One of the greatest names in Piedmont, the Giacomo Conterno label started life as a modest wine bar in the village of San Giuseppe in 1908, run by Giacomo’s father Giovanni, who made wine from purchased grapes and sold surplus in barrels – the custom throughout the region at the time. The Monfortino – the label’s most legendary wine – was first conceived as a means of showing off the tavern’s very best efforts, and is thought to have been first bottled on its own in 1912 or 1920.
After Giovanni passed away, his son Giacomo took over the running of the tavern and winery. His sons, another Giovanni and Aldo, were brought into the family business in 1961, but the pair had different winemaking philosophies. Giovanni continued making wines as his father and grandfather had done – traditional Barolo of the highest quality – whereas Aldo was more interested in pursuing modern blends and contemporary takes. Aldo eventually went on to form his own estate: Poderi Aldo Conterno.
The Conternos purchased fruit from local farmers until 1974, when Giovanni bought the Cascina Francia vineyard in Serralunga. The first vintage was released in 1978, although the Cascina Francia name did not appear on labels until the 1980 vintage.
Upon his passing in 2004, Giovanni, who forged a reputation as one of the greatest Barolo producers, left the estate to his gifted son Roberto, who has continued the important work of three generations of Conternos; creating strictly traditional and globally renowned wines many claim to be the very purest expression of Barolo.
‘For Gattinara, the arrival of the most prestigious producer in Italy is clearly a huge positive.’ Antonio Galloni
“Baroli Cascina Francia and Monfortino ... rightly considered by most observers as among the most profound wines in the world.” Antonio Galloni