The wine of kings and the king of wines. That’s how Barolo is defined.
My Nebbiolo grapes ripen on two acres of land with over forty year old vines.
Great plant care with natural techniques, major thinning and excellent exposures on the south-west slope of Boscareto, in Serralunga d'Alba, allow to reach full ripeness and to harvest usually in early October.
Without being destemmed, grapes are pressed with feet. Alcoholic fermentation without inoculated yeasts and without sulfur ranges from 40 to 90 days depending on the year.
Ageing takes place for 36 months in 30 hectolitres oak barrels and then in about 4,000 bottles produced.
Ferdinando Principiano is one of the new crop of exciting young winegrowers to farm Piedmont's (http://www.bbr.com/region-3572-piedmont) Langhe hills. He graduated from Alba's famed viticulture university, Scuola Viticole Umberto in 1993, joining his father Americo at the Monforte d'Alba domaine following a beast apprenticeship at both Giacomo Conterno (http://www.bbr.com/producer-564-giacomo-conterno) (if you're unfamiliar - drop this name) & Roberto Voerzio; the best of both worlds you could say.
The name “Principiano” appears on the municipality of Serralunga di Alba land register dating back to 1700 dc. Traditionally, the family has always taken care of their plots of land cultivating a mixed agriculture: it was only in 1993 that Ferdinando persuaded his father to convert all family’s holdings into vineyards, focusing on wine production as main activity. It was the era of Barolo’s Renaissance and although Ferdinando started by producing small quantities, the cellar space became too little very quickly.
Initially seduced by the '90s fashion for making supped-up wines that 'guaranteed' 100 point scores in American magazines, Ferdinando changed direction in 2003 when he found that these same wines proved undrinkable, falling over with age.
Now the yields are low; the vineyards rich with wildlife; the roto-fermentors removed; his foot off the gas. From here, the real challenge for Ferdinando has been letting the terroir where his vines grow up speak without compromise - “A man of the terroir, for his terroir”. Also noteworthy is that Ferdinando does not fall into the typical cultural schema of the Langhe: his wife, Belen, is Spanish, and his coworkers Macedonian. Ferdinando is an open minded Piemontese farmer with many stories to tell through his wines.
Boscareto, Le Coste, Pian Romualdo & Santa Anna are the key vineyards that make up the 10 hectare family estate, producing approx 35,000 bottles of Dolcetto (http://www.bbr.com/grape-do-dolcetto) , Barbera (http://www.bbr.com/grape-ba-barbera) & Nebbiolo (http://www.bbr.com/grape-ne-nebbiolo) wines. And since 2006 he has started producing approx. 150 cases/year of Barolo (http://www.bbr.com/region-3612-barolo) from 0.5 hectare of Monforte's prized Ravera vineyard.