Emilio and Maria Luisa Oliveri live in Tagliolo Monferrato, near Ovada, in the south of Piemonte. It is here that they farm their 2 hectares on the Borgatta estate that was founded in1948. Most of the vines were planted in the early 50’s by Maria Luisa’s father and they inherited the property from him in the 60’s when more vines were added, with the youngest vines being planted in 2004.
Ovada is a region famous for dolcetto, and this is mostly what the Oliveri’s grow, along with a few rows of barbera - and until 2016 when they were removed, they also had a small plot of cortese. The vineyards are at 270m altitude and the two main parcels are grown over red clay and tuffo. They are certified organic - indeed the wines have never, ever seen any chemical or synthetic fertilisers or additions since most of them were planted over 70 years ago.
Emilio and Maria are now in their 80’s but that hasn’t slowed them down, they still farm manually, they even still make their harvest alone, as Emilio believes that he knows his land and how to handle it best. In the cellar the grapes are de stemmed, and a small amount of sulphur is added at this stage (nothing further is added at any point). The wines are spontaneously fermented in glass lined concrete tanks, they then go on to spend part of their elevage in steel or old barrels. La Milla, the 100% dolcetto is then also aged for a minimum of 4 years in bottle before release.
The wines of Borgatta are wines of intense character and concentration. It is wonderful to see dolcetto handled thus, La MIlla has even gained the nick-name of “baby Barolo”. By all accounts they are some of the most warm and open hearted people that you are likely to meet, and we hope that we are lucky enough to experience their craft for many more vintages to come.