Piedmont's Poderi Luigi Einaudi has purchased 22 acres of prime land in Barolo from the four brothers of the Dardo family for more than $6.5 million. The land is located in the prized Bussia cru’s Dardi subzone—named for the sellers’ family—and includes 10 acres of Nebbiolo and 2.5 acres of Barbera, with the rest either unplanted or home to truffle forest. The Nebbiolo vineyards are currently leased to the A. & G. Fantino winery. The deal adds to Einaudi's current 133 acres of vines on nearly 317 acres of land in Piedmont's Barolo and Dogliani appellations.
"What we were interested in was the [land planted to Nebbiolo]," Matteo Sardagna Einaudi, the fourth-generation owner of his family's winery, told Wine Spectator. "I think it's a good value, even at this price, to buy these vineyards, because they are unique." He went on to note that the vineyards' terroir, located in the commune of Monforte d'Alba, will bring a new dimension to Einaudi's existing Barolo offerings. "It's a more muscular Barolo, so it's a character we didn't have before."
Sardagna Einaudi noted that the worldwide demand for Barolo is high. "The markets of Barolo are growing, from Asia to Australia, a lot in Scandinavia and Germany," he said.
Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino, the brothers behind A. & G. Fantino, will continue to lease the Nebbiolo parcels through the harvest of 2020. Alessandro, the family brand's enologist, rose to prominence as the winemaker at Bartolo Mascarello from 1978 to 1997 before dedicating himself to his family winery, working alongside his brother.
In addition to farming the existing vineyards, Sardagna Einaudi hopes to plant Nebbiolo on the undeveloped land and apply for permission to label the wine made from there as Barolo. But, he noted, it's unclear whether he will have access to the vineyards before Fantino's lease expires.
The sale comes less than two weeks after another major deal in Barolo—the Krause family of Iowa's purchase of Vietti winery in Castiglione Falletto.
Poderi Luigi Einaudi was founded in 1897 by its namesake, an economist who served as the first democratically elected president of the Republic of Italy from 1948 to 1955. In recent years, the winery has steadily expanded its holdings. Einaudi currently produces almost 27,000 cases of wine per year, 3,000 of which are Barolo. "With the acquisition, we will arrive at 6,250 [cases of Barolo]," Sardagna Einaudi said.
But he hopes to make more acquisitions, and is looking at both Serralunga and La Morra. "The strategy is this: to be able to work with the best vineyards in this area that produce among the best wines in Italy, and in the world."