It was April 27, 1959 when a group of courageous winemakers from Clavesana, a municipality in the South Western Langhe, decided to unite to pursue a shared goal. From 32 founding members they have grown to 230: today they cultivate 380 hectares of vineyards in the hills, between 280 and 500 meters above sea level. They produce dolcetto, barbera, nebbiolo, but also chardonnay and pinot nero. It is the producers in the Langa who celebrated the important milestone of the 60 vintages.
ITALY AND SWITZERLAND
A party that involved members but also many guests. Above all, some of the protagonists of Italian and Swiss cooperation who met in a round table: Michael Hock, winemaker of St Jodern Kellerei, Visperterminen (Switzerland), Giuseppe Bursi, president of the Cantine Settesoli in Menfi (Agrigento, Sicily) and Gianni Pasquale , director of the Frentana winery in Rocca San Giovanni (Chieti, Abruzzo), flanked by their agronomist, the Piedmontese Maurizio Gily. Different realities compared to tell the choices made and the challenges that cooperation will have to face in the coming years.
SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE
«Our predecessors began to press a few quintals of grapes already in the 1959 vintage – said the president of the producers in Langa Giovanni Bracco – they had a towel on their heads and slept in the cellar so much was the spirit of sacrifice. Since then we have come a long way and today other challenges await us with the testing of new vines on these hills: not only dolcetto which traditionally was the only grape or almost grown here, but also nebbiolo, chardonnay and pinot noir with which we bet on future of the Alta Langa as a top quality sparkling wine ».
THE TURNING POINT OF THE TWO THOUSAND
The director and oenologist Damiano Sicca added: «The turning point began in the year 2000 with the total transfer of the members’ grapes, more rigorous selections in the vineyard and more modern vinifications. Choices that led to Produttori in Langa, a new project born from the need for a further change that accompanies the diversification choices of the cultivars in the vineyard. From this year’s harvest we will also have an organic line ».
NEW SPARKLING WINE
During the celebrations of the 60th anniversary, the first bottle of Alta Langa Docg, a Mathusalem (6 liters), symbolically opened, which officially opens the marketing of the new sparkling wine signed by the producers in the Langa. The party ended with a large dinner in the cellar and a toast by the over 200 members present.
The producers in Langa produce one million and 800 thousand bottles. The cooperative’s turnover was close to 6 million euros at the end of 2018.
A look at the members. The average age is quite high: 59 years, but the rows are internationalizing with foreign partners from some foreign countries including Switzerland, Lithuania, Japan. The pink quotas represent just under a third of the members. At the beginning of the year a Youth Council was set up with the under 40s: in this group, new sensitivities such as organic emerge.