Elisa from the Colombera winery in Piemonte explains to us her terroir in Colli Tortonesi, the grape Timorasso, and shows her cellar.
When Elisa's great grandfather arrived at Colombera in 1901, he found some huge 300hl cement tanks there with a crystalized layer on top, making it look like a diamond from the inside, with al the reflecting lights. However, they were unable to use the tanks for winemaking, because they used their wooden doors to stay warm during the war. They had such a particular shape that they were not able to renew them when the war was over.
Nowadays, they use barriques to mindfully mature three of their red wines to give them an elegant character: a particular wine called Suciaja, a Barbera called Eisa and the Arché, made with Croatina grapes.
Croatina is an easy growing grape that you can find all over Italy, it gives you a lot of spice, red fruit and richness, but it needs some time in the bottle to develop. Suciaja - which means dry - is a local clone of Dolcetto, which Elisa's grandfather planted in 1971. The wine ages 9 months in oak. They only have 1 ha of vines, so they don't produce many bottles of Succiaja, but the high quality makes it their favorite wine. They also produce two Timorasso Colli Tortonesi wines, an autochthonous local grape variety: Derthona and Il Montino. Derthona is the local name of the city of Tortona and the wine is made with Timorasso from four different vineyards, deliberately planted in different parts of Colombera because of the different soils.
La Colombera has different clay soils, one darker clay that is partially calcareous, one lighter clay from the Montino vineyards, with a more prominent calcareous component. You also find different stones in the different soils.
Derthona and Montino are vinified the same way, the only difference is the soil they come from. Montino comes from the lighter soil and is their best vineyard.
Timorasso undergoes a long temperature controlled fermentation, after which it rests sur lie (on its yeasts) and with batonage for 10 months.
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