Below are some of my favourite producers in Piemonte. It is by no means an exhaustive list of all the great and the good, but I would recommend all the producers listed – either for a visit, or to buy their wines if you see them (or both, of course!). I have arranged them alphabetically by region, and arranged the regions alphabetically: it’s not a question of top-billing…!
Where there is a blog about them, this will be one of Darryl’s historic blogs. The ones with additional comments will be by me: I hope to get to blog about them in due course! In the meantime, enjoy their websites, buy their wines and come and visit them with me!
Adriano, Marco e Vittorio – blog
Ca’ del Baio – Another winery in the area run by women, with the three daughters committed to continuing the production of high-quality wines. All are great, the Barbarescos especially so. And the family is lovely. – blog
Cantina del Pino – You would be hard pressed to find a nicer couple than Renato and Franca, and the wines are really good, too. Recommended across the board.
Cascina delle Rose – Small producer with an agriturismo in Tre Stelle, making beautifully elegant wines of great purity and finesse. Very small quantities, but worth finding as they are great wines.
Cascina Longoria – blog, May’11
Cascina Luisin – Cousins of – and next-door neighbours to – Moccagatta, this is a father-and-son team making small quantities of classic Piemontese wines from excellent vineyards. If you see them, try them.
Castello di Neive – blog, May’11
Cigliuti – A little family affair – dad Renato and two daughters, Claudia and Silvia – make serious Barbarescos. All the wines are really wonderful and I’d urge you to buy them!
Enzo Rapalino – La Ganghija – blog, sept’11
Fletcher Wines – Don’t let the decidedly Anglo-Saxon name fool you, these are excellent wines, made in the old station building in Barbaresco. An interesting range of top-notch wines complements the Barbarescos and Barolo.
Francone – Run by Marco & Fabrizio, who are two of the nicest people you could meet, this producer is making better wines each year. They’re all recommended. blog
Franco Rocca – Run by the irrepressible Franco Rocca, this small producer makes wines with personalities as big as Franco’s… blog
Manuel Marinacci – A one-man-band in San Rocco Seno D’Elvio, making a Dolcetto, a Barbera and Barbaresco in very limited quantities from his own vineyards. Manuel is a big, bold and generous sort of chap, and his wines reflect this. Well worth seeking out.
Marchesi di Grésy – This estate has been in the family since 1797 and is a reference point for Barbaresco. Classy wines and cellar, now with a new relais. blog, May’11
Moccagatta – Small producer run by the Minuto family (or one of the Minuto branches) making full-bodied wines packing a punch. blog
Negro Giuseppe – Producer of some terrific wines in Neive, and owner Giorgio Negro is a lovely bloke, too. blog
Orlando Abrigo – The last winery in Barbaresco as you head up and out into the Alta Langa. They make an impressive array of wines in a purpose-built, gravity-fed winery and have a great agriturismo as well.
Pelissero – One of the highest wineries in the region, with a spectacular cellar, tasting rooms and views. Great range of wines from the Riesling to the Moscato, through the long-lived Barbarescos that made their name.
Piero Busso – Lovely wines from this small producer in Neive. blog
Poderi Colla – Simultaneously a young and a historic estate: Poderi Colla was founded in 1994, but the Colla family’s involvement in wine go back to at least 1703, and Beppe Colla, in particular, was hugely influential in creating the quality framework for Piemontese wines, and was also the first winemaker to both vinify and bottle single vineyards separately. They a re a lovely family, and the wines are all recommended!
Produttori del Barbaresco – The largest producer of Barbaresco wine, this is a long-established co-operative cellar, making Nebbiolo-only wines, including the fantastic single Cru Riservas when the vintage is good enough.
Rapalino – Run by Marco and Claudio Rapalino, this producer, with one of the best tasting room views around, makes about 35,000 bottles each year divided between 15 to 20 wines, depending upon how good the grapes are, and if the brothers fancy trying their hands at another new wine. blog, May’11, Jan 14
Rivetti Massimo – Very environmentally aware producer, making only organic wines, who even make their own organic humus from vineyard waste. Good, bright wines, nice people and they now have a characterful little tasting room in the old village of Neive.
Andrea Oberto – Small, family operation in La Morra making delicious wines.
