Italy's Azienda Agricola Sottimano and Paitin have added to their estates, purchasing 2 acres and 3 acres, respectively, in Piedmont's Basarin cru, located in the Barbaresco region’s commune of Neive. The sale price was not disclosed.
The vineyards were sold by local grower Romano Bonino, who is 89 years old and without heirs. Under Italian law, Sottimano, which owns the neighboring parcel, has first right of refusal and decided to add to its existing 9 acres in Basarin. They now have a total of a little more than 11 acres. “By the Italian law, we had the priority to buy it, and since we are talking about one of the best and oldest vineyards in the entire region of Barbaresco, we had no doubts,” Andrea Sottimano told Wine Spectator.
“We knew that the Pasquero family was interested to buy it too, and since we are in good relations with them we decided to share it with them,” he added. Paitin is owned by the Pasquero-Elia family; brothers Giovanni and Silvano Pasquero-Elia manage the property with their father, Secondo, and Giovanni’s son Luca.
Paitin is very closely allied to the Serraboella cru, also in Neive. There was some hesitation to buy in Basarin, however, Luca convinced his family to make the commitment. “My grandfather Secondo and my father, Giovanni, never wanted to buy lands outside of the Serraboella, because they always knew the power that resides on this hill, in particular in the Sorì,” he said. Paitin hopes to release a Barbaresco from Basarin as early as the 2018 harvest.
But there was a competing bid for the land from Russian investors. “An outsider cannot and will never feel our strict relation we have with our lands, and as such they will never be able to transmit this soul to the 'material' they'll produce,” he explained. “Wine is an essence, a synthesis of soil, climate and culture. We decided that one of the four historical crus of Neive … couldn't be purchased by outsiders.”
For Sottimano, this recent deal adds to holdings in Basarin acquired in 2001, 2013 and 2015. Until now, the grapes have been vinified as Langhe Nebbiolo, however, the first Basarin label will debut with the 2015 vintage.
Stay on top of important wine stories with Wine Spectator's free Breaking News Alerts.