The Gaudio family has been making Monferrato wine for three centuries. Estate bottling began in 1973 under Amilcare Gaudio, the present owner Mauro’s father, who still works alongside his wife Gabriella and his daughter Beatrice. Amilcare also renovated the estate and built a new state-of-the-art winery. Bricco Mondalino takes its name from the highest point of the Mondalino hill (hilltop is “bricco” or “bric”, in the Piedmont dialect), though emphasis is shifting from place to family name: Gaudio is now prominent on every label of the range – an auspicious name, as it means “bliss.” The Gaudio vineyards cover 18 hectares (44.5 acres), all in elevated, sunny positions on white, calcareous marl terrain, rich in fossils and marine deposits from the Miocene period, 60 million years old; the family still finds fossils when they work. It also enjoys an advantageous microclimate and good rainfall of approx. 16 inches (400 mm) per year. The focus is on the area’s traditional varieties. Recent vintages have seen major innovations, starting with vineyard management. Mauro Gaudio explains the reasons behind his decisions: “Global warming has caused a constant increase in alcohol and we want to make sure there’s quality and concentration without excessive alcohol. In other words, we want to contain alcohol levels for maximum elegance.” At the same time, the Gaudio family has invested heavily in winery equipment (new stainless-steel vats and a new refrigeration system) and even harvest containers (small, low crates that hold a maximum of 300 kg of grapes), as well as a brand-new tasting room seating 60, with a view of the cellar. With Beatrice now firmly established as the winery’s co-winemaker, Gaudio Bricco Mondalino is looking towards the future.
The family has focused on doing almost everything by hand in the vineyard, reducing the use of tractors to an absolute minimum (and therefore the CO2 emissions and the negative effects of compacting the soil). All of the vineyards are fertilized with the help of horses. Because of the techniques used in the vineyard, the family is able to grow small grape clusters, which bring high quality to the vinification process.