Elio Grasso

Piedmont, Italy

Currently, the Elio Grasso estate has a productive vineyard holding of 14 hectares. The cellar uses only estate-grown grapes from varieties traditionally grown, with excellent results, in the Langhe hill country near Alba.

Reflecting the imprint of the vineyard where the fruit was grown in order to give our wines their unique personality is the goal that we - myself, my wife Marina and our son, Gianluca - strive to achieve, with the invaluable assistance of our consultant wine technician, Piero Ballario.

We believe that to be acknowledged first as grape farmers, and then as wine producers, is the best way to honour, and continue the labours of, those who have faced before us the challenges that working with nature and her products, like wine, entails. This, and a desire to be true to ourselves, prompts us propose, without presumption, the convictions and conduct shared by all Langhe farming families, characteristics worth preserving and which we believe make the difference.

The vineyards are owned by the Grasso family and are the estate's greatest assets. The area where they are located has always been considered outstanding wine country, as is demonstrated by the inclusion of our holdings in the map of the finest vineyards drawn up by the great historian, Lorenzo Fantini, in the early 20th century.

Recognising the overriding need to respect and enhance the unique characteristics of the vineyards, we look on these sor?, as well-aspected hillsides are called around here, as magical places where we can rediscover our own roots.

In fact it was in the early 1980s that we decided to go back to our origins as grape growers, well aware that our work did not stop at the end of the row of vines. We had no illusions that we were inventing anything: we merely wanted to comply with the best in the traditions and work of our predecessors, without any preconceived ideas.

The first logical consequence was the decision, from 1978, to vinify and bottle separately grapes from our various vineyards. Our goal was to enable the estate to find its own space in a market where excellent producers were already operating. Our one-step-at-a-time policy began with the successive replantings of our Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto. In 1986, we added a small plot of a non-native variety, Chardonnay, "educating" the fruit to express the terroir into which it had been introduced. At present, our average annual output does not exceed 70,000 bottles, a level that enables us to maintain the family-managed orientation of our work, as well as meticulous control over all stages of winemaking, from vineyard to cellar.