I could endlessly rave about our experience at Cascina I Carpini set way out in the middle of nowhere in the Tortonesi Hills (province of Alessandria). The GPS system couldn’t even find this place, but once we did, we were greeted with a smile and a glass of wine at 10 a.m. I was there to help with the language barrier between the winemaker Paolo and two Californians that were visiting. It is hard to call this work when you get to taste wines all day, and learn new things at the same time. It was hard to transmit Paolo’s poetry in what he was saying but I did my best.  As I was translating, I was admiring his winemaking philosophy and poetic way of describing the process. Every decision has been carefully studied and respecting the natural surroundings. Nothing is left to chance at Cascina I Carpini.Interesting Tidbits from the day:
The thermal waters under the soil naturally irrigate and keep the vines well watered. Not only do the shallow thermal waters nourish the grapes, but they also give the Timorasso grapes a high mineral content. This incredibly allows the white wines to be aged for up to 20 years just like reds!

Vineyard in direction South West best for Sea winds and maximum sun coverage

Because Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripens later than Barbera, the winery planted a bordering row of Cab to keep the wild boars out. If the boars tasted those sour grapes first, they wouldn’t proceed to the next ripened Barbera vines. Natural defense!

No pesticides here!

They only use spontaneous and natural fermentation…no industrial yeasts! We tasted two separate tanks of the same exact wine and were stupified at their two incredibly different tastes. This is due to natural fermentation. Both tanks of Timorasso wine were delicious (not to mention my old favorite sparkling version Chiaror sul Masso) with high citrus and minerals but with a longggggg honeysuckle finish!

Chiaror sul Masso means moonlight shining on stones…and it is my favorite! The way we started our day at 10am.


Wood barrels in Paolo’s words; There are two types: French and Italian. French wood is like a Cuban cigar, pleasant at first but quickly nauseating while Italian wood is like a Tuscan Cigar stinky at first but more pleasurable in the long run. The best solution is to use a little of both and mix the two to get an genial aromatic effect upfront with a long lasting flavorful finish.

gotta love barrel tasting!

Making wine is like raising your own children. You can tell right away if they are gifted or just plain pea-brained. Instead of forcing them to fit your ideal mold you have to let them find their own direction to best enhance their strongpoints. “If the parents want their kid to be a lawyer because it is a good job you will end up with a bad lawyer and one less artist,” Paolo explains. He even listens to the wines fermenting in the vats, just like a baby in the womb!

His babies

Only the highest quality corks are used. Going against the grain, Paolo believes that as his wine is alive and constantly evolving inside the bottle through through the years, the cork must also be alive otherwise the synthetics will stunt its growth. He invests in these bigger high quality corks in order to nurture his wines in the course of time.

special corks

The wines are so exceptional because the conditions surrounding it are so unique. With the Ligurian winds that purify the air, the territory’s thermal waters, and Paolo’s creativity and passion for creating natural wines, you will have an unsurpassed result. Most importantly though, Paolo has fun. It is so refreshing to be around an unpretentious winemaker, and for this reason you will be nothing but impressed by what you drink.

Barbera’s perfect match! This is how you do it! Smoked ricotta and scamorza from Sardegna and salami


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