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Quiet passion, dedication, and pride for their local grape varieties is what defines the work of Claudio Mariotto, the third generation Mariotto to produce wines on this family estate. Nestled in the southeast corner of Piemonte, a rather unvisited part of the region Claudio Mariotto and a couple of others have fiercely defended their local Timorasso grape variety from extinction. With economic developments in the area over the past 100 years, many producers have abandoned the ancient white Timorasso grape for more lucrative international varietals. Thanks to the close study by Mariotto and peers, the unique characteristics of the powerful, mineral, and herbal Timorasso have been understood and allowed to shine.

The winery was set up by Claudio’s grandfather in the early 1900s, in the rolling hills known as Tortona, or Colli Tortonesi. Native grapes such as Freisa, Corvina, and Timorasso find their home here, amongst foggy Autumns, mild, temperate springs, and warm summers. In particular, the Timorasso grape thrives here, developing long into the autumn, acquiring powerful flavours of dried herbs, steel, concentrated citrus fruits and white flowers. A truly age-worthy white, it is slowly climbing the ladder into the wine-drinker’s consciousness, and it has been likened to some of the best mineral whites of the world (cue Chablis, Sancerre, Etna…). Claudio Mariotto and the team are fervent believers in the potential of Timorasso such that they produce four different wines from the grape. Each coming from a different part of their estate, they’re keen to show how versatile and terroir-reflecting the grape is.

If you’re new to the wine, then a good starting point is the Bricco San Michele, an approachable style that has all of Timorasso’s hallmarks. Work your way up their range and wonder at the Cavallina, a delicately oaked example that will gain complexity over the next 15 years. The Freisa Braghè is an intriguing red wine, demonstrating an interesting side to a grape that is often overlooked in Piedmont. Red berry fruit is joined by an earthy, almost animal character, with medium body and a lifted finish – this Freisa is a walk on Piedmont’s wild side and one for those who like their reds with a bit of funk.

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