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Barolo's Roberto Conterno Purchases Vineyards in Serralunga’s Arione Cru

Owner of famed Giacomo Conterno winery buys nearly 22 acres next to Cascina Francia

Bruce Sanderson
Posted: March 5, 2015

Roberto Conterno, the proprietor and winemaker at Giacomo Conterno, one of Barolo’s leading estates, signed a deal March 4 purchasing nearly 22 acres of the Arione cru from Gigi Rosso, owner of Cantina Gigi Rosso. The price was not disclosed.

“Besides being a neighboring vineyard, Arione has always been considered one of the most beautiful cascine in Serralunga,” Conterno told Wine Spectator. His Cascina Francia lies next door, at the southern end of the Serralunga commune.

The total surface area is almost 22 acres, of which almost 15 acres is planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo (8.7 acres), Nebbiolo d'Alba (about 3 acres) and Barbera (about 3 acres). The mostly south-facing vineyards have been in the Rosso family since the 1960s; Bruno Giacosa made three vintages from the property under his label in the 1970s.

This purchase expands the Giacomo Conterno estate to nearly 65 acres in the prime Serralunga crus of Arione, Cerretta and Francia. Francia was acquired by Roberto’s father, Giovanni Conterno, in 1974 and Cerretta was added in 2008.

“The investment from our side is significant, but I consider that—even though the price is high—it is well spent for such an important vineyard,” added Conterno. American Kyle Krause, CEO of convenience-store chain Kum & Go in the Midwest, was also interested in the vineyard, but the deal fell through.

Gigi Rosso and his sons Claudio and Maurizio decided to sell their holdings in Arione as part of a wider project to develop their winery Cantina Gigi Rosso in Castiglione Falletto. Part of the capital will be reinvested in developing new vineyards, technological modernization in the cellar and a marketing effort to reinforce their core Gigi Rosso brand name.

“We are honored that one of the finest Barolo crus is going to a producer who will interpret its quality [to its] best,” said Maurizio Rosso. The firm will continue to sell its Barolo Arione from vintages 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 until the stock is sold, while at the same time developing other Barolo crus.

Evan Byrne
Serralunga d'Alba, Piemonte, Italy —  March 6, 2015 5:20am ET
Bruno Giacosa's 1971 Barolo Arione is one of the best wines I've tried...:-)

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