12 buds.
Normally our vineyards do not require thinning over the summer: the age of the vines ensures a reduced grape yield, on average between 250 and 1000 grams per vine.