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  • Winery Cantalupo Piedmont

    Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo is situated in Ghemme, in the upper part of Piedmont, an area which for over two thousand years has had a vocation for wine making. The company is owned by the Arlunno family and today covers a total area of over 100 hectares,...

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Winery Cantalupo Piedmont

Quality Wines Production Vineyards Vespolina Nebbiolo Arneis Chardonnay Ghemme Novara Piedmont Italy

Contacts

Ghemme Via M. Buonarroti, 5 +39 0163 840041

Description

Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo is situated in Ghemme, in the upper part of Piedmont, an area which for over two thousand years has had a vocation for wine making.

The company is owned by the Arlunno family and today covers a total area of over 100 hectares, of which 34 are covered in vineyards divided into different areas: Breclema, Carella, Livelli, Valera, Baraggiola, Rossini, Roccolo della Valle del tordo and Ronco di San Pietro situated between 250 and 300 metres above sea level and facing south, south-east.

The morainic, alluvial hills today covered by vineyards were formed in ancient times as the great Monte Rosa glacier receded.

The soil is rich in easily fragmented pebbles providing the vines with a quantity of minerals as well as microelements which help to give the wines their organoleptic features.

Cantalupo production can be identified mainly with the Nebbiolo vine species (80% of the area covered in vines) locally known as Spanna, Pliny's uva spinea. However the native Vespolina and Uva Rara are also valorised, as is Greco blended with Arneis and Chardonnay.

All the main activities connected with cultivation (pruning, tying down, leaf stripping, thinning out of bunches) are done manually. Harvesting too is performed by hand at different times for each plot and each type of vine species so as to guarantee the perfect degree of ripeness of the grapes.

The wines are aged both in traditional Slavonian oak barrels and in small French oak casks kept in the picturesque terraced cellar cut into the hillside.

The character of Cantalupo wines has been perfected over the years through continual research and innovation in tune with the company's culture, history and accumulated technical experience.

The real fulcrum of the Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo is represented by the picturesque terraced wine-cellar cut into the hillside.

Designed and planned by the architect Gianni Arlunno, Alberto's brother, it was the result of the need to combine in a single building the production of Cantalupo previously fermented in the old family premises in the historic centre of Ghemme.

The building, begun in 1977, has an extremely linear layout. A porch circumscribes the part of the building above ground on three sides, on the left are the fermentation rooms, on the right the packaging area and the offices, in the middle the visual area which leads to the heart of the enterprise: the cellars where the wine is aged.

This is a completely underground area of extensive terraces leading upwards as the hill above them does. An impressive impact with a view of all the precious casks carefully arranged in this teatro di invecchiamento (ageing section) extending over 1200 square metres.

The space is divided by regularly spaced columns on three steps which highlight the alternation of the casks.

Below the lowest terrace is the "infernotto" (small hell), a place of profound quiet and darkness with a narrow corridor giving access to the cells which for at least a year house the Ghemme and their cru.

The overall view of the building is intended to give the visitor an idea of the immutability of time, a sensation which Gianni Arlunno had years earlier while standing before the rocky amphitheatre of the Valley of the Kings in Thebes, dominated by the Temple of Queen Hatahepsut (XVIII dynasty), a succession of terraces rising towards heaven.

From the Queen's temple to the temple of wine.

The vineyards di Cantalupo rise up on a hill of morainic, alluvial origin which extends from the mouth of the Valsesia to the Novara plain.

The moraine is a triangular shape, 14 km long and 7 km wide at the base. It was formed from the deposits washed down and accumulated over time from the Monte Rosa glacier.

The soil "is a colossal collection of mineralogical samples from the alpine range above, composed of pebbles of granite, porphyry, gravel rubble, of schist, mica-schist, serpentine, flakes of Dolomitic rocks of Fenera, of amphibolite pebbles" (Nicolini, 1904).

This clay tends to be poor and is generally not very fertile but, precisely because of this, is good for exalting the characteristics of the vines.

The western side of this suggestive terrace, bordered by the river Sesia, is the most recently formed part. Along this strip below a thin layer of clay there are infinite numbers of modestly sized pebbles apparently intact but easy to disintegrate with minimal pressure.

This is the home for the Nebbiolo vine species which gets its elegance, character, original flavour and aroma from this rare source; the precious deposit of numerous mineral salts.

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