• Barolo, Piedmont, Italy

Thank you to importer Louis/Dressner for this Canonica profile:

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. For many years, he only produced from 1.5 hectares of vines in the Paiagallo vineyard directly on the hill above the village of 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. Gianni proves, in the right hands, that doing so merits consideration.

In the early 2010's, Giovanni inherited a small amount of vines in the sector of Grinzane Cavour. The vines that produce the Barolo here are over 50 years old and contain a high percentage of the rare “rose” clone of Nebbiolo. The first vintage produced was 2012.

In 2013, after much diligent work in the vineyards, Giovanni decided to produce a Langhe Rosso from the least interesting sectors in Paigaillo and Grinzane Cavour. 80% comes from Grinzane but this will likely decrease as the vines mature and Giovanni gets a firmer grasp of the land. Around 2000 bottles are produced annually.

Giovanni's holdings are separated from the conventional vineyard work of most other producers in a way that keeps as much integrity to Canonica's vines as possible. Everything is traditional in the 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 the cellar. But after a few years of asking and cajoling, Gianni is selling us some. We couldn't be happier; this is a beautiful, distinctively traditional Barolo from a singular, interesting and empathic guy.