Cantina Delsignore is one of the historic producers of the Gattinara appellation. We came to know Stefano Dorelli, the owner of the cantina, through our friends Marco and Giancarlo Petterino. Stefano has helped them with some administrative help as they are an even smaller estate than he is! Stefano only has roughly 3 hectares, though, luckily those hectares are parcels in the top crus of Permolone, Valferana and Lurghe.
The roots of the Cantina Delsignore estate date back to when Stefano’s grandfather, Attilio Delsignore, married Elsa Nervi of the Nervi family. As with many marriages, the marriage brought a union of their landholdings which included the key parcels in Valferana and Permolone. At the time they were true farmers, not only produced grapes and wine but also grain, potatoes, fruit and raised animals. Sadly, Attilio passed away when Stefano was just ten years old, and at the time, no one available to take up the reins of the estate. Stefano’s father had his own career but decided to take care of one part of the vineyards to continue with the family’s tradition. The family mostly sold grapes to other producers but made a small amount of table wine for the family’s consumption. Finally, ten years later, Stefano left his career to return to Gattinara full-time and take control and revitalize the family estate.
At the time Stefano came back to the winery, the estate was made up of just about one hectare. He then purchased 1 ½ additional hectares and rented a half hectare, making a total of 3 hectares of vineyards in total.
The focus of their production is on two Gattinara bottlings – a Riserva called Borgofranco, a non-riserva Gattinara called Il Putto, and a Costa della Sesia bottling called La Crotta. The La Crotta is also 100% Nebbiolo though it is lower in alcohol and not aged for long enough to be labelled Gattinara. In addition to the reds, they make miniscule amounts of Erbaluce Bianco and a Nebbiolo-based Rosato.
The winemaking here is strictly traditional. Macerations are fairly long, and the Gattinaras are all aged in older, used Botti. The Costa della Sesia is aged in slightly smaller, neutral oak casks. These are classic, dense, chewy Nebbioli that show the great potential of this rising star appellation of the Alto Piemonte.