A journey through a pillar of Italian wines
When we hastily pick up a bottle of wine at the store, or choose it on the wine list of the restaurant, how often do we contemplate its story? Do we even consider that it might have a story? Pio Cesare wines certainly do. Definitively and distinctively Piedmont, tradition, authenticity and four generations of family are but a few thoughts that came to mind.
The Pio Cesare winery was founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio. He was one of the very first wine producers to believe in the great potential and quality of Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and in the other great wines of Piemonte. Cesare Pio, in the second part of the 19th century, was among the very first winemakers to produce these wines with a philosophy that was dedicated to the terroir and the strictest quality of the wine.
Today, Piedmont, or Piedmonte is synonymous with some of Italy’s greatest wines, notably Barolo and Barbaresco, made from the ‘noble’ Nebbiolo grape. Remote, rugged and hauntingly beautiful, Piedmont is surrounded by mountains on three sides — the Alps on the west and north and the Apennines on the south, leaving only the eastern side, toward Lombardy and Milan, with easy entry and exit access.
For five generations, the Pio Cesare family has been producing traditional Piemontese wines in its cellars, located in the center of the town of Alba. The cellars walls date back to the Roman Empire period , 50 B.C. Recently, significant investments have been made to rebuild and restructure the cellars and the winery’s facilities.
A new fermentation cellar was built with a new racking by gravity area and a new barrel ageing room, 12 meters underneath the existing building and the Roman Walls. A brand new bottling and labeling equipment was installed in a newly built portion of the winery.
Pio Cesare owns more than 50 hectares (130 acres) of vineyards, located in the most highly rated and better exposed areas. Within the Barolo region, the “Ornato” Estate and the “Colombaro” Vineyard (in Serralunga d’Alba), the “Gustava” Estate (in Grinzane Cavour), the “Roncaglie” (in La Morra) and “Ravera” (Barolo- Novello). Within the Barbaresco territory, the “Il Bricco” Estate and the “San Stefanetto” Vineyard in Treiso. Other selected vineyards are located in the communes of Diano d’Alba, Sinio and Trezzo.
In addition to is own vineyards, Pio Cesare has fostered long-term relationships with growers for several generations and manages all aspects of viticulture in these vineyards. These growers have been selling grapes to the family for generations.
Authenticity, artisanality, and place are deeply embedded in the wines of Pio Cesare. The family owns some of the most famed Barolo and Barbaresco vineyards.
The wines are fermented and aged using both modern winemaking techniques in tandem with the most traditional methods of the region. After an appropriate ageing in large casks and barriques of different French oaks, the wines are bottle-aged before their release.All these elements contribute to the continuously high quality of the wines of Pio Cesare, while paying tribute to the vines and to the terroir.
The production of the wines of Pio Cesare is intentionally limited in order to maintain their high quality. Year after year, the wines are ranked among the world’s best and most highly regarded.
The winery’s dedication to quality and respect for tradition and terroir, has allowed Pio Cesare to reach a prominent position among the wine producers of Piemonte.
– Gavi 2012
Category: White n’ Crisp
Ripe fruit with freshness and a clean spicy fragrance, good complex flavour, smooth, silky, rich and slightly aromatic.
Category: White n’ Rich
The name “L’ Altro” means”The Other” in Italian. Piodilei is the family’s most prestigious and first produced Chardonnay. L’Altro is Pio Cesare’s “other” Chardonnay. The wine is fresh, fruity and spicy, rich and creamy, with delicate hints of vanilla.
– Oltre Langhe Rosso 2010
Category: Red Rich n’ Fruity
Made from Nebbiolo and Barbera. Good deep, bright red color. Currant, black raspberry and dark chocolate aromas accented by tobacco and graphite. Supple and savory in the mouth, showing sound acidity. Finishes with fairly light tannins, a slight bitter note from the oak and nice grip. Aged in a combination of 60% larger French oak barrels and 40% new barriques.
Category: Red Earth n’ Spices
The most classic Barolo. Excellent structure and harmony, mild tannins and balanced fruit. It is immediately approachable, but it has a very long aging potential.
– Moscato d’Asti 2013
A semi-sweet wine, with flavors of honey, rich ripe fruit, aromatic on the palate, along with a frizzante finish. The nose is fresh.
Which one is your favorite?