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In the northernmost tip of Piedmont, in Alto Piemonte, right on the border with Val d’Aosta, lies the beautiful little township of Carema, and the producer whose name is synonymous with the region, Ferrando. Founded in 1890, by Giuseppe Ferrando, Carema wines are the truest expression of mountain viticulture that we have encountered. Here, Ferrando grow Nebbiolo and Erbaluce (a phenolic, herbal and fleshy white) and craft some beautiful bottles using minimal interventions.

Now managed by the fifth generation Ferrando family, Roberto Ferrando is a key figure in the world of Alto Piemonte wines. Carema, like many of the Alto Piemonte appellations, was once one of the most important red wines in Italy but has been all but forgotten about due to industrial developments in the area, and the eclipsing Barolo and Barbaresco wines found further south in the region. In Ferrando’s vineyards, the vines are cultivated using the special terraced topie system, like low pergolas held up by stone pillars and walls, which store heat and release it during cold nights. This type of cultivation also allows these steep slopes to be worked on! Incredibly rich in minerals, the soils in the Carema area convey so much character to the wine, from dried herbs, to iron, and wet stone – we have much to thanks this ancient land for in the resulting wines.

Erbaluce di Caluso is a stunning, indigenous white wine that speaks so clearly of its origins. Fresh with soaring acidity thanks to the altitude and day to night temperature shifts, saline and mineral thanks to the rich, free-draining soils, and fleshy with firm strone fruit and ripe citrus character, thanks to the amazing sun exposure on the steep slopes. A true undiscovered star of Italian whites, fans of the mineral whites of the world should taste a bottle of Ferrando Erbaluce.

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