Forteto della Luja

The wines of Forteto della Luja somehow convey a sense of not having been manhandled. What I call “tenderness” comes not from one particular philosophy, but rather from a larger sensibility of deference. MATT KRAMER 

There are few more interesting and life-affirming visits in the wine world than a visit to the tiny (and I mean small) estate of Forteto della Luja in Italy’s smallest DOC, Loazzolo. The leading estate in a DOC of just seven producers (5 hectares) Forteto della Luja has been owned and run by the Scaglione family for generations and is currently in the hands of Gianni assisted by his rather famous father Giancarlo (professor and maker of Bricco dellUcceone Barbera). Amongst other things, the farm is listed by the World Wildlife Fund as an Oasis because it houses some of the original Piemontese flora not found many other places including a rare black orchid. There are no chemicals used here and the vineyards are worked by a rare breed of Appennine horses. You get the picture, its a cool place! 

Here they make Barbera, a blended Barbera Pinot Noir (pinot noir has traditionally been grown for the sparkling wine trade operating out of nearby Canelli) called Le Grive, a stunning Brachetto and of course the rare and famous Piasa Richeri Loazzolo – a wine made from late-picked, air dried Moscato grapes. There are only 230 cases made each year and it is mind-blowingly good wine. As the Italian’s would say, its a meditation wine; somethign to be sipped and thought about.