Producer

Fontanafredda

Country

ITALY

Region of production

PIEDMONT

Appellations

Langhe, Roero

Founded

1858, by Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II

Climate

Continental

Soil composition

Layers of clay, calcareous marl, blue marl, tufa, sand, and sulphur-bearing chalk.

Vineyard

120 hectares owned; 800 hectares total vinified.

Agriculture

Sustainable. Currently undergoing organic certification. Process to be completed by the 2018 harvest.

Production Volume

8 million bottles. 85% red, 15% white.

Varieties Grown

Chardonnay, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir , Riesling, Syrah

Ages of Vines

Average of 15-year-old vines

Behind the Wines

Danilo Drocco

The arrival in 1999 of Head Winemaker, Danilo Drocco, heralded a renewed era of excellence at Fontanafredda. Born in the local village of Rodello, near Alba, Danilo Drocco studied winemaking at the University of Turin. He is committed to crafting the purest expression of Barolo, from the exceptional vineyards of the estate. Danilo loves the simple things in life; a plate of pane e salami and watching his beloved football club, Juventus, score the winning goal

Noble heritage, regal wines

Recently hailed “European Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast, Fontanafredda has long been a leading light of the Barolo region. While the estate’s majestic origin and enviable vineyard holdings may have once been their greatest pride, today their commitment to sustainable practices and top-quality winemaking sets them apart.
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A Royal Beginning

Until the mid 19th century, the current day Fontanafredda estate was a hunting ground. In 1858, it was purchased by Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift for his mistress, “La bela Rosin”. The production of fine red wines from the native Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto grapes soon followed.

“Just like great Burgundies, Barolo should reveal itself little by little, rather than all at once”. 

-       Danilo Drocco, Head Winemaker

The Finest Terroirs

The Fontanafredda estate boasts the largest contiguous vineyard in the Langhe. Over 100 hectares form a natural amphitheatre, spanning the prized terroirs of Serralunga d’Alba, Barolo, and Diano d’Alba. The well-oriented, hilly terrain is blessed with warm days, and cool nights ensuring long, slow ripening. The resultant wines possess great elegance, with highly nuanced aromatics, powerful structure, and fine tannic grip.

 

Leaders in Sustainability

In 2016, Fontanafredda begun the process of converting their entire estate to organic farming. As of 2019, they will be the largest certified organic producer in Piedmont. They have reduced their water consumption by over 20% in recent years, reusing waste water to irrigate green spaces around the winery, and installing a phytodepuration plant.

 

A Modern Traditionalist

Danilo Drocco believes in marrying classic and modern ageing techniques for his Barolo. The wines spend one year in small French oak barrels, before being transferred to large, seasoned casks for a second year. According to Drocco, the barrels intensify the fruit, while the large casks ensure that the tannic structure and oak expression are subdued.

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