Borgo Isolabella: its terroir, its moods
Sun Exposure: South-facing aspect ranging from due east to due west.
The vineyards are exposed to the full range of south-facing aspects, taking full advantage of the sun's rays to mature the grapes perfectly, thanks also to the uncontaminated, rarefied air at 500 metres above sea level, which intensifies the light and heat. The ventilated hillside location also prevents the accumulation of steam and fog banks. Another powerful accomplice encroaches on the sun's power and allows the grapes to ripen less rapidly: day-night temperature swings at this altitude offer cool night-time breezes that ensure a perfect balance between sugars, acidity and aromatic intensity.
Breezes: Beneficial sea winds.
Filtered by the hills that separate Piedmont from Liguria, the sea breezes drop their humidity and enrich the flora of Valdiserre with precious coastal pollens. The natural amphitheatre, which is protected by the cold Alpine winds, is constantly refreshed by these breezes, which dry the vines and the soil, thickening the skin of the grapes and concentrating their juices.
Light, Intenser, more incisive.
The altitude, aspect and, above all, location of the vineyards at the top of the hills, mean that the ultra-violet rays are more direct and more penetrating, and at once more powerful and gentler.
An extreme landscape
Altitude: Hot days and cool nights.
The vineyards are situated between 480 and 540 metres above sea level, which means they are subjected to considerable day-night temperature swings and light plays.
At harvest time, the temperature can slowly decreases by over 15 °C at night, if only for a few short hours thanks to the rocky backdrop of the hill, which absorbs, retains and reflects the sun's heat, releasing it gradually after the sun goes down.
The skin, which makes a significant contribution to the aroma, tannins and colour of the wine, becomes thicker and the precious substances it contains are concentrated as part of the protective mechanism that comes into play. The high altitude ensures a good level of acidity in the flesh and improves the wine's cellaring potential.
Steep slopes: Worthwhile fatigue.
The vineyards in the natural amphitheatre can be extremely steep, with a slope of up to 85% in places, which means they have to be worked almost exclusively by hand, just like in the early days.The steepness of the slope has multiple effects, ensuring optimum, more effective sun exposure and less shade between the rows. The air and cooler temperatures maintain healthier bunches, water drains away more quickly and the vineyard as a whole is protected from excessive humidity and stagnating waters.
Wine position: Concentration and finesse.
At the top of the hills, where the light is more intense and the breezes more refreshing, the drainage is better and the soil less rich, because many organic substances are washed down into the valleys. This causes the vine to sacrifice its foliage and wood in order to maintain the volume of its grapes, as these are the natural receptacles that encapsulate its vital essences, thus providing concentrated quality and finesse.
Soil composition: the marnes
The closer to the top of the hills you go, the poorer and better drained the soil is and both these factors have an extremely positive effect on the vine and its fruit. At an altitude of between 480 and 540 metres the hills are predominantly made up of fine marne, calcareous and sandy (siliceous) soils, which are ideal for growing moscato, brachetto and pinot nero grapes. The Alta Langa zone (Marne di Cessole) is characterized by alternating layers of marne and hard stone (siliceous), which are heavily fragmented in places. The roots work their way between cracks in the rock and are protected by cool and damp patches, even in drought-like conditions.
The Inimitable Vineyard
Vela wine Pinot nero of Loazzolo
11,000 vines per hectare: the pinot nero grown with this exceptional vine density was planted in 2007 (in France and Italy, vineyards are already considered intensive from 4,500 vines per hectare). Such density forces the vines to reduce their foliage and concentrate their essences into the grapes.
Moscato of Loazzolo
The "late" harvest of the Moscato di Loazzolo
Produced grapes must be late harvested in order to obtain a large sugar gradient (14-15 ° to the grape harvest) and let it dry for a few months on canes racks in a special place called “drying fruit room"; attached by the noble mold, is subsequently hand-selected.
The Natural Amphitheatre
Borgo Isolabella in Loazzolo
Eleven hectares of vines nestled among the woods, perched on magnificently exposed but incredibly steep slopes, in a unique natural symphony.