Mauro Franchino

Gattinara is the most renowned DOCG of nine tiny but geographically complex appellations, collectively known as Alto Piemonte. The three largest producers collectively have around 90 of the 100 hectares of vineyard in the appellation. That leaves 10 highly fractionalized hectares for some hobbyists and a handful of nearly forgotten vignaioli. These vignerons still hold onto the tradition of using a sketch of the crumbling Gattinara tower on their labels. Signor Franchino is one of these old-schoolers – no faxes or emails. Most of the time when we call or visit, he’s in the vineyard, while his Nebbiolo sits patiently in the old garagiste cellar in Gattinara’s centro storico. This Nebbiolo has little color. It’s pale, concise, honest, and comfortable with long stretches of silence between its notes of salt, iron, red currants, and rose hip tea. Both the Gattinara and Coste della Sesia are 100% Nebbiolo. Go on and bring a little old world Gattinara soul to your Nebbiolo fix.