Elio Grasso, Monforte d’Alba, Italy
Elio Grasso is a Piemontese wine estate located near Monforte d'Alba, which is particularly known for its single-vineyard Barolo cuvées.
Only estate-grown grapes are used, sourced from 18 hectares (44.5 acres) of vineyards. Grasso's flagship plots are located around the winery, and include a prime section of the Ginestra vineyard and just about all of the Gavarini vineyards on the ridge above the winery. Grasso also have more recent plantings in the Rüncot vineyard on the sunny slopes just below the winery's terraced garden.
In the winery, fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Aging varies depending on the cuvée: the Riserva Rüncot matures in French oak barriques for two years, and then another two years in bottle, while the Gavarina Chiniera and Ginestra Casa Maté wines are aged in more traditional 2500-liter Slavonian oak barrels. Barrel cellars have been cut into the rock, which allows precise temperature regulation.
Elio Grasso makes a range of other wines including a Langhe Nebbiolo, a Dolcetto d'Alba and a Barbera d'Alba. The estate also makes small amounts of a barrique-fermented Chardonnay, named Educato from 1-ha (2.5-acre) plot.
The vinification procedure for Barolo Gavarini Chiniera involves alcoholic fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with daily pumping over. After completing malolactic fermentation, the wine matures in 25-hectolitre barrels of Slavonian oak. Bottling normally takes place in August. The Barolo Gavarini Chiniera then stays in the binning cellar for 8-10 months before release.