Cascina Corte is an organic farm, which we aim to use as a model for best organic production. It is also however a real working vineyard, which this year produced 15,000 bottles of Dolcetto variety wines, of two different qualities: a Dolcetto di Dogliani made from the grapes in the South of the vineyard, and a Cru obtained from the more valuable grapes of the Vigna Pirochetta. This part of the vineyard is exposed to the East, and the vines here are over 60 years old.
Here at Cascina Corte, the development of our wine is closely followed by two production professionals. Giuseppe Caviola is our winemaker, and he is responsible for analyzing the wine, and making various recommendations during the different stages of production. Our second expert is Giampiero Romana, our agronomist. Gaimpiero works with us on the management of our vineyard, and recommends which rootstock to use for the new vines.
The name of the company, Cascina Corte, is taken from the farm-house situated at the centre of our vineyard. The remains of the house are the original structure, and it has been found situated on maps which date back to the middle of the 17th century.
The house holds a lot of interest from an architectural point of view, and has been subject to a thorough restoration, in keeping with the original style. The restoration should be completed later this year, and we look forward to opening the new building to visitors and guests.
We are particularly fortunate with the position of the farmhouse, situated on the ridge of the hill, guests will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of Dogliani from the front, and the old-town of Monforte from the back.
All around the farm-house extend the vineyards of Cascina Corte, which have aged beautifully, and date back to the late 40's and 50's, from when wine production in the area was restored after the war.
The vineyards stretch all around the farm-house, hidden in the hills of San Luigi, this is one of the best areas for the production of Dolcetto di Dogliani. Throughout this area the work of agricultural reconstruction has continued since the end of the second world war.
From 2001, until now, the vineyards of Cascina Corte have all been restored we have changed stakes and wires, and removed missing rooted cuttings. The vineyards date back to the late 40's, and produce about 45-50 quintals per hectare (the strongest Dolcetto di Dogliani, producing 90 quintals per hectare.)
In 2002 we planted 1.5 hectares of new vineyards, half with Nebbiolo and half with the Barbera variety. Taking advice from our agronomist Giampiero Romana, we planted different rootstocks depending on the terrain of each area, and endeavoured to use varieties which had been traditionally cultivated here.
Here at Dogliani we look to maintain the health of our vines with entirely organic solutions, we use only verdigris and quarry sulfur. We do not use manure on our vines, and never chemical fertilisers.
We do not claim ourselves to be organic fundamentalists, but we take inspiration from certain principles of biodynamic agriculture, and organic farming. At the centre of our attention is the fertility of the land, which we nurture through the introduction of Green manure..
"Green manure" is an ancient technique for the natural enrichment of nutrients in the soil.
We sow legumes in alternating rows, which still allows space for our agricultural machinery. The legumes fix nitrogen into the atmosphere of the soil, an essential nutrient for maintain soil health and productivity. After flowering the leguminous plants are shredded, and mulched back into the soil to enrich carbon content.
Cascina Corte is our vineyard, and now we are working on the restructuring of the cellar.
Casa Corte is being reconstructed and we have started to work on the cellar, in order to derive, in addition to our house, a number of rooms to offer as Bed and Breakfast.
The Bed and Breakfast will be known as Casa Corte, a haven for those seeking to relax, but also a forum for scholars and philosophers wishing to debate the ebb and flow of life.