- Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
“The Vaira family has turned out a magnificent set of Barolos at both their own winery and at Baudana...As always, the Barolos are all about finesse and nuance, very much like an artist’s pencil etchings, where all the lines are totally delineated. At Baudana, the wines are naturally more muscular, but that is Serralunga, after all. Most importantly, the Vairas have developed a personal style that melds classicism with a level of approachability that makes these wines so alluring, even upon release.” -Antonio Galloni, May 2020
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” -Gustav Mahler
Luigi and Fiorina Baudana are the namesakes of the località Baudana, the hamlet just north of Serralunga d’Alba, and of the historical cru that lays on the western slope of the hill. The beginning of their family history is lost in time and Luigi never precisely knew whether his ancestors gave their name to the place or took their name from it. It was thanks to Fiorina’s love and encouragement that the two decided to stop selling their family’s grapes to cooperatives and to start producing their own estate wines.
The Baudanas and the Vairas (of G.D. Vajra fame) met in 2008, at a time Luigi and Fiorina were considering retirement. It was a very secretive first meeting across the Tanaro river on a silent Monday night. Many more discrete encounters followed throughout the summer while walking vineyards and barrel-tasting together. The sympathy and human bond that was established over those many hours led the Vaira family to suggest they could become the ‘guardians’ of Luigi and Fiorina’s history rather than just taking over their land. This is why the old cellar is still operating today, to vinify and age the Baudana Barolos. The Baudana name lives on through each bottle.
As of the 2009 vintage, the Vaira family has been at the helm of Baudana’s mere 4.1 hectares—2.6 of which are Barolo, 1.5 of which are Langhe Bianco. Through impeccable farming (always organic, with certification as of the 2019 vintage), keen interpretation of vintage, and a gentle, slow, traditional approach in the tiny cellar (open-top fermentations, long cappello sommerso macerations), the Vairas are able to highlight the nuances of the Baudana and Cerretta crus, which despite being adjacent to one another, can offer fascinating differences in the glass.
Luigi Baudana is a true garagiste production, one of the most limited in the entire Barolo region, and expresses the austere, intense, and charming character of Serralunga d’Alba.