Situated at the gates of Castiglione Falletto in the heart of the Barolo appellation lies Tenuta Bricco Boschis, one of the most storied Crus of the appellation. Purchased by the Cavallotto family in 1928, the winery was producing wine for bulk until 1944, when the first vintage was bottled and released in 1948. With that vintage a family tradition was born, a tradition that continues today through the work of enologists Giuseppe and Alfio, along with their sister, Laura.
The current generation of Cavallottos create some of the finest wines found in the Langhe. They achieve this through a thorough understanding of their land, a devotion to expressing the very best of their vineyards, age old family experience in winemaking, and a high regard for constant progress while respecting tradition. Most importantly, however, the greatness of their wines is owed to the serendipitous “pedoclimatic” conditions that have blessed the Langhe and bestowed distinction on its wines.
Castiglione Falletto lies on the eastern side of the Barolo appellation (the sub-zone heading east from Barolo towards Serralunga). Along with Serralunga and Monforte, the wines of Castiglione Falleto are noted for their robust palate and longevity. This is due to the characteristic calcareous soils that contain little sand; older soils from the Helvetian age (as opposed to the wines on the western side, from La Morra, which are generally more perfumed and approachable, due to the high sand content in the younger soils of the Tortonian age).
While the Estate is clearly in the eastern zone in Castiglione, the specific location of the Bricco Boschis Cru falls along the border, and the soil shows and extraordinary mix of white, yellow, and grey marls, punctuated by layers of sand. The mix of soils gives the wines from Bricco Boschis Cru characteristics from both sub-zones.
The Bricco Boschis vineyards create the Bricco Boschis Cru and the “Vign San Giuseppe” Barolo Riserva, which has been made from the best fruit of this small vineyard near the cantina since 1970 (see vineyard plot map below). The youngest vines from Bricco Boschis and the Vignolo vineyard, described below, also make the Langhe Nebbiolo.
The Vignolo vineyard creates this Cru, which even if it lies in close proximity to Bricco Boschis, is more typical of the Helvetian soil type characteristic of Castiglione/Serralunga. The Cavallotto family purchased about 60% of this vineyard in 1989 and have since then vinified the Barolo Riserva from this Cru separately. It has become one of the most appreciated and sought after wines of the Barolo appellation.
In the Vineyards
Since the beginning, the land parcels were classified according to their composition and exposure and individually assigned to the most important grape varietal. The Cavallotto family continues to manage the vineyards themselves, and Laura, Alfio, and Giuseppe continue their ancestors’ traditions which are characterized by:
A high number of vines per acre with a corresponding low number of buds per plant, sacrificing quantity for quality.
The thinning of clusters and stripping of leaves in July to allow each vine to nourish its fruit and to improve sun exposure.
In 1974 they were the first to plant a grass cover crop in their vineyards, which fights erosion and preserves the nutritionally rich surface strata of the soil. In addition, the decomposition of regularly cut grass contributes to and helps preserve organic substances in the subsoil, to the benefit of bacterial microflora.
At the same time, they initiated an integrated, natural pest management system.
In 1976 the Cavallotto brothers were the first in Piemonte to go chemical free. They re-introduced predator insects and mites, which had been eliminated by the prior chemical treatments. Since then, the Bricco Boschis vineyards have produced completely healthy fruit without noxious chemicals, fully respecting the environment and human health.
This natural approach to vineyard work, combined with the terroir and climate conditions of the Langhe, and in particular, Bricco Boschis, allow for optimal interaction between the soils, micro-climate, and vines to create the best expression of these grapes in the wines of Cavallotto.
Via Alba – Monforte, Bricco Boschis – 12060 Castiglione Falletto (CN)