Poderi Gianni Gagliardo of Barolo in Piedmont has expanded its holdings, purchasing the 37-acre Tenuta Garetto estate in the Nizza appellation of Monferrato for an undisclosed price from the Garetto family.
"It's been a couple of years that my family was looking for some opportunities in Nizza," co-owner Stefano Gagliardo told Wine Spectator. "With my brothers Alberto and Paolo, and of course with our dad Gianni, we're convinced that Nizza can really make grand wines with Barbera. There is history, local vineyard culture, and a great group of producers that are already working together and in the right direction to make this new appellation discovered by many wine aficionados."
Gagliardo originally reached out to his old schoolmate, Alessandro Garetto, to ask if he knew of any Nizza vineyards for sale. Garetto surprised Gagliardo by proposing the sale of his own estate. Garetto plans to remain involved by managing the estate for the Gagliardos. The property produces a Nizza DOCG, a Barbera d'Asti Superiore and a Barbera d'Asti, all of which will continue to be labeled Tenuta Garetto.
The Nizza DOCG, created in 2014, is a subzone within the hills of the Barbera d'Asti DOCG, whose soils and slopes are particularly well suited to the Barbera grape. Only Barbera is allowed, planted on southeast and southwest facing hills, with a maximum permitted yield of 3.1 tons per acre, less than is allowed for a vineyard-designated Barolo. The Rosso must be aged 18 months, with six months in wood; the Riserva sees 30 months of aging, 12 in wood.
"The first step will be to understand the vineyard," says Gagliardo. "So now it's the turn of my brother Alberto, who developed a great sensibility in our Barolo plots."
Based in La Morra, Poderi Gianni Gagliardo currently owns 50 acres of vines and produces about 12,500 cases a year.