- Boca, Piedmont, Italy
Thank you to importer Louis/Dressner for this profile of Santuvario:
(Click here for more on Santuvario on the LDM website)
Boca is one of Italy's smallest viticultural regions, with just 30 hectares planted and only 15 of those eligible for the DOC. Though densely planted with over 1000 hectares as recently as the 1930's, it was down to only 10 by the early 1990's. In an all too familiar tale, factory jobs led many farmers to progressively abandon their land (sadly, those same jobs are also long gone). Today, in large part due to the wines and promotion of Boca by Swiss visionary Christoph Künzli, the area has seen an uptick of new talent.
Ivano Barbaglia is certainly one of those up-and-comers. For most of his career, Ivano was a musical instrument repairman. While he enjoyed the work, a stroke in 2011 left him with limited mobility in his right hand. Forced to take a new direction, he started the Santuvario project with a tiny plot of family land. Together with his wife Paola, they started with two hectares of Nebbiolo, Croatina, Vespolina, Uva Rara and Erbaluce, as well as 50 ares (a half hectare) planted in 2013 and 2014.
In 2019, they were able to acquire an additional vineyard of very old Croatina and an additional hill of vines for new plantations. When everything comes into production, this will have doubled the size of the land to four hectares.
The name Santuvario comes from the gorgeous convent that his family's old vines overlook. In fact, the "Santuvario Rosso" label is actually taken from this arial picture of the convent when it was surrounded in vines: