Rivetto Winery is the first profile in my new series, Piedmont Portraits. Join me as I explore the life blood of my region: the producers.
Wineries, cheese producers, pasta makers, truffle hunters, shop keepers, and the like contribute equally to the cultural make-up of this magical Northern Italy region. So, while I may focus more heavily on wine, it won’t be the only topic for this series.
Why Piedmont Portraits?
I was inspired by a book by wine writer Cathy Huyghe. Hungry for Wine explores the story behind the wine. Best described in her words as:
Things like regrets, migrant labor, war, financial crises, and post-apartheid economics.
Things, too, like following a calling, and doing something even though it makes no sense, and creating the life you imagine for yourself.
Living in Piedmont for the past 2.5 years I’ve come to know producers in a different way. There is a passion that permeates their work with families working side-by-side as they have done for generations.
I want these narratives to explore that aspect of the beautiful Piedmont region.
Beginning with the Rivetto Winery.
The life of a winemaker….is anything but glamorous.
~ Hungry for Wine
Azienda Agricola Rivetto is a 4th generation winemaking family from the eastern hills of Serralunga d’Alba. They began producing wine in 1902 and started making their production at their Sinio farmhouse in 1938. Today the organically farmed vineyard holdings include 37 acres in Sinio and Serralunga. The original farmhouse remains the winemaking facility.
The Rivetto wine production includes about 18 wines, from Dolcetto to Barbera, Nebbiolo to Barolo, Moscato d’Asti to Barolo Chinato, and more.
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Rivetto Barolo DOCG
Grape: 100% Nebbiolo
The Rivetto Barolo portfolio includes:
- The classic Serralunga Barolo
- Single vineyard Serralunga Barolo, Briccolina
- Barolo Riserva, Leon
Nascetta Borea Langhe DOC
Grape: 100% Nascetta
The revitalization of Nascetta fascinates me, so please indulge the extended prose.
Dating back to the 1800s, Nascetta’s primary use was blending. It is special to the Langhe region as the only native white. I’m probably getting some furrowed brows with that statement. The other well known whites have nearby roots of origin:
- Arneis is indigenous to Roero.
- Cortese (labeled “Gavi”) is from Alessandria.
Nascetta started to decline after phylloxera hit and only a few parcels were replanted. Reasons for this include:
- Producers opted to use the vineyard space for more profitable varieties, like Barbera and Nebbiolo.
- It is a delicate grape that produces low yields, so cultivation can be costly.
By the 1990s it was near extinction. The story goes that some farmers happened upon some old vines. Eventually they were identified as Nascetta. It was then that a small group of producers began working to revive it.
Rivetto entered the scene in the early 2000s. Winemaker Enrico Rivetto wanted to make a white, but wasn’t keen to add an international variety to his portfolio. So, he selected Nascetta.
His first vines were planted in 2007 with the inaugural bottling in 2009. Unsatisfied with his first pass Rivetto continued testing styles and techniques until he was pleased with his wine.
The recent vintage was released with a new label and screw cap closure. The screw cap is rare in the area. It was selected for technical reasons. Borea ages in a cement tank for one year and is continually remixed with its lees for at least a year and half to create refinement and freshness. These attributes are best preserved over time with this new cap.
Extra Brut Metodo Classico Kaskal
Grape: 100% Nebbiolo
In 2015 Rivetto released its first sparkling Nebbiolo, Kaskal. It’s made in a sparkling style known as Nebbione. This iteration of the Metodo Classisco (Champagne method) process uses the once discarded tips of Nebbiolo bunches from DOC and DOCG vineyards. The tips are ideal for sparkling wine as they yield the most acidity. Second fermentation takes place in the bottle with 40 months minimum yeast contact. Kaskal had 45 months on lees for its first release.
Recent Rivetto Wine Reviews:
Rivetto Winemaker, Enrico Rivetto
What wines are you drinking right now? Now, I’m drinking Nebbiolo from northern Piedmont. Travaglini’s Tre Vigne from Gattinara is very elegant. Also, Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Nerello Mascalese from Etna. And, Selosse Initial Champagne.
What wine region do you want to visit next? I want to get to The Douro Valley in Portugal and Alsace in France.
What is your favorite restaurant in the Langhe? I love Villa d’Amelia.
Visit The Rivetto Winery
Location: The Rivetto Winery is located in Sinio, just outside of the Barolo winemaking area of Serralunga.
Tasting: Cellar tour and tastings are by appointment; 15€ a person.
Lodging: If you are planning a trip to Barolo you can stay at Rivetto’s working winery. Agriturismo Rivetto is an eight-room farmhouse surrounded by vineyards. In spring and summer the included breakfast is served on the patio overlooking the vineyards. Amenities: Wifi, parking, welcome drink upon arrival; tasting and tour on request.
Find it! Rivetto Winery
- Website: Rivetto.it
- Address: Localitá Lirano, 2, 12050 Sinio (CN), Italy
- Phone: +39 0173613380
- Email: Info@Rivetto.it
- The Ultimate Guide to Piedmont Food & Wine Paring
- Barolo Wine Tour Planning: Things to Know Before You Go
- When is the Best Time To Visit Piedmont? Let’s Review.