Attilio Ghisolfi Barbera d'Alba Maggiora 2010
The Piedmont region of Italy, with its history of agriculture and its reputation for producing the highly-
praised and prized Barolo wines, certainly qualifies as one of the world's best-known areas for grape-
growing and wine production.
Carlo Ghisolfi bought a small property of approximately nine acres in 1985 in what is now known as the "Cru Bussia" and started making wine. Carlo’s son and grandson expanded the property accumulating 21 additional acres of neighboring lands. The wines under the Ghisolfi label were made in 1988 and it included a Barolo Bricco Visette, which is the name of the hill of Carlo’s original nine acres.
Until 1987, the land was used for both vines and other agricultural products. At that time, Carlo’s great
grandson Gianmarco Ghisolfi had come into the family business and, with his father Attilio, converted
most of the land over to grapevines in order to start producing wines under their own label.
While not organically certified, the vineyards are eco-friendly and cultivated with a great respect for the
environment. They do not use chemical fertilizers or herbicides (weeds are killed mechanically)
In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.
Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.
Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.
Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.
Friendly and approachable, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from youthful, fresh and fruity to serious, structured and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera; those from Asti and Alba garner the most praise. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in some New World regions. Somm Secret—In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and unoaked—abound and in fact most Piedmontese producers today produce both styles.