January 2

The Piedmont ‘Falstaff White Wine Trophy’ goes to the great whites of the Sassaia and Villa Sparina wineries


On one hand, an old-time cellar built underground with barrel vaults and solid bricks, and on the other, a super modern cellar powered by solar technology, are united by quality wine that binds tradition and innovation. We are talking about the Villa Sparina in Monterotondo and Sassaia di Capriata d’Orba, respectively associated with Cia, which have been awarded the prestigious Falstaff Trophy for best white wines of Piedmont. The German trade magazine is specialized and highly regarded as an international reference point in the international wine trade. The journal awarded the two companies the “Piemonte bianco Trophy 2021” for the excellent score (93/100), after blind tastings of wines Derthona Platinum Timorasso di Sassaia and 2009 Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi Docg of Villa Sparina.

Falstaff describes Derthona Platinum Tirmorasso in this way: “Rich and sparkling lemon yellow. Intense aroma of ripe pineapple and banana, paired with toasted bread with butter and almond cream “and so the Villa Sparina: “Brilliant and sparkling golden yellow. On the nose of flint, dried sage, thyme, mint, fine notes of pear Ripe Williams, ripe yellow peach, with an aftertaste of acacia honey.” As for the estate – says Enrico de Alessandrini of Sassaia – “we have 16 hectares of vineyards. In addition to Derthona Timorasso, we also produce Monferrato Nebbiolo, which obtained DOC status in 2019, Cabernet Sauvignon, SanGiovese, Pinot and Syrah. Let’s not forget, however, Dolcetto which is typical of the area Ovadese.” The real turning point for Sassaia is represented by their Derthona Platinum which produced excellent resulta and earned them the Trophy. Timorasso, the grape of Derthona, was rescued thanks to the tireless work of Walter Massa who saved it from extinction in the 1980’s.

Enrico de Alessandrini, an Italian-American, strongly believes in blending the best of the US and Italy in hospitality to make wine and territory known to visitors. «We have adopted the Californian model – continues de Alessandrini – which is based on direct relationship with the consumer. In this regard, we have also created several tasting experiences that include the winery and tasting points in the vineyard”. A fundamental part in the history of the Capriatese winery, founded in 2017, is tied to Pierre Naigeon, a fifth generation producer in Gevrey Chambertin who is de Alessandrini’s mentor. “The collaboration with France was born out of a personal appreciation for the Burgundy wine style, friendship with Pierre, and also out of recognition of the historical ties between Burgundy and Monferrato: when the Benedictine monks in 1750’s exchanged winemaking techniques via correspondence with the monks of Monferrato.”

The hamlet of Gavi that “hosts” Villa Sparina is an oasis of beauty where the hospitality of the Moccagatta brothers (Stefano, Massimo, Tiziana) fits like a gem. The estate includes 100 hectares of property, 70 of which are planted with vineyards, most of which are planted with cortese, the native grape variety that characterizes this corner of the province. “In 2018 – explains Stefano Moccagatta – we presented the new label “Villa Sparina10 years”: a project that highlights the ability of Gavi to improve during bottle aging. This project has produced numerous awards for Villa Sparina which brings great emotion and satisfaction to the winery.”

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