Saturday we drove across from Trento, up through Piedmont and into Dogliano to visit Poderi Cellario. Fausto Cellario was all fired up and waiting for us at this winery in Carru. We tasted his new white table wine called E Bianco in Liter bottles and then jumped back in our van to head out and visit a bunch of his vineyard sites.
Fausto has vineyard sites all over the Langhe and Dogliani. He and his wife's families have been there forever so they both had inherited little parcels all over. First we drove to a Favorita vineyard he had recently planted and looked at how the vineyard was laid out and the exposure.
Then we headed over to several vineyard plots around an old farm. the old farm was still owned by someone else but Fausto had bought the vineyards. There were south facing 50 year old Nebbiolo vines planted by the farmers father.
New Nebbiolo vines planted a few years ago by Fausto facing south west and ore down the slope so they'd be warmer. Up on the other side of the hill he planted Dolcetto vines facing east at the top of the slope so that they'd only get morning light and be fresher and brighter.
Dolcetto from up on a ridge with a particular red soil in Dogliani that Fausto had named Sabinot after an old vineyard that had once belonged to the Cellario family but had been sold out of the family by his grandfather to keep his sons from fighting over who would inherit in .
Eventually we made it back to the winery and walked all through the cellars with Fausto. What really came across was Fausto's personality and approach to making wine. Fausto Cellario is a super relaxed energetic kind of go with the flow guy. Cellario doesn't employ an Enologist. He's been there making wine in the Langhe for his whole life so he has an intuition that's well grounded in his and his ancestors experiences vintage to vintage farming in Piedmont. He exclusively uses wild yeast for the fermentation, but loves tinkering within those boundaries to keep improving what he does. He takes samples to friends and neighbors, his father and relatives regularly to get their input as well as to taste what other people are doing and see how they're handling the ever changing weather conditions.
All the reds get transfered to cement after initial fermentation where they go through natural malolactic.
He said he loves to always be discovering new details and ways of working.
While we talked his younger son and daughter were chasing around the cellar using it as a giant indoor playground.
You know a winery isn't using pesticides when they serve you and their family a salad made with wild greens they in the vineyard picked earlier in the day.
Finally we went back upstairs and sat down to a dinner with him and his family. We tasted so many wines. Indicative of his love of experimentation there was an unending procession of different grapes, blends, and vineyard sites. Some particular standouts were his Langhe Nebbiolo, a Grignolinio, and his Sabinot vineyard Dolcetto.
It was awesome to meet another wine maker who's whole family is intimately involved and so obviously loves what he does. It's how wine should be: it should be fun and positive and fueled with passion and collaboration.