Schiavenza

  • "If you are looking for a classic Serralunga Barolo that offers structure for long-term cellaring, the wines from Schiavenza are ideal candidates. Traditional in the winemaking, each Barolo is an excellent representation of its site, from the Serralunga comune bottling to Broglio, Ceretta and Prapò. The wines are rugged in nature, but never aggressive, and are beautifully made with great restraint and harmony."

    —Tom Hyland, Forbes' Best 25 Producers of Barolo

Schiavenza is located in Serralunga d'Alba in the heart of Piedmont's Langhe district, celebrated for its great Barolo vineyards. The estate was founded in 1956 by the brothers Vittorio and Ugo Alessandria; the estate and surrounding area were formerly part of the Opera Pia Barolo (a castle that is kind of like the Hospices du Beaune: part educational institution and part hospital) whose vineyards were traditionally worked by sharecroppers. The local dialect for sharecropper is schiavenza. Today, the estate is run by the second-generation Alessandria sisters, Enrica and Maura, and their husbands Luciano Pira and Walter Anselma. Their holdings include 9.2 hectares in Serralunga with a small 0.5ha plot in Monforte d’Alba, and include the heralded crus Prapò, Cerretta, and Broglio.   For the last 19 years, they have also run Trattoria Schiavenza, right in the middle of the village of Serralunga, where their traditional fare draws in both local winemakers and tourists. 

In the vineyard, they do not use pesticides or herbicides. Harvest is manual and is conducted according to the phases of the moon.  In the cellar, they use only naturally occurring yeasts, and ferment the wines in cement cisterns. In terms of aging, this is no modern barrique-aged Barolo estate: the wines here are aged for extended period of time in the traditional large Slovenian barrels called botti.  Tasting the three crus side by side, one realizes what Schiavenza is all about.  All three crus are on the east side of the Serralunga ridge, so exposures are all same, to the southeast.  Yields are more or less the same.  Cellar treatment (fermentation, length of maceration, vessel, and length of aging) is all the same.  The differences one feels have only to do with the variations in cru and vintage.  The quality here is shockingly good. Schiavenza's wines are elegant, pure expressions of Nebbiolo that would embarrass many a more famous address. to the market at prices that are lower than ever.

For more information, please consult this excellent blog post.

Image PRODUCT Description Country / Region Region Materials

DB0153-14
Barolo Broglio
2014
Nebbiolo
100% Nebbiolo from the Broglio vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba. The vineyard is located at 360 meters above sea level with a south-east... Read More
Italy Piedmont

DB1990-14
Biodynamic
Barolo del Comune di Serralunga
2014
Nebbiolo
Sourced from different parcels (mainly the crus of Cerrati and Meriame) all located in the village of Serralunga d'Alba, at altitudes of... Read More
Italy Piedmont

DB6156-17
Dolcetto d'Alba
2017
Dolcetto
Sourced from 2.2 hectares in different vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba, at altitudes of 370-400m. The oldest vines date back to 1965,... Read More
Italy Piedmont

DB7050-14
Biodynamic
Barolo Prapò
2014
Nebbiolo
Schiavenza’s 0.9 hectares in the Prapò cru are located at 350m above sea level, with southeast exposure; the vines were planted in 1993.  ... Read More
Italy Piedmont

DB0962-14
Biodynamic
94 WS
Barolo Cerretta
2014
Nebbiolo
Sourced from several parcels, all located in the village of Serralunga d'Alba at 300-400 meters above sea level with south-east and west... Read More
Italy Piedmont

DB2949-08
Organic
Barolo Riserva Prapò
2008
Nebbiolo Italy Piedmont