Piacenza is a region with a long and storied history of viticulture.There are fossilized vine roots as well as grape seeds found in the district giving strong evidence to demonstrate a history that spans millennia. The vine has always had a place of prevalence here, from ancient Rome to the present day.

Piacenza, here on the border between Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia lies the D.O.C. production zone of Colli Piacentini. Here the sloping hills, proximity to the sea and soil consisting of clay marl and sand combine to create an area and an atmosphere where the vine can take hold.

The important red varietals for wine production here are Barbera and Bonarda, Malvasia and Trebbiano for white wines. This month we are proudly featuring wines from Colli Piacentini on both our quartino list as well as our tasting menus to showcase this unique place. We have chosen to begin the month focusing on a producer with a storied history in the region as well as a reputation for making great wines.

Castello di Luzzano stands poised on the border between Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia overlooking the Oltrepo Pavese to the West and the Colli Piacentini to the East. The Fugazza family traces its roots here back a mere century while records on the property recall a history tracing back 1,000 years. The Castello is now in the hands of Maria Giulia and Giovanella. Their hard work and dedication are on display here at Babbo as we feature two of their wines, the Malvasia “Tasto di Seta” and the Gutturnio Riserva “Romeo”

The Colli Piacentini D.O.C. permits the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon as well as other indigenous varietals. However the white wines of note here are made from Malvasia as it constitutes nearly a quarter of total white wine production for the zone. At Babbo this month we have chosen “Tasto di Seta” as a great example of varietal character and shining example of production in the area. The Malvasia grapes are manually harvested and gently pressed with only a portion of the free-run juice being fermented into the wine which will eventually become ”Tasto di Seta”. Cold fermentation preserves the delicate aromatic structure with six months of lees ageing helping to balance the overall structure of the wine with an unctuous mouthfeel.

Gutturnio Riserva falls under the Colli Piacentini D.O.C. as the major red wine of the area. In order to comply with the designation the wines must be made from Barbera and Bonarda, Barbera comprising the majority of the blend up to 70%, the wines must age for a minimum of 24 months before release. Castello di Luzzano produces a Gutturnio Riserva called “Romeo.” This wine is small in production, a mere 7,000 bottles annually.

It is a 60/40 blend of Barbera and Bonarda rich in fruit, silky and velvety. Once again the Fugazza family is focusing on quality not quantity, the grapes are manually harvested and selected, fermentation takes place in cement tanks. Once fermentation is complete the wine will rest in small oak barrels for one year and in bottle for one year before release.

We invite you to join us to experience these regional specialities and welcome your thoughts and questions on them, we hope to see you soon, grazie!