Since 1858, the Fontanafredda Estate & Winery has been instrumental to the growth and international awareness of Barolo, while championing sustainability and community engagement in the Langhe region of Piedmont. Under the lead of visionary entrepreneur, Oscar Farinetti, Fontanafredda has built a portfolio of wines that express the depth and diversity of the Langhe, produced from grapes that are farmed from organic and sustainably managed vineyards. Since the 2018 harvest, Fontanafredda is the largest certified organic winery in Piedmont.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
The 250-acre Fontanafredda property in Serralunga d’Alba, a cru site of Barolo, is the single largest contiguous wine estate in the Langhe and includes 247 acres of vineyards, 30 acres of woodland and 10 acres on which the cellars and village buildings lie. Owned vineyards are in the municipalities of Serralunga d’Alba, Diano d’Alba, Barolo, Dogliani, Farigliano, Alba, Rodello, and Murinsengo, at altitudes between 200 - 400m.
The Barolo Chinato tradition dates back to the end of the 1800s, where an alcoholic infusion of herbs and spices, using a cinchona bark base, would be added to wine to increase ageability and
promote it as a medicinal drink.
Fermentation in stainless steel vats for an average of 8-10 days at a controlled temperature (86-88°F), with frequent pumping over of the must. The must then stays on the skins for several days to optimise the extraction of the polyphenolic substances and help start malolactic fermentation.
An alcohol base is aromatized with more than twenty herbs and cinchona bark, which are left to steep for around 3 months. There are 3 seperate infusions carried out, each to extract seperate flavors and aromas. The infusions are blended and matured for 6 months in oak barrels. The final blend is added to wine, along with some additional alcohol and sugar.TASTING NOTES
While its alcoholic strength gives it a very long shelf life, it is not too high to make it a highly enjoyable, smooth, round product with a lovely bitter-sweet balance in the mouth. Its very intense, complex nose features the aroma of calisaya bark, while also showing clear hints of cinnamon, cloves (very noticeable on the taste too), nutmeg and aromatic herbs. Barolo Chinato is mostly served neat at the end of a meal as a meditation wine, though it is also excellent paired with chocolate.