Piole, the terraced core of Montestrutto on the border with Nomaglio, has always been known for the production of high quality grapes that have always given valuable wine. Precisely for this reason, these vineyards have always been very desirable and subject to land fragmentation, which has led to the division into small lots, between 1000 and a maximum of 2500 square meters wide.
Nowadays, as my father did, I still identify every single vineyard with the name or nickname of its historical tenant: this is how we talk about barba Tunin’s (uncle Tony’s) vineyard, Nina’s vineyard, Ricu’s, Nicanor’s, Dondolo vineyard, and so on. Each vineyard carries as endowment the philosophy of its old owners, palpable walking along the pergolas: the different building techniques of the structures, the choice of clones, the use of sometimes unconventional materials.
Thus, as long as they exist, these vineyards will tell the story of the meticulous Pin d’Ariun, who in rocky corners used to create bolted iron structures; or the story of Edi, who used to build pergolas using acacia wood (gazìa in local jargon) carefully cut and worked by a hand jack plane, instead of the usual wild chestnut wood! Small secrets of those who, for example, occasionally put a vernassa dal picul rus plant among the nebbiolo, or of the purist of picotener, who used to implant exclusively this clone.
I consider as my primary commitment preserving the history of these vineyards and of their passionate tenants who preceded me, as well as producing a good nebbiolo, using the best techniques compatible with the environment. Telling their efforts to get over these height gaps, going up step by step the sequence of stone stairs connecting the dry terraces, carrying on their shoulders all the loads, both on the way to the vineyards – with all the materials needed to run the activity – and on the way back – with the grapes in their pack baskets. Transmitting to future generations the great satisfaction of barba Tunin and Pin d’Ariun who enrolled in the Fifties in order to build the first cableway enabling them to overcome an 80 meters height gap and reaching the plain below.
I hope I have been able to correctly interpret the spirit of those who preceded me in this activity of mountain winemaker, and I hope to continue adopting the right technological choices in order to adapt these precious vineyards to current times.