The Ossola Valley: flourishing mother of the Prünent
Today we find ourselves in the most northern tip of Alto Piemonte, precisely in Oira, a little hamlet in the Ossola Valley, that nestles into a particularly lush vegetation that grows along the mountainside.
Nebbiolo, which is known in this area as Prünent, is cultivated here. It’s a local antique clone that enriches the already wide genetic field of the noble Piedmont vine variety.
It’s important to know that this area of the Ossola Valley exploits a particularly favorable microclimate, intensely influenced by both the alpine peaks that protect the land from cold winds, but also by the closeness of pre-alpine lakes that guide enormous quantities of damp air along the Ossola hills sides.
Ever since 1920, it’s the Garrone Family that holds the secrets of the wine production in this territory, unexpected and unknown to most people.
Today the fourth generation sees Marco and Matteo in charge of the Cantine Garrone carrying out their family tradition by creating exceptional works of art, born from a land where the production of wine has been recorded since 1309. They produce a single variety of Prünent using grapes from centenary un-grafted vines, without ever exasperating the grape skin maceration, and having the precise aim of maintaining the uniqueness and charm of the wines produced at this latitude.
A multi-shaped mosaic, made up of little vineyards, spread across the arduous mountain terracing, this is the area from where “Cantine Garrone” gathers its grapes with the help of a group of brave wine growers belonging to the “Asssociazione Produttori Ossolani”.
The wine obtained from these grapes is full of history and it has its own identity. It’s a mountain wine. To the taste, it is not so full bodied yet but it has a powerful character, edgy yet refined. It’s an exceptional variety of Nebbiolo, the bouquet is complex, it reveals notes of medicinal and balsamic herbs which mingle with delicate touches of gentian. A slightly silky touch of tannin along and a tasty acidity is evident in each sip.
A region unknown to many, full of hidden flavors ready to be discovered. It’s the Ossola Valley, and together with its unique wine varieties, it represents one of Italy’s most exceptional gems.
– See you next time!