Travaglini Gattinara 1996
Driven by a passion for exceptional Nebbiolo, the Travaglini family has been producing remarkable, limited-production wines from their eponymous estate in Gattinara for four generations. As the foremost producer and largest vineyard owner in this northern region of Piedmont, Travaglini’s distinctive bottle-shaped Gattinara is the most iconic bottle of the appellation.
Gattinara plays an important role in Italian viticulture, but until a couple decades after the turn of the century, this beautiful region of Alto Piemonte was nearly forgotten. A winemaking region older than Barolo, Gattinara covered almost 600 hectares by the end of the 1800’s, making it one of the largest in Northern Europe. The phylloxera plague, coupled with a devastating hail storm in 1905, completely destroyed the region and wine production in Gattinara was abandoned. Fortunately, Clemente Travaglini recognized the potential in this mountainous region and established his winery here in the 1920s. His passion for Nebbiolo helped raise the profile of Gattinara, a commitment that has been carried on through the generations. The family implemented major changes in the winery and vineyards, pioneering research into improved methods of viticulture, such as high density planting (5,000/HA) and 100% hand-harvesting.
The Travaglini family owns 59 hectares of vineyards; 44 of which are dedicated to vines, primarily Nebbiolo. A small portion is planted to native varieties Vespolina and Uva Rara. The family’s vineyard holdings represent almost 59% of total Gattinara DOCG. The small appellation lies in the rocky foothills of the Monte Rosa range, where ventilating winds blow down from the nearby Alps. Soils are rocky and rich in iron, imparting a reddish color on the Earth. Its northern, mountainous location experiences a continental climate, with very cold, snowy winters and warm, sunny summers.
4th generation Cinzia Travaglini now runs the estate, along with her husband Massimo Collauto, chief winemaker. Their efforts, as the generations before them, have made Travaglini one of Italy’s most recognizable wines and the #1 selling Gattinara in the world.
Attracting the most glory, prestige and fame to the Piedmont region, Nebbiolo in all of its expressions—Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Ghemme and Gattinara—creates a complex wine, truly unique for its delicate qualities combined with strength and a great potential to improve over time.
But Nebbiolo isn’t all there is to red wine from Piedmont! Barbera is the most planted variety and historically most popular as a dependable, food-friendly, everyday wine.
Beyond these two, a surprising number of red varieties call Piedmont their home. Worth a try include Dolcetto for its bold concentration and aromas of spice cake. Other grapes to investigate include Freisa, Croatina, Brachetto, Grignolino and Pelaverga.