Masserano, Alto Piemonte
Carlo Colombera bought the property in 1992, it is in a beautiful spot just outside the medieval village of Masserano, known for being markedly drier than the neighbouring Lessona.
Carlo had no intention of making wine but decided to start in 2000 and that is when the story of Colombera starts.
The house is surrounded by woodland and the original vineyard, which is a mixed hectare planted mainly with Nebbiolo, some Croatina and Vespolina; the vines are up to a hundred years old and in rude health.
In 2003 Carlo planted a second hectare in Masserano and he leased five hectares in Roasio in 2005. His conversion to winemaker was quite a success, something that has rubbed off on his boys Giacomo and Guglielmo who now work alongside him.
In 2010 local wunderkind Christiano Garella joined the family; at the time he was the CEO of the historic winery Tenuta Sella (we were importing his wines!) and was still under thirty.
Christiano and Giacomo’s friendship was cemented in business and the labels changed to ‘Colombera & Garella’.
The pair managed to find a hectare of land in Lessona which will add another four thousand bottles to production when all the vines are performing at the high standard required.
The wines are made under the garage, cement vat at the rear, assorted barrels to the side and a mixture of tanks, hand bottling machine and other motley equipment filling the void. Temperature control techniques include wet towels and fans, there is no fat in this operation.
The fermentations are spontaneous with minimal additions of sulphur.
The vineyards are farmed organically, though Giacomo has no time for the bodies that regulate and so prefers to express his convictions through membership of Vini Veri (mainly biodynamic producers).
Very pure, very genuine winemakers with enormous energy and great skill.