Giulia Negri | La Morra, Italy
Inspired by tradition, history, a sense of place, a prodigious thirst for knowledge and a genuine awe at other regions’ wines, Giulia Negri is extraordinary, respectfully ploughing her own furrow in Piedmont.....she is a Barologirl.
Of course, as she is the first to admit, 150 years of winemaking tradition in her family (at Serradenari), allied to her parents’ generosity in allocating a plot of very special land for her, has afforded Giulia an exceptional start in her winemaking exploits.
Giulia had long adored her 'garagiste' friends and their small-scale, entrepreneurial, dogma-free wines: a handful of amazing bottles produced by forward looking, artisan winemakers. So when her family made it possible for her to cultivate grapes and create a small cellar, she set her heart on Barolo, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
There is no multi-million pound winery designed by a famous arcitect here. Giulia believes a cellar must have three essential qualities: cleanliness, simplicity, passion. Her cellar is tiny with only four people doing the work, maintaining the vineyard, making the wines and travelling the globe to sell it.
The wines are aged in a small number of barriques, many tonneaux and some large barrels. The Pinot Nero and the Langhe Bianco are aged in wood barrels for at least 12 months; the Barolo, at least thirty months. She then likes to keep her wines in the bottle for a long time; glass has its share of secrets too!
Giulia’s Barbera is from vineyards planted at 500 metres, with a north-west exposure. The wines is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel followed by 6 months maturation in large oak tonneaux (60%) and stainless steel (40%) The result is an easy-drinking, accessible style, rich in cherry fruit – a lovely wine.
Her Nebbiolo comes from two different crus, awarded Menzione Aggiuntiva (MGA) status on the new, official Barolo map. These are Brunate and Serradenari. Brunate is a historical cru of La Morra, a small vineyard where the vines are around 40 year old, planted and 320m above sea level. Serradenari is an outstanding vineyard, the highest in Barolo at up to 520 m above sea level. Here Giulia’s parents planted in 2002/2003, from which Giulia has selected a small parcel starting at 400m above sea level, a south-facing amphitheatre which maximises sun exposure.