Cascina Baricchi

Region Piedmont, Italy

Winemaker Natale Simonetta

Natale’s father operated the winery for 25 years. The winery is in the heart of the Barbaresco area in Piedmont, Italy. Natale is known to be a little eccentric for this very traditional area. While organic farming is the norm here, Natale’s passion for geeky world-class sparkling wines made in traditional method along with some other creative renditions of the regions classical grapes definitely stand out. One of the hallmark features of the winery in the recent decade is the move to work with the Nebbiolo Rosé clone in his vineyards. There are three clones of Nebbiolo, Limpia, Michet, and the ancestral Rosé. The latter is harder to cultivate, and fell victim to the switch to higher yielding farming in the 1950s. Prior to this era, the producers in the region worked with the Rosé clone as the primary example of Nebbiolo, but the new Michet clone changed that over the next two decades. By the late 1970s, most of the new vineyards in Piedmont were planted to the tamer new clone, and still are today. The Rosé clone is much closer in style and flavor to the traditional wines of Piemonte made over the last eight centuries. This is just one of the revolutionary practices that Natale is bringing to the winery. He sees himself as a steward of history, the replanting of the Nebbiolo vineyards to the rosé clone is a real testament to that goal.

Philosophy: Once in a while you come across a wine and you know it is special. That was the case with Natale's dessert wine Regina de Felicita, when we first tried it 9 years ago. It is much more rare that EVERY wine you taste from a producer is equally impressive. He is not a typical Piedmontese producer. He is a mad genius winemaker that happens to be from Piedmont. His sparkling wines- on par with Champagne, but with many fun twists. His traditional Piedmontese grapes, better than we've ever had in Barbaresco, and over deliver for the price points. His other wines, are a crumb trail of his travels and experiences on his winemaking journey. Every decision is done with purpose. Natale spent more money on modifying his destemmer with a speed regulating engine than on barrels for one vintage! He is organic and natural to an obsession in the vineyard. The wines are small production and we will never have enough, but trust us once you try them you will be a fan for life.

Winery Data

Vineyard Size5 to 6 hectares

Total Winery Production2500 cases

FarmingOrganic

Grapes Planted (Red)Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot

Grapes Planted (White)Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Moscato, Timoraso

Something RandomNatale worked in Anjou and Chablis during his younger years and brought his love of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay back home. His bottling of Ché-Cha is an example of such an innovation. Since Chenin Blanc is not an approved grape in Piedmont, he had to graft it to his existing Chardonnay vines in order to make it kosher with the local authorities.

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