Colombera and Garella

Masserano, Alto Piemonte

 

Carlo Colombera bought the Colombera in 1992, a beautiful spot just outside the medieval village of Masserano, a localita with a reputation for being markedly drier than neighbouring Lessona.  The house and vineyard are surrounded by woodland, the vines (Nebbiolo, Croatina and Vespolina) are up to a hundred years old and in rude health. 

In 2003 Carlo planted a second hectare in Masserano and in 2005 leased five hectares of mature vineyard in Roasio, enough to leave his job at Antoniolo and commit to Colombera.  Finding (and planting) a hectare of vineyard in Lessona (just below the old Proprieta Sperino cellar) was a masterstroke and today Carlo works alongside his sons Giacomo and Guglielmo, both are qualified oenologists.  The fourth protagonist is Christiano Garella, a close friend of Giacomo’s who had made a name for himself with Tenuta Sella, his understanding of Alto Piemonte wines is invaluable.

A new cellar was built in 2018 and finally there is the space to move.  It remains reassuringly low-tech; second-hand cement tanks, botti and a few used barriques.  The vineyards are farmed organically, though Giacomo has no time for the bodies that regulate and so prefers to express his convictions through membership of Vini Veri (mainly biodynamic producers).