The Wine: Nebbiolo Spanna 2019
Imazio Nebbiolo Spanna Colline Novaresi is made from 100% Spanna, the local name for Nebbiolo. This is an incredible wine, and very unique. We are the only store that carries it in the United States as of today, thanks to our friends at Scuola di Vino. High-altitude Nebbiolo, tannic, structured, uncompromisingly authentic to its terroir. All kinds of earthy aromas, red flowers. Immense wine.
The Producer: Azienda Agricola Imazio
Azienda Agricola Imazio, deeply rooted in its historical connection to the land, has records tracing back to the 1700s, as evidenced by archival land registry documents. This family-operated establishment is committed to producing organic wine, natural wine, and Nebbiolo wines, known locally as Spanna. Their dedication extends beyond mere production; environmental conservation and the health integrity of their products are paramount concerns. Every phase of production, from cultivation to bottling, is meticulously overseen within the azienda's infrastructure.
In recent times, Azienda Agricola Imazio has further reinforced its commitment by adopting sustainable and organic agricultural methodologies. This includes the rigorous application of organic farming practices across all their operations, reflecting their intent to safeguard the ecological balance of the region and promote biodiversity. Their adherence to these principles has earned them an organic certification from ICEA, underscoring their dedication to organic and natural wine production, including the esteemed Nebbiolo wines.
The Region: Piedmont
Piedmont (or Piemonte in Italian), described by many wine lovers as the “Burgundy of Italy”, is without a doubt one of the most revered wine-producing regions in the world.
Piedmont, which literally means “at the foot of the mountain”, is located in the northwestern part of Italy. It borders with France (west), Valle d’Aosta (north-west), Lombardy (east), Liguria (south). The capital of Piedmont is Turin, its biggest city, and the main industrial center.
In this very similar to Veneto, Piedmont's wine landscape is defined by the presence of several indigenous grape varietals, which give a wide array of incredibly unique wines. Piedmont’s traditional winemaking has one main characteristic: grape varietals, native or non-native, are almost never blended.
The association with Burgundy comes from three essential facts:
- Great focus on the quality of production over quantity: wineries in Piedmont tend to be very small, mostly family-owned, and are integrated with the environment.
- Terroir-driven approach to viticulture and winemaking: vineyards are carefully subdivided in cru (zonazione in Italian), which gives unique wines with a specific character.
- Nebbiolo, one of the most famous red grape varietals in the world, is vinified following a similar approach to Pinot Noir in Burgundy – for example, it’s never blended.
The Red Wines of Piedmont
Nebbiolo is for Piedmont what Pinot Noir is for Burgundy. There are several Nebbiolo-based DOCGs - Barolo, Barbaresco, Ghemme, Gattinara - and it's safe to say that Nebbiolo is the most representative red grape varietal of Piedmont.
Other notable red grapes are Barbera, in all its incarnations - Barbera d'Asti, Barbera d'Alba, Barbera del Monferrato - Dolcetto - Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba, Dolcetto di Ovada, Dolcetto di Dogliani - and Brachetto d'Aqui.
Less common but very interesting, especially after being rediscovered by a handful of excellent producers, varietals such as Pelaverga, Freisa, and Grignolino, have found a new place in Piedmont's winemaking landscape.
The White Wines of Piedmont
Piedmont is very often, and mistakenly so, identified as a land of red wine – most notably Barolo and Barbaresco. However, among Piedmont’s most exciting wines, there are several whites. Erbaluce di Caluso, Gavi, Arneis are all native grape varietals vinified superbly into exciting white wines.
Moscato d’Asti is another one of Piedmont’s mainstays, famous in its Asti Spumante iteration, the ubiquitous sweet, white, sparkling wine.