Nebbiolo D'Alba processing
For Nebbiolo d'Alba the first intervention in the vineyard is the fertilization, which is carried out in autumn, at the end of the harvest, in order to give back to the soil and to the vine the energies spent in the ripening of the grapes. Identifying, from the color of the leaves, the needs of each plant, I manually sprinkle the soil with organic substance: cow manure or humus.
Subsequently, after the fall of the leaves, I start the winter pruning leaving for each plant only one shoot with a number of buds ranging from 5 to 8.
The first thinning out is done in the middle of July and it consists in removing from every single plant the 50% of the production; 5 bunches are left on the shoots.
The second thinning out is done in the middle of August and consists in reducing the bunches of grapes by eliminating the lower part; the tip of each bunch is cut off, keeping the upper part intact, which is the richest in aromas and fragrances.
These devices allow me to harvest every year very healthy and ripe bunches, rich in sugars and fragrances that through fermentation are kept unaltered in the wine.
At the end of this process, with a high density of vines per hectare, 7000 - 7500, I obtain a very low yield: 800g - 1kg per vine.
Taking into account the production disciplinary of Nebbiolo d'Alba is 90Qli/Ha of grapes, with this kind of thinning in my vineyards I do not exceed the production of 60Qli/Ha.
At harvest time the bunches of grapes are placed in small crates to preserve their integrity and quality and brought to the cellar for pressing. In all the various operations in the cellar I do not use any substance that can alter the characteristics of the wine such as increasing color, structure, aromas or tannin.
After pressing, the alcoholic fermentation of Nebbiolo d'Alba takes place in stainless steel tanks, with only indigenous yeasts, for a period ranging between 10 and 30 days. Subsequently, by increasing the temperature of the cellar and by bringing it to 20° C (68° F), malolactic fermentation takes place spontaneously.
Nebbiolo d'Alba is then aged in second passage barrique for one year.
At the end of this period, the wine is not clarified and filtered, but cleaned by natural decantation in stainless steel tanks.
The wine is bottled in July, with the moon in its waning phase, in 750ml bottles and 1,5L magnums; then, before being put on sale, the wine undergoes a further refinement of 6 months.
I would like to underline that at the end of these operations the content of sulphites, the only substance foreign to the grapes present in the wine I produce, is always less than 50% of the quantity allowed by law.