Oct
2009

Costa Della Sesia

toscana

The Sesia River, born from the “Monte Rosa” glaciers, runs in the north east part of the Piemonte region in the province of Biella and Vercelli where it becomes the D.O.C “Coste della Sesia” (Banks of the Sesia).


Although this area has experienced nearly two thousand years of wine production, their recent acceptance into the D.O.C. in 1996 has allowed the inclusion of many grapes varietal that had previously been overlooked by the consortium. This change has opened the door to many wine makers for the production of dynamic wine with lots of mineral, intense perfumes and harmonic elegance, without the strict rules of the D.O.C.G appellations like Gattinara and Ghemme.


The process of including many interesting grape varietals into the wines of this region is what sets them apart from other areas. The general rule for Costa Della Sesia Rosso and Rosatto is to use a combination of the following 5 grapes: Spanna (aka Nebbiolo), Vespolina, Bonarda, Barbera and Croatina. Including 40% of one of the main grapes is a requirement, as is following with 20% of another of the five. The remaining 40% may be any other variety grown in the area. The guidelines for producing Coste Della Sesia Bianco follow the same percentages changing only the grapes to Erbaluce, Arneis and Chardonnay.


In order for a winemaker to create and name a wine more specifically than “Rosso” or “Bianco”, for example, “Costa Della Sesia Nebbiolo”, they must have 85% of that particular grape. The exception to this is Erbaluce, whereby the vintner must include 100% of the Erbaluce grape.


Very few of the producers are available in the USA. Among those are Azienda Agricola Sella, Antoniolo and our good friend Paolo dei Marchi, who after experiencing great success in Toscana with Isole e Olena, has returned to his piemontese origins by creating “Proprietà Sperino.” The character of the wine changes from one producer to another, giving you delicious floral perfumes, medium to full body wines with some tart fruit and elegant tannins.