TERROIR & VINEYARDS
Our sun-kissed grapes ripen with the help of the sun’s light and heat reflected off the typical white of the soil. Skilful processing in the winery then turns them into wines which look fondly on their humble roots and interpret the principle: never betray the past, but never settle for simply repeating it.
We have inherited this terrain from the ancient sea which once covered these lands more than twenty million years ago, leaving a loamy calcareous earth with inclusions of tuff, perfect for growing vines.
The white compact soil, scarce precipitation and slope of the land mean that to look for water, the vines have to sink their roots deep into the ground.
The summer sun striking the white soil reflects on the grapes, ensuring they ripen well and evenly, while the breezes from the Alps which constantly caress these lands help keep the grapes healthy and full of the fruity aromas which characterise the wines.
TERROIR & VINEYARDS
On certain pieces of land, this white soil alternates with other more fertile clayey soils containing iron, giving them a reddish colour. Particularly on the northernmost slopes, this is where the freshest, most elegant, most acid-rich wines come from and where we normally cultivate white grapes such as Chardonnay which benefit greatly from the two alternating types of terrain, creating a diversity of aromas and textures.
On the slopes to the south with “white” soil, we prefer growing Barbera, Albarossa and other red-berried grapes to obtain the maximum concentration of all those substances which give our wines great body, always combined with the high acidity which makes them pleasing to drink, improving over time and with good keeping qualities. Exposure to the sun is exceptional on these slopes and the white colour of the soil reflects its rays and heat which strike the grapes from both above and below.
Rainfall amounts to about 500 mm per year, with at least one or two snowfalls during the winter, important to top up the water reserves in the soil. The temperature rise of recent years has been felt here too, but without causing damage. Quite the opposite, it encourages earlier budding in the spring, prolonging the growing season, with more useful days to perfectly ripen even the latest grapes.
Each individual vineyard has its own traditional name, handed down since the dawn of time by the oldest vine dressers to the youngest as generation followed generation on these gently rolling hills. So we have names such as La Presidenta, La Mandola, San Gonin, Torre, Cedro, Fontanino, Campone, Botto, etc..
It is not hard to understand the origin of some of these (for example, the Fontanino vineyard has a vein of spring water (appropriately drained) rising up at the centre, while the Cedro refers to the centuries’ old cedar tree growing at the centre of the vineyard). Others however are harder to explain. In particular, the piece of land with the best characteristics on the entire estate is known as La Presidenta, but clearly this is another example of the winery being ahead of the times, given that the chauvinist society of past centuries would hardly have dreamt of giving the feminine form of such an important name to the best vineyard. But that is exactly what happened at Olivola.