Four generations of Povero family wisdom unite to create a beautifully unstoppable force in the heart of Piedmont. Since 1837 the Povero family has inhabited the land in Cisterna d’Asti and, beginning with the first vine plantings in Canale d’Alba, they have slowly and strategically purchased and cultivated vineyards in all three of the Roero, Langhe, and Monferrato appellations. Their 50 hectares of vineyards sit around 320 meters in elevation and bask in the direct northern Italian sun. Their prime location in Cisterna d’Asti affords them a unique versatility in producing an exciting range of wines. Cantine Povero is undoubtedly a family affair, started in 1964 by Giovanni and Michelino Povero and currently managed by Alessio Povero, he is the third generation to run the estate, aided by siblings.
Grandfather Tumlin planted the first vines in the '40s and it feels as though he still lives through them today. His children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren feel his wisdom, traditions, and lessons every day, even as Cantine Povero adopts modern technologies in their winemaking. They hold firmly to classical roots though, specifically in their rigorous adherence to natural, environmentally friendly technologies and winemaking techniques. Among the many lessons of Grandfather Tumlin was the emphasis on humble respect for the land--Alessio, his siblings, and his children all understand the importance of a firm but patient hand when cultivating their vineyards. They believe in “responsible intervention, which one has for something or someone that is thoroughly loved.”
A wine that most perfectly conveys the spirit and essence of its place, Barbaresco is true reflection of terroir. Its star grape, like that in the neighboring Barolo region, is Nebbiolo. Four townships within the Barbaresco zone can produce Barbaresco: the actual village of Barbaresco, as well as Neive, Treiso and San Rocco Seno d'Elvio.
Broadly speaking there are more similarities in the soils of Barbaresco and Barolo than there are differences. Barbaresco’s soils are approximately of the same two major soil types as Barolo: blue-grey marl of the Tortonion epoch, producing more fragile and aromatic characteristics, and Helvetian white yellow marl, which produces wines with more structure and tannins.
Nebbiolo ripens earlier in Barbaresco than in Barolo, primarily due to the vineyards’ proximity to the Tanaro River and lower elevations. While the wines here are still powerful, Barbaresco expresses a more feminine side of Nebbiolo, often with softer tannins, delicate fruit and an elegant perfume. Typical in a well-made Barbaresco are expressions of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, smoke and spice. These wines need a few years before they reach their peak, the best of which need over a decade or longer. Bottle aging adds more savory characteristics, such as earth, iron and dried fruit.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.