Erbaluna is part of a minority of artisan estates in the Barolo region. The exorbitant price of wine-growing land in the Piedmont countryside, the result of many speculative investments, has caused the number of independent winegrowers to drop. Fortunately, on these world-class terroirs, winemaker Andrea Oberto perpetuates the traditions of his ancestors, while adding a contemporary sensibility.
When the brothers Andrea and Severino (who left the farm in 2012) took over the estate in the 1980s, they incorporated stainless steel tanks, complemented by up-to-date machinery. However, they didn’t just overhaul the winemaking tools. In a desire to reclaim a healthy relationship with their vines, a process of conversion to organic farming was initiated as soon as they entered the scene. Subsequently, Erbaluna obtained its organic certification through the Italian organization ICEA. In this sense, they are considered to be organic pioneers in Piedmont.
Their south-facing vineyards extend over fifteen hectares, growing down steep hills that rest on soils generally composed of clay and limestone with a subsoil of ancient sandstone. In the village of La Morra, Andrea vinifies his grapes in various ways. Fermentation usually takes place in stainless steel vats, with regular pumping over, while aging takes place in old Slavonian oak casks. This blend of recent techniques, and ancestral know-how, allows to obtain a concentration of fruit, while maintaining a classic elegance.
Andrea Oberto is immersed in a quest for balance, between a more frank and characterful expression of their exceptional terroir, and a restraint which makes the wines of this part of Piedmont so timeless. It is precisely this desire to move the estate towards the future, while keeping a look to the past, that is Andrea’s strength.