The family cantina of Crissante Alessandria is tucked away in the frazione (hamlet) of Santa Maria, near La Morra in one of the best parts of Barolo. The estate comprises 5 ha of hazelnuts and 6 ha of vines, 5 ha of which are planted with Nebbiolo vines for Barolo.
All the vineyards are within 800m of the winery – notably the ‘cru’ vineyards of Roggeri, San Biagio, Bertolotti, Capalot and Galina – this proximity ensuring the grapes do not spoil in transit. The grapes are harvested in the cool of the morning, then undergo a cold maceration to maximise aromas followed by a fermentation without any stalks to achieve the beautiful textures that are the hallmark of their wines. The estate was founded in 1958 when Crissante Alessandria and his wife Teresa, decided to make wine from vines which had been in the family for many generations. Until then the grapes had been sold to large, local cellars. Crissante produced his first Barolos from the Roggeri and Capalot vineyards in cellars under the farmhouse, maturing them in traditional 2,500 litre Slavonian oak casks. The enterprise grew over the years with purchases of vineyards in prime locations and they invested in better oak with a mix of larger botti and smaller barrels. Owner/winemaker Alberto Alessandria (eighth generation!) joined his father and uncle in 2007 after graduating from Alba’s enological school. “Nebbiolo’s like a pig,” he says, “You don’t throw anything away,” referring to the skins and pips from which he makes rather fine grappa!