Cantina del Nebbiolo La Pranda Barolo 2014
Those in the Cantina del Nebbiolo, in Vezza d’Alba, all have roots in the past. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the winds of innovation and development were blowing through the wine-growing hills of Piedmont, which brought enthusiasm and confidence in the future. At a national level there was a movement that dreamed of creating an industry dedicated to wines of quality, of provenance and found in the Piedmont many individuals and strong supporters. Specifically in the hills of the Langhe and Roero where the lives of the people who live here have been tied to the vineyards and wine for ages. Serious vine diseases came to this area long ago (starting in the mid 1800’s, first came Powdery Mildew, then Downy Mildew, and finally Phylloxera) which fueled the plan to devote increased attention to the quality of the wine and the proper management of the vineyards. Even the clergy at that time was on the side of the winemakers and helped them to collectively find a way to realize the dreams that individually were not possible. So it was that in Vezza d’Alba, thanks to the patient and proactive work of the parish priest at the time, Don Augusto Vigolungo, a small winery was created, with parish support and Christian spirit. It was an important contribution to the growth of the territory where grapevines were struggling to withstand the onslaught of disease and alternative fruit crops that offered better income. Roero Vezza d’Alba was already fertile ground for cooperation because other collaboration projects were already underway. But from one of the little ”parish wine cooperative” (cantina sociale parrocchial), began an initiative that left an indelible mark that continues today. Things went on with a little luck for a few years when in 1915 the situation worsened. The world was about to embark on World War I a serious and devastating time that would take away young men from Vezza d’Alba to fight and die for a cause much bigger than anyone could imagine. During and after the war, there was widespread desolation in these hills. Households and businesses deprived of young men and their labor and had difficulty meeting the need for food crops. With little protection and only basic means of support the impact of the three vine diseases took its toll and caused serious damage. The two decades between 1920 - 1940 brought more problems; grapevines were allowed little space by the autocratic government policies of the time, which made the people of these hills uneasy. Then came the Second World War, which was even worse by bringing the war to this land. Once the storm of war and the second half of the 1940’s passed, the reconstruction of the villages as well as its conscience was needed to assist the development of the economy. In the vineyards and other agricultural areas there was another danger - a massive movement of people from the countryside to the cities for work. Something needed to be done quickly and properly, which would be hard enough to achieve in normal times. But you know, in difficulty is where great ideas find fertile ground. So, Vezza d’Alba, in the hills of Roero, found new strength in cooperation. In 1959 a handful of growers, 23 to be exact, all from the Roero decided that it was necessary to plan the future by looking to the past and the Cantina del Nebbiolo was founded in Borbore Vezza d’Alba. A cooperative that would restart the work that started in 1901 to attempt to realize a positive project for these hills. The first years were difficult. There was an air of hostility towards anything new, fueled by traders and brokers, who saw in this project as a threat to their existing privileges and interests. The first harvest at Cantina del Nebbiolo was in 1960 and since that time the path has been continuous. Today, after more than 50 years, Cantina del Nebbiolo is still here, situated prominently on the road between Alba and Turin in the village of Borbore Vezza d’Alba. Today, there are 180 members (soci) who grow their own grapes - 80% in the Roero hills and 20% in other areas that are highly suited to quality viticulture and as esteemed as Barbaresco and Barolo, Dolcetto and Moscato. Even today, the grape growers are the real creators of this collegial project, of this winery and its success and quality. Year after year, their commitment grows and is renewed, to produce quality grapes and then continuing with wisdom and precision in the vineyards some of which are in the most inaccessible areas and yet are of the greatest value, where the tractors have a hard time reaching. Today, the wine growing area managed by members of the Cantina del Nebbiolo is about 300 hectares of vineyards specialized in mainly traditional grapes of the Piedmont: the red varieties; Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Bonarda and Freisa, and the white varieties; Arneis, Favorita, Nascetta and Moscato. The result is a wide variety of wines from the Langa and Roero, which are able to accompany any meal from beginning to end with a strict quality / price ratio and a focus on quality and pleasure. Modern and elegant white wines and great red wines that reflect the territory, able to conquer the markets in Italy and the world.