The Antoniotti family has been making wine in their town of Casa del Bosco (Sostegno) in northern Piedmonte for generations. Today Odilio, along with his son Mattia, work the vines and make the wines in the same traditional manner.
They currently work six hectares in two of Italy’s smallest DOC’s, Bramaterra and Coste della Sesia. Bramaterra is truly microscopic, with only a handful of vignaioli producing it. Costa della Sesia, while still small, is a broader 33 hectare appellation that overlaps with Bramaterra, Gattinara, Lessona, and many others: usually the wines receive this appellation when they aren’t as qualitative. A good example: four of the Antoniottis’ six hectares fall within the Bramaterra appellation but only two are vinified as such.
Both appellations are Nebbiolo dominant, but the wines are always blended with various amounts of Croatina, Vespolina and Uva Rara depending on the vintage. Bramaterra needs to be aged at least 22 months in barrel before bottling; the Antoniotti do 30 months. Their Coste della Sesia ages for 18 months before bottling
The soils here are volcanic porphyry, a type of granite rich in minerals. The vineyard work is done using guyot training, only sulfur and copper treatments at minimal levels, organic compost but no fertilizers. Grapes are picked by hand, destemmed, fermented in underground cement tanks for about 12-14 days, racked into stainless steel for malo and put into barrels around the end of December (or left in stainless in the case of “Pramartel”). There is no fining or filtration. Sulfur use has lowered over the years: the Antoniotti currently only add some on their harvest before vinification in order to block any insects or leaves to interfere with the fermentation.
Credit: Louis/Dressner Selections