Aurelio Settimo – Small, old-school producer run by Tiziana Settimo and her (almost) entirely female crew. Lovely, savoury wines. If you want bags of fruit in the glass, look elsewhere: these are pure wines for those who want to find the vineyard in the glass, and a warm welcome at the winery.
Bartolo Mascarello – A reference-point for the Barolo region as a whole, and, if I am not mistaken, the only producer left here that does not make a single-vineyard wine. Maria Teresa Mascarello runs an immaculate ship, continuing the work that her forebears carried out: turning out classic, traditionally-minded wines in the best way possible. All the wines are terrific.
Brezza – A historic producer with a fine hotel and restaurant in the heart of Barolo village, they make delicious, classical Barolos from some very good Crus.
Brovia – Mother-and-two-daughter team, running an immaculate property making very clean, savoury wines in the classic tradition. Delicious across the board.
Bruna Grimaldi – Excellent wines from this estate in Grinzane Cavour, run by a lovely family, with Bruna at the forefront, of course.
Cascina Adelaide – A new and innovative winery building in Barolo village, they produce some very good wines from very good vineyards.
Castello di Verduno – An excellent producer not only of Barolos, but Barbaresco as well. They also have a good restaurant and hotel. blog
Cavalotto – Historic estate making great Barolos. Their Langhe Friesa is also well worth seeking out.
Conterno Fantino – Spectacular location for a spectacular cellar, high on the hill above Monforte d’Alba. If you think the wines are good (and they are) try the cheese they make in Castelmagno…!
Diego Morra – Diego Morra started making and bottling his own wine in 2009, using grapes from some of the family’s 30 hectares. Grape growers in Verduno and La Morra for at least 3 generations, they now turn out some excellent wines, including Pelaverga, a Verduno speciality (and great lightly chilled in summer) and two Barolos, one a Monvigliero Cru wine. A new winery is nearing completion – necessary as they move from 2,000 bottles in that first year to a planned 80,000. As they own all the vineyards, quality is constantly improving, and they may well introduce more single vineyard wines in the future. One to watch.
Elio Altare – One of the best known producers and an original Barolo Boy, this estate is now run by Elio and Lucia’s daughter: the indefatigable ball of energy and passion, Silvia, one of Piemonte’s superstars.
Elvio Cogno – Good producer in Novello, making a range of fine wines, including a Barbera from ingrafted vines.
E. Pira & Figli – Chiara Boschis – Another superstar in the village of Barolo, E. Pira is run by the dynamic Chiara Boschis. Indeed, so synonymous is she with the estate that it is usually referred to simply as Chiara Boschis. A total commitment to quality and sustainability give a reputation that could intimidate the uninitiated. A chat with Chiara would dispel that in an instant: she is the most down-to-earth, generous person you could meet. And the wines are really good. And they make some wonderful Castelmagno cheese…
Franco Conterno – An absolute favourite: warm and welcoming family, great location, far too much food at the tastings and, crucially, wonderful wines, from the bottle-fermented Blanc de Nebbiolo, through typical and not-so-typical whites to the burly, delicious Barolos.
Fratelli Alessandria – A real reference point in Verduno, this historic estate makes universally delicious wines. blog
G. B. Burlotto – Historic cellar in Verduno making distinctive wines of the highest quality.
G. D. Vajra – A family success story, with mum, dad and the three children all working here. They have grown in size, and now also have the Luigi Baudana label (also excellent wines from Serralunga) but they are still family-focussed and turn out exemplary wines, including a terrific Riesling. I’ve never been there and not seen them all smiling.
Germano Ettore – Terrific producer in Serralunga d’Alba making all sorts of interesting and good wines in addition to some serious Barolos.
Giovanni Manzone – If there is a producer with a better view in all of Barolo, I have yet to visit them. This isn’t enough, though, so it’s lucky that this warm, welcoming family makes delicious wines across the board. The white, made from Rossese Bianco is especially worth finding.
Giulia Negri – Giulia Negri has a simple winery based on functionality in a special location high up in La Morra, with remnants of a much older, very characterful cellar remaining. She seems almost too passionate about wine (like that’s possible…) and turns out a great range, including one of the best Chardonnays around and a Barolo from the highest vineyard in the region. A bit of a rising star.
