- Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Giovanni Canonica is a hidden legend in the town of Barolo. He and his family run a small agriturismo where, in the cellars below, he makes his wines. He has only 1.5 hectares of vines in the Paiagallo vineyard directly on the hill above Barolo. The only other proprietors in this vineyard site are Marchesi de Gresy and Fontanafredda, neither of whom does a mono-vineyard bottling from it, but which Gianni proves, in the right hands, merits consideration. His holdings are also separated from the conventional vineyard work of the other producers in a way that keeps as much integrity to Canonica's vineyard work as possible. The vineyard is planted to Nebbiolo in the best spots and Barbera in the spots not suited to Nebbiolo. Everything is traditional in vineyard and cellar: no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers, only sulfur and copper treatments, destemming, maceration for 30-40 days using only indigenous yeasts, vertical hand press, then into cement and slavonian oak for aging. A small number of bottles are made, mostly sold at cellar, but after a few years of asking, these wines are finally available in the USA. We couldn't be happier. This is a beautiful, distinctively traditional Barolo from a singular, interesting and empathic guy.