Gavi is one of Italy’s most celebrated whites, from the hills of southeastern Piedmont, close to Liguria. The wine takes its name from the medieval town of Gavi, which is towered over by a seventeenth-century fortress whose brooding outline is a remarkable contrast against the gently rolling vineyards surrounding it, sloping down towards the Lemme River.
The Castellari Bergaglio estate is located right in the middle of this timeless landscape of natural beauty and tranquility with red clay soil, rich in iron, 200 meters (984 feet) above sea level. The estate has 30 acres (12 hectares) under vine and was founded in 1890. It is now in its fourth generation and is family run in the finest Italian fashion, careful to maintain what Marco Bergaglio (fourth generation – Mario Bergaglio and wife Vanda Castellari are from the third generation) calls “an ideal ratio between tradition and innovation.”
According to Marco, there are three fundamental principles at the heart of Castellari Bergaglio:
• Variety. Cortese di Gavi is a noble variety among Italian whites, classified as early as 1798. “We have always been firm supporters of an uncompromising native identity rather than easier solutions – like concealing this identity with international blends. We would like to craft wines that reflect our terroir, not a stereotype.”
• Terroir. “Historically and contrary to most of what Piedmont stands for, ours is an area for white wines. Our aim is to see the Gavi appellation grow in quality and recognition. We have deliberately chosen not to extend the range to include reds to maintain our loyalty to territorial identity.”
• Balance of tradition and innovation. “We treasure the legacy of knowledge and experience that comes to us from previous generations. At the same time, this classic heritage should be a launching pad, not a straitjacket.”
The winery now runs on solar energy. This eco-friendly method is “our contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and safeguarding the planet,” says Marco.