Northern Italy is nested between the Alps and the great plain of Pianura Padana thus creating a wide area with low influence from the Mediterranean sea. Spread on the axis East-West it is crossed by the 45° parallel, the same cutting through the French wine region of Bordeaux. This area hosts 40% of the Italian grape production and is highly rich in history and heritage. Throughout centuries different people conquered and populated the area giving birth to of a great agricultural and grape biodiversity: white and red grape varieties, aromatic grapes, sugar-rich or acid grapes, varieties suitable for ageing or great to yield young and delicate wines. Piedmont is no exception being home to peculiar varieties such as barbera, nebbiolo, freisa, ruchè, moscato and brachetto.
The province of Asti, first and foremost home to the famous sparkling aromatic wine, also hosts the town of Nizza Monferrato, long known as a remarkable place for Barbera d’Asti production. The average of 2000 hours per year of sun exposure combined with a mild and dry climate make of this territory a perfect environment for grapes to reach perfect ripening. High-quality grapes are fundamental to obtain high-end wines, and this was well known to Mario Pesce when he decided to grow his vineyards on the favourable ground of Poderi Bricchi. Here is where SCARPA quality actually comes from.
Our vineyards are tended in a sustainable way that implies using non-artificial products to grow and safeguard our plants. We seriously care about the balance and harmony of our land and vines; which is why the vineyards are surrounded by fields and wooden land with no intensive monoculture activity.
The elevated position of the vineyards between 410 and 480 meters enables a spectacular exposition to the sun and a precious temperature mitigation during night hours. Especially in summer time, when temperatures rise to very high levels, such feature preserves acidity in the final product remarking the difference with other vineyards at lower altitudes. Our vines are constantly taken care of and gaps are filled with plants deriving from mass selection and pruning is traditionally implemented according to the Gouyot method. I Bricchi estate is circled by the Appennini chain from the South, the Alps from the West with the remarkable peak of Monviso and the rest of the mountains fading away farther North.
Harvest is a manual procedure at SCARPA, our team make a first selection in the vineyard thus ensuring only suitable grapes to reach our cellar. All grapes though, especially bought ones, are further checked on a special vibrating table to make sure that our quality is always at the highest level.
Tradition is largely considered the most suitable description for our cellar practices. SCARPA style has been unique throughout time and is what makes our wines highly distinguishable and authentic. Alcoholic fermentation, for instance, is long and smooth with temperatures apt to preserve fragrances and aromas.
Most of our wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, whereas the best growths, our “Crus” find their way in wooden vats first and large barrels then. Always supplied by our entrusted producers, SCARPA barrels are both of French and Slavonian oak to best fulfill the needs of barbera and nebbiolo, the former looking for gentleness and delicacy and the latter for strength and character.
1971 saw the creation of the Azienda Agricola Poderi Bricchi. SCARPA intended working with owned grapes with the aim to keep constant control on final quality. The estate was chosen on the top of a hill on the border between the towns of Castel Rocchero and Acqui Terme, particularly the small hamlet of Moirano. The location of the vineyards is key to understand the traditional choices made by SCARPA: with one foot in the Monferrato Astigiano and the other in the Monferrato Alessandrino, the focus was on a broad range of indigenous grapes, like ruchè and brachetto for example.
Being SCARPA a long-established winery, with records of production of Barolo going back to the ‘40es, nebbiolo is another grape that adds to our production. This is the only grape that is not grown at Poderi Bricchi, rather bought in selected areas pertaining to the right designation.