♦ The Passitaia
About twenty years ago we planted a white grape vineyard (Erbaluce) on the hill of Barengo (NO), in the locality of "Strà Orba", but we delayed making wine because we did not intend to produce a traditional white wine.
Then in 2009, an intuition that turned out to be lucky, we will see why.
The road, where our country house is located, was known in the village for being the road where the winter ice persisted for a long time. In ancient times it bore the name of the "road of the seven winds". Honestly, those strong temperature fluctuations and that cold air in the evening were very peculiar, particularly to the north of the property where one of our old houses had not yet been used.
Intuition led us to think that that microclimate and that thick skin of our grapes could have developed the Noble Mold that had so fascinated us on our travels to France when we got to know the Sauternes.
Few experiments have confirmed the phenomenon, much scientific study on Botrytis cinerea, then we equipped those humid rooms of the cottage for the display of our grapes, hung from the ancient beams with chains, with natural drying, that is, totally exposed to the climate. The climate creates a whirlwind of currents and every night a cold north wind arrives which lowers the air temperature by 10° / 12°. A completely natural exposure to withering.
The grapes remain in the premises for 4/5 months, the noble rot arrives every year in massive form and hits the grapes at random. Here, in Passitaia, we observe the evolution of the Noble Mold with the hope that the climate that is not excessively rainy will give rise to perfect harmony while keeping the botrytized grapes in a larval form, a condition for obtaining a "nectar".
The metabolism of the fungus in botrytised grapes consists in reducing the water content of the berries, concentrating the sugars and giving MUFii its characteristic and unmistakable aroma.
We wanted a wine with a lower body, more drinkable that would take up that position, as we say food-friendly today, from combinations to be sought with the concordances (sweet) and particularly with the (salty) discrepancies of the table.
An easy wine to drink but difficult to forget, to be proposed to food and wine, an alchemy that fascinates us so much.
We produce about 3000 bottles (500 ml) every year and over time we will always remain tied to an optimization that will not differ in number.
We are niche, convinced that we will remain such, produce only one wine, but pay attention to everything that the soil, the care of the vineyard and the climate can offer us to continue the path of excellence.