Charismatic and occasionally outspoken Barolo winemaker Matteo Ascheri balances the traditions of his world-renowned region with the innovation that is born of a probing intellect and an energetic approach to everything.
The family owns three estates, two of them in Barolo and one in Roero. The Barolo vineyards are planted with the indigenous grapes of the region – nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto – but the Roero vineyards are somewhat different, being planted with varieties more recently introduced, namely syrah and viognier. Matteo has faith that they will make fine wine in that particular terroir of marine fossils, sand, gravel and rock.
As you might expect though, it is the Barolo wines that are the pinnacle of his production, made from vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra and Verduno. All the nebbiolo vines for these wines are on south, south-east or south-west facing slopes of silty marl or clay soils with some sand and limestone, planted at an altitude of between 280 and 350 metres above sea level. Slavonian oak is used judiciously and the wines spend varying amounts of time in wood depending on the cuvée and parcel.
Matteo has a rare insight into the relationship between his wines and food as his family also run a hotel and restaurant in the town of Bra specialising in the food of the region.