Cantina di Nizza

Piemonte, piemonte Italy

Founded in 1955, this co-operative is comprised of 200 members with 550 hectares of vineyards around Nizza Monferrato. This is an excellent area for Barbera, which constitutes over 60% of the grapes that are harvested and crushed by the co-op. In Alba, the best sites are given to Nebbiolo, but in Asti this privilege is afforded to Barbera. Director and winemaker Giovanni Chiarle oversees all aspects of production and is determined to make wines that fully express the quality of the grapes that he harvests.

We know the co-op well, for it was where Matt Thomson used to make the ‘Ca’ del Matt’ wines about 15 years ago. Matt, who spent well over a decade making Barbera in this part of the world, feels that Nizza has the best Barbera vineyards in Asti.

Both wines are Barbera d’Asti DOCG. ‘Le Pole’ comes from vineyards that surround Nizza at an altitude of 200 to 300 metres above sea level and are planted on a mixture of calcareous clays and marls. Handpicked in the second half of September, the grapes are transported to and crushed at the co-op. Fermentation lasts no longer than ten days, at a maximum temperature of 28ºC. Malolactic fermentation starts straight after alcoholic fermentation is completed. After a few months, the wine is ready for an early bottling that preserves the vibrancy of Barbera at its best. The ‘Magister’ Barbera d’Asti Superiore is made from grapes from the oldest vines grown on the co-op’s best sites. After fermentation, the wine is aged for a period of around six months in large Slavonian oak and then blended to make a wine that is vibrant and, at the same time, structured and long, a worthy example of a Barbera Superiore from Nizza.


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