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By the late '90s, Stefano was looking for new challenges. He recognized that the Asti zone possessed many old Barbera vineyards on steepslopes that would be planted to Nebbiolo if they were just a few miles west. He purchased the great Mongovone vineyard in 1999. With vines planted in 1932, Mongovone gave him the material to produce something special. Yet, just like with his Moscatos, Stefano produces
Barbera that captures the ethereal freshness for which the Asti zone is noted.
At the same time that he was branching out into Barbera, Stefano produced his
first vintages of Bigaro—a softly sweet, gently effervescent salmon-colored sparkler
made from Brachetto and Moscato.