Nestled along the southern border of Piemonte, Nicoletta Bocca has been the driving force at the San Fereolo estate since she acquired the property in 1992. In the years that have since passed, Nicoletta has not only completed the property’s conversion to certified biodynamic, but seemingly mastered the terroir of her native Dogliani, the spiritual homeland of the Dolcetto grape, turning out wines from the Valdiba and Valdiberti subzones that seem to turn any preconceived notions of the grape on its head. The soil here is mostly limestone and Nicoletta’s parcels are perfectly situated on south-east and southwest facing slopes with vines averaging 40-70 years old;
what results are likely the most profound, structured and elegant expressions of Dolcetto you’ll ever taste.
Nicoletta’s father was a Partisan in the Langhe hills during WWII and, after the war, would revisit the region annually to instil in his children a love for nature and a respect for culture and history. Integral to those trips was the appreciation of the local food and wine. Nicoletta hails from Milan, but so rich were these childhood memories that she devoted herself to the land and the cultivation of vines. Nicoletta focuses on sites with strong terroir signatures and her approach is a sympathetic one, nurturing fruit to express the variety, the site and the season, with an almost idealistic belief that winemaking is subordinate to