Guido Porro – A small producer run by the current Guido Porro, the delightful family makes small quantities of under-priced Barolos. blog
Giuseppe Rinaldi – Carlotta and Marta Rinaldi run this estate located right on the edge of the village of Barolo. Another producer that has achieved a sort of ‘cult’ status among wine aficionados, yet has not changed its methods or outlook, they make exemplary Barolos in the classic mould. All their other wines are excellent, too.
Josetta Saffirio – Sara Vezza runs this winery – founded by her mother, Josetta – whilst also rising her 4 children. She produces a range of wines that begins with a bottle-fermented Nebbiolo Rosato the always brings a smile, which remains all through the rest of the line-up. There is a Barolo Riserva made from vines planted in 1948 and a Rossese Bianco aged on the lees in a large cask for several months. They also make honey and farm sustainably.
Luigi Pira – Another small producer in Serralunga d’Alba, making a streamlined range of great terroir-driven wines. Spotless cellar, great views, great wines. Enjoy!
Marcarini – Historic cellar in the heart of La Morra, making excellent wines – Barolos of course, but they are also known for a Dolcetto made from ingrafted vines.
Marrone – Extensive cellar with great views in La Morra, and a very extensive tasting lunch.
Marziano Abbona – Great wines in a wonderful setting, with a beautiful and impressive cellar. Now with an agriturismo. blog
Massolino – Larger family producer in Serralunga making a range of very good wines, including a number of single Cru Barolos. Lovely cellar for a visit, too. blog
Palladino – Great family producer on the main square in Serralunga, facing Massolino. The wines here are all highly recommended and made in a very clean, traditional style: plenty of elegance, style and substance here.
Paolo Manzone – Husband-and-wife team Gianpaolo and Luisella make lovely Barolos at their Serralunga property – formerly Luisella’s family farm – and the rest of their lovely range at their other cellar in Sinio – Gianpaolo’s family property. You can also stay at the beautiful agriturismo in Serralunga and watch the wine being made and enjoy the views, pool and their hospitality.
Poddere Ruggeri Corsini – blog
Renato Corino – Nice, full and rich wines with plenty of Renato’s open personality. Not only are the wines and the people good, they like curry!
Rivetto – Cracking Barolos crown a range that starts with a Blanc de Nebbiolo à la Franco Conterno, via Nascetta, Barbera and Nebbiolo. There is always something new going on at this biodynamic estate, they have an onsite agriturismo, some classy new suites in Alba and have recently completed the renovation of the original old farmhouse as a tasting room.
Scarzello – A small producer based in the middle of Barolo village, making really excellent, delicious wines, year-in, year-out. Top stuff.
Sukula – A little – and I mean little – operation in Serralunga owned and run by Riikka Sukula, a Finn who fell in love with the Langhe. She makes a Barbera, a Nebbiolo and a Barolo and I would recommend all of them if you can find them. She and her family are also lovely, which does no harm!
Trediberri – Long a favourite of mine, this is an excellent small producer located in La Morra and run by Nicola Oberto, who is as entertaining as he is nice. The wines are always beautiful, with an emphasis on elegance and drinkability, even in the Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata. They’re usually sold-out, too…
Vietti – A large, historic and important producer making very good wines, and with big plans to make even more Cru wines.
Cascina Baricchi – They make good wines, some of which are highly unusual and worth checking out.
Gianni Doglia – An excellent producer right on the border between Barbaresco and the Monferrato. Known for their Moscatos, the other wines should not be overlooked – they’re excellent. And the family is lovely. blog
Stella – This is a small estate making really under-rated, under-priced wines and run by a great couple. What more could you want? blog
Deltetto – Lovely family in Canale, producing great wines across the board. They made a name for themselves with their bottle-fermented sparkling wines, which are still wonderful, but I would recommend anything they make. blog
Demarie – Really lovely family making terrific wines in a brand-new, eco-friendly cellar (they purify used water with a reed bed, for example).
Matteo Correggia – A reference for the Roero region, Matteo Correggia was one of the first not only to believe in the potential of the region for fine red and white wines, but to realise that potential. His family runs a great ship today, with an interesting visit and great wines.
Further afield (at least from where I live in Alba…):
La Colombera – Elisa Semino makes a great range of wines at this estate in Tortona, but the focus is rightly on the Timorasso wines: they are terrific. blog