Alto Piemonte often lives in the shadows of the region’s more idolized appellations, though these wines are certainly worth seeking out. Contrary to boisterous southerly expressions, these northerly Nebbiolos are fragrant, floral, and approachable in their youth. Nervi is the oldest continuously operating winery in all of Gattinara.
Roberto Conterno, owner of the historica Giacomo Conterno winery in Monforte d'Alba, purchased Nervi in 2018, from a group of Norwegian investors who bought Nervi in 2011.
Standing on a hilltop in Gattinara, with the heart of the Nervi estate spread before you, one can see why Roberto Conterno fell in love with this property.
"I know Nebbiolo well and, in terms of landscape, it's a fantastic place," Roberto said.
Gattinara DOCG wines are required to be made from at least 90 percent Nebbiolo grapes, known locally as Spanna.
Nervi's vineyards spread over 70 acres of slopes alternating with steep valleys that offer numerous exposures. The heart is the amphitheater of Vigneto Molsino, 12.35 acres facing full south and rising to 1,385 feet.
This is the filet of the 32-acre Molsino parcel; Valferana, another vineyard just to its east, occupies 20 acres. These are bottled separately, while the third wine, a Gattinara, comes from a mix of estate parcels.
The wines are traditional, the Gattinara aging in large casks for three years, Molsino and Valferana for four years. Lighter than Barolo in body and high in acidity due to the volcanic soils, Gattinara is capable of long aging.
(credit pic: Wine Spectator)