22 March 2021
Cascina Chicco’s incredible underground cellar has vaults decorated with gypsum crystals. These aren’t artificially added features, but a unique trait of the land of Roero, the hills that the Faccenda family has learned to know and cultivate while respecting their vocation.
To fully understand the wines of Cascina Chicco, Roero cannot be left out.
A land marked by characteristic soils, a mosaic of hills and vegetable gardens, woods and hazelnut groves, furrowed by the impressive peaks of the Rocche, typical karst formations of yellow sandstone that cross the Roero in a west-east direction from Pocapaglia to Cisterna d'Asti, natural boundaries of this territory.
Roero was a coastal area during the Pliocene era, full of life and characterized by a tropical climate. Its waters were low and the rivers of the nearby Langhe (which was probably already present) released fine rocky debris. This is how its soils originated, now very rich in sand and limestone. Loose and light soils that are reflected in the expression of the grapes, generally more inclined to yield medium-bodied wines with lively structure, marked by very delicate aromas and innate elegance.
CANALE, THE CRADLE OF ARNEIS
This is the case for the area of Canale d’Alba, where Cascina Chicco cultivates the historic family vineyards: Anterisio and Mompissano. Here, Arneis is the main variety grown on plots with good exposure, altitude and slopes, with soils that are a mix of sands, calcareous marls and chalky-sulphureous formations that yield wines with excellent body, rich aromas and pleasant alcohol content, just like Roero Arneis Anterisio Docg.
CASTELLINALDO, THE HEIGHT OF BARBERA D’ALBA
But the hills of Roero are definitely not the same. For example, Barbera grapes reach their maximum expression exclusively in distinct areas, which, after long years of experimentation and tests, Cascina Chicco has identified around Castellinaldo, in the vineyards of Granera Alta and Bric Loira, on the border with Castagnito and Magliano Alfieri. Here, the soils change their structure. The sands of Roero mix with clayey marl that contains one of the highest levels of limestone in the area: soils that are comparably similar to those present in the Langhe. Exposure and warm microclimate complete the characteristics of a Barbera with intense, rich and powerful colors, such as Barbera d’Alba Doc Granera Alta and Bric Loira, the icons of Roero: these are Barbera d’Alba with outstanding structure, intense fruity aromas and hints of spice.
VALMAGGIORE, THE ROERO OF KINGS
Nebbiolo in Roero is also influenced by the territory. If we are thinking of an austere wine, tannic and strong – we have to think again. Here, Nebbiolo reveals its romantic, graceful and noble nature, indulging the nose and palate in elegance and persuasive aromas. The area that best expresses these characteristics in Roero is undoubtedly Valmaggiore, a long ridge that stretches up to Vezza d’Alba. Cascina Chicco cultivates its steeply elevated hills, surrounded by enchanting woods. The soil in this area presents the typical characteristics of central Roero, originating from the Pliocene era, characterized by silt, limestone and clays. A mix that continues to yield the best grapes for the production of Roero Docg, produced with 100% Nebbiolo: a wine that, since the 17th century, Filippo Giuseppe San Martino di Agliè, an advisor to Queen Maria Cristina of France, regent of Savoy, has ordered to never be missing in the royal cellars.
From Valmaggiore, Cascina Chicco produces Roero Docg Riserva Valmaggiore, aged in oak barrels: rich yet direct, structured and persuasive, a perfect example of how Roero can yield exceptional wines without ever forgoing a very pleasant drink.