Castello di Tassarolo | Estate winery in the Piemonte (Piedmont) region of north-west Italy. Its main wines are bottled under the following denominationas: Piemonte DOCPiemonte DOC Barbera, Monferrato Rosso DOC and and Gavi DOCG.

History | Castello di Tassarolo has been in the Spinola family since the 11th-century. Family members have been ship-owners, cardinals, doges of the Republic of Genoa, bankers, and (frequently) generals. They sponsored Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America. A report from 1656 mentions the ‘good wine’ produced at Castello di Tassarolo. The name Spinola derives from ‘spigot’ which was used to draw wine from the oak casks. In 1800 the naturalist Massimiliano Spinola dedicated himself to entomology. His whose collected works are on display at the natural history museum of Turin.

In 2005 Massimiliana Spinola, daughter of film director and wine maker Paolo Spinola, took over the estate. She has a degree in philosophy and art from Genova. She spent a decande inNew York working in the contemporary art world (art galleries, museums). She then spent 2 years in London completing a Masters in fine arts, whilst working and exhibiting as a photographer and painter. During her time abroad Massimiliana continued working (in sale) with her father on the family estate, Castello di Tassarolo, and would return for the harvest. Having eventually taken over Massimiliana converted the estate to biodynamics, founded a Steiner nursery and school, and began experimentally making wines with no added sulfites.

Massimiliana’s partner Henry Finzi-Constantine has Italian aristocratic family roots but grew up in Tottenham, north London (with a north London accent to match).

Vineyards | 2017 17ha.

Biodynamics | Biodynamic preparations are sourced from Agribio and Carlo Noro. Horse manure is used for compost (Millésime Bio 2015). A Comtois horse works in the vines. The estate teaches others how to work with horses. Course days are made for children from the local Steiner school so they can learn how to garden. The area they learn in was created by removing 3ha of Cortese, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay which Massimiliana’s father had planted. This land is used for the horses, for the garden and 80 fruit trees (2017) with more due to be planted.

Certification | 2006 Conversion to certified organic status commences but with Biodynamic practices. | 2009 First vintage with full organic certification.

Sparkling wines

Gavi DOCG Frizzante, Spinola

White wines

Gavi DOCG, Vigneto Alborina | 2013 Oak aged. With added sulfites. Very nice soft texture, clean at Millésime Bio 2015.

Gavi DOCG, Il Castello | 2013 With added sulfites. Very nice and sappy at Millésime Bio 2015.

Gavi DOCG, Spinola | With added sulfites.

Gavi DOCG, Spinola NS | NS’ = no sulfites. | 2008 No added sulfites. Some apple at Millésime Bio 2009. | 2013 No added sulfites. Some apple, fresh and chalky at Millésime Bio 2015. | 2016 Fermented in stainless teel. No added sulfites. Delicious at M Bio 2017.

Gavi DOCG, Titouan | Wine made from horse-ploughed vines. No added sulfites.

Red wines

Monferrato Rosso DOC, Marchesi Spinola  2013 Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera. No added sulfites. Nice and fresh at Millésime Bio 2015.

Piemonte DOC Barbera, Titouan | 2016 No added sulfites. Nice  mid-palate fruit, reductive eggy end at Millesime Bio 2017.

Contact

Castello di Tassarolo

Località Alborina, 1

I-15060 Tassarolo (AL = Alessandria), Italy

Tel+39 014.3342248 | www.castelloditassarolo.it