Antoniolo is one of the great names of Gattinara, it is now run by the third generation of this highly respected family; Antonio and his sister, Lorella. The land was purchased by their Grandfather who had the foresight to acquire some excellent plots in a time when Gattinara was far from the emerging star that it is now.
The strength of Gattinara is built on Nebbiolo and its unique soils and climate. The region has a claim to bragging rights that they were the first to make a great Nebbiolo, and Barolo was the follower, and this may be true, but it is unimportant because whilst the vine may be the same, the wine is not. In Gattinara both the acidity of the soil and the altitude (minimum of 200metres) are high. The yields are naturally half those found in the Langhe. Gattinara’s best wines are world class and stand alongside Barolo.
Antonio is a meticulous winemaker, his cellar is immaculate (to the point of obsessive) and he has total control over it. He would far rather be in the vineyards or the cellar than out in public representing the family business and, luckily for him, he has a sister like Lorella who is charming and energetic; she was also head the Consorzio of Gattinara producers for ten years.
The ethos of the estate is minimum intervention: old vines are treated with great respect and new plantings made with great care. In the winery, spontaneous fermentation in cement tank is the norm, whilst wine ageing takes place in botti: a practice that is perhaps best described as ‘enlightened traditional’ winemaking.