Writing this article about Ornella Correggia for an upcoming Matteo Correggia wine dinner at Zino Ristorante in Edwards was a warm up for Chapter 2 of my book, “Under Discovered: Piemonte through the eyes of its women.” Ornella is a humble, kind and serene woman whose innermost courage and strength helped her endure the unimaginable loss of her husband, Matteo, 12 years ago. She is a woman who is easy to spend time with and hard to say “good-bye” to as I discovered in March when I visited her at the winery outside of Canale in the Roero district of Piemonte.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse at a woman I greatly admire.
In 2004, my husband Dani met Paola and Valentina Grasso at a Barbaresco tasting in the village by the same name. He was snakebit by the wines and charmed by the knowledge and professionalism of the two young Grasso women. Fast forward 10 years. The three sisters – Paola, Valentina and Federica – work alongside their parents, Giulio and Luciana Grasso.
The Grasso family’s wine growing roots were planted in the 1880s when the family owned the entire prized Asili vineyard outside of Barbaresco. Giulio’s mother and father – Ernesto and Fiorentina – built the house and cantina on the current location in the 1950s. The site’s rich history dates to Napoleon, but you’ll have to wait for my book “Under Discovered Piemonte” for that! Luciana and Giulio represent the fourth generation of Ca’ del Baio – house of the bay horse. Oh yes, there is even a story about the horse! Given women can now work in the wineries – but only in recent decades – the future of Ca’ del Baio is secure in their three capable daughters.
In July 2010, Paola culminated her 7 year courtship with Carlo Deltetto at the alter of the Lady of the Assumption church in Treiso. Carlo is the son of noted Roero winemaker, Antonio (Tonino) and Graziella Deltetto.
The marriage of the two families created a buzz about whether new winery would emerge from their union. However, it seems Carlo and Paola are committed to their own families’ brands. The buzz will no doubt continue now that the two families share the fourth living generation – Lidia Deltetto, born December 17, 2011.
Giulio Grasso is committed to sustainable farming and a respect for the generations of traditions in producing the big nebbiolo wine of the region. The family’s production philosophy can be summed up as follows:
dedicate meticulous attention to each vine, especially during the pruning which is essential to well-balanced plant growth;
allow each single vintage to express its own, different identity;
bring out the genuineness in each wine by intervening as little as possible in the winery;
operate a sensible pricing policy, with no unjustified mark-ups.
Only native yeasts are used in fermentation. Synthetic herbicides and chemical fertilizers were banished from the vineyards many years ago. Only a small amount of sulfur dioxide is added to the wines. Otherwise, it’s just Mother Nature with a little help from Giulio and his daughters responsible for the high quality wines Ca’ del Baio produces.
More information on the family can be found at their informative website noted above.
Nearby Lodgings (less than 5 minutes from winery): Cascina delle Rose (bed and breakfast) – Tre Stelle Agriturismo Il Bricco (bed and breakfast) – Treiso Villa Incanto – Treiso Hotel dei Quattro Vini – Neive
Nearby Restaurants (less than 10 minutes from winery):
Profumo di Vino – Treiso
La Ciau del Tornavento – Treiso
Trattoria Risorgimento – Treiso Osteria Unione – Treiso
Antica Torre – Barbaresco