Azienda Agricola La BriccolinaSerralunga d’Alba | Piedmont
If we think of vine growers as painters, Piedmont offers one of the more diverse palettes in the world of wine. The midnight heft of Serralunga, the floral pastels of La Morra, the bright cherry of Verduno: it takes a top talent to truly master the complexities of Nebbiolo in just one village, let alone them all.
But if you are Tiziano Grasso, a grower with five generations of know-how flowing through your veins, the colorful language of Nebbiolo is second nature.
During the 1800s, the Grasso family sustained themselves through their labors on Piedmont’s many fog-covered hills. Finally, in 1923, they achieved what so many “contadini” could only dream of—owning a parcel of land on a southern slope perfect for Nebbiolo, called La Briccolina.
It was against this backdrop that Tiziano, by his father’s side, learned the secrets of Nebbiolo and how its character changes depending on the commune in which it is grown.
But his lessons didn’t stop there. For years, he assisted Fontanafredda’s Danilo Drocco, who himself was trained by Beppe Colla, the legend who woke Barolo up to the possibilities of single-vineyard wines.
In 2012, Tiziano, assisted by his son Daniele and wife Simona, decided it was time for his family to transform Nebbiolo into Barolo themselves—at a mere 3,000 bottles per year.
Their handcrafted Barolo—a strict, older-vine selection of the best fruit from Briccolina, aged traditionally in botti—reflects Serralunga’s proud dark fruit and suave tannins like a mirror. Indeed, Tiziano has told us that he seeks to “bring to the glass the essence of the land,” through the voice of his old-vine Nebbiolo.
Sadly, Tiziano passed away suddenly just after the family bottled their first vintage—a terrible twist of fate that shook not only the family but also the entire community of Serralunga.
Tiziano’s son, Daniele, now handles winemaking duties on his own. He learned the craft both from his father and local talents; there’s no question that very soon, the next big name in Serralunga will be Daniele Grasso.
We are very proud to be Briccolina’s very first importer to the United States.
FARMING & WINEMAKING
The Grasso family follows sustainable farming practices, using organic treatments as much as possible. Previously, the family kept just 10% of the harvest for themselves to vinify; as of 2017, they now retain 20% of their crop (the rest is sold to top regional winemakers).
Briccolina’s natural amphitheater of vines, part of the Serralunga d’Alba commune, stretches southwest to southeast, at 1,050 feet above sea level. Soils combine limestone and marl.
Harvest usually starts the first week of October. Grapes are harvested by hand in small crates, and then are destemmed, lightly crushed, and fermented on selected yeasts in wooden vats called “tine.” After the wine ferments dry, it is pulled off the skins and transferred to stainless steel tank to rest through the winter. In the spring, the wine is moved gently to 20HL Slavonian oak botti, where it will age for two years.
Wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, and rests for one year in bottle before release.
This supple, seductive and midnight-deep Barolo is all curves and succulent fruit: the product of older vines (50+ years) grown in the perfect amphitheater of cru La Briccolina. A gorgeous wine from the hands of one of Barolo’s most talented families.
- Download fact sheet (PDF)
Established: 2011 (the family purchased land in 1923)
Winemaker: Daniele Grasso
Region: Italy • Piedmont • Serralunga d’Alba
Vineyard size: 13.5 acres
PRACTICING SUSTAINABLE FARMING
“E’ un vino figlio di grande passione, nato con l’intento di portare nel bicchiere l’essenza di una terra attraverso il Nebbiolo, il vitigno che al meglio la interpreta.”
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