Nuova Cappelletta | Certified Biodynamic estate winery in Piemonte, Italy.
Background | Giuseppe Fracchia was born in Quattordio on the 19th of March 1901. The son of farmers, he was left motherless. He graduated at the Polytechnic of Electromechanical Engineering before emigrating to the United States in order to further his knowledge in the paint and plastic materials field. On his return to Italy, from the mid 1930s to the early 1960s he founded four enterprises creating 4,000 jobs. In 1965 Giuseppe Fracchia purchased the land of the Counts Callori of Vignale Monferrato and founded “Nuova Cappelletta”.
Current owner | Adele Fracchia Uslenghi (Giuseppe Fracchia’s daughter) and her second son Alessandro (b.1960. Speaks very good English, lived in US; friend of Tony Norskaard in Nevada County; worked for Mountain People in California); he is the owner with his mother; manages admin and vineyard etc.
Estate vineyards | 210-ha (520 acres) of land. The primary agricultural activity is cattle breeding (100 cows which are sold to other farmers who use them for meat), plus the growing of wheat (picked in July, sold to/milled in Germany or Switzerland for flour) and alfalfa (which cut in summer for winter forage for cows). For wine grapes there are four vineyards named Montalbava, Collina, Guerra and Minola. The vineyards are on mostly hilly land, all of which belongs to the estate, and are separated by fields in rotation or pastures. Our terrain is situated over an area of deposits from the Miocenic period and has a geological boundary dividing the estate in a north-south direction between the formation of the “marne of S. Agatha fossils” to the west and the “pietra da Cantoni” formation below it to the east. The eastern part (the Collina, Montalbava, Minola and Rinalda vineyards) has a lighter soil, with around 50% lime 30% clay and 20% sand. Whereas in the western area (the Guerra vineyard) the soil is a “heavier” mix with averages of 50% lime, 40-45% clay and 5-10% sand.
Collina vineyard | The Collina Vineyard is situated in the area of the same name in Vignale Monferrato and covers 15 hectares. Half of which is dedicated to Grignolino planted in 1974, while the other half is used for Barbera, Freisa and Chardonnay, all planted between 1930 and 1993. The vineyard is south-west facing with an average incline of 30°.
Minola vineyard | The Minola vineyard is adjacent to the Montalbava vineyard. The Minola covers 3-ha and is located in the Barbera area of Vignale Monferrato. Its south-facing aspect, loose soil and sheltered position all make this vineyard particularly suitable for the cultivation of Grignolino and Barbera, which can be harvested right into late October, allowing for an excellent natural ripening of the fruit without the risk of rot.
Montalbava vineyard | The Montalbava Vineyard: recently planted with Chardonnay and Freisa on about 3.5-ha and is situated on a southfacing hilltop with light soil which allows for a slightly earlier harvest than usual.
Rinalda vineyard | The Rinalda Vineyard: after ample fertilising in previous years with bovine manure from the estate, this vineyard was newly planted in the spring of 2001. This area, which in the past also held small vineyards, has been chosen to produce purely Barbera, based on its exposure to midday sun and because of the constant breeze.
Guerra vineyard | The Guerra Vineyard: this south east-facing vineyard covers 9-ha and has been bearing Barbera since 1974, and more recently Freisa and Chardonnay. It is located in a small valley with cool winds blowing from all directions making spring freezes more usual than elsewhere and thus limiting the number of active buds and therefore the harvest.
Winery | The winery is called Il Portone is in a large horseshoe-shaped XVI century building constructed with the traditional materials of that time: huge blocks of tuff alternated with layers of smaller baked-clay bricks, with the cellars below carved directly out of the rock. Today they are used for maturing the wine in small oak barrels. These premises also house the modern stainless steel equipment for pressing the grapes, making the wine, storing and bottling it. It was not an easy task getting the new equipment into the old buildings, but all has been done in full respect of the original architecture. The stainless steel tanks can hold 400,000 litres, over a third of those are insulated, temperature controlled tanks, where the wine can be kept cool to allow the tartaric salts in excess to deposit, and to protect its quality during the summer. The wine is filtered using state of the art equipment in order to preserve the sensitive characteristics present in the grapes. The company’s enological laboratory carries out the main analyses and compares the data with results from other laboratories which operate internationally and are in close contact with our European and North American clients. Part of the premises has been recently redone to house a reception area for visitors.
Az Ag Nuova Cappelletta, Ca’ Cappellatta 9, I-15049 Vignale Monferrato (AL = Alessandria), Italy
Tel+39 0142.933135 | www.nuovacappelletta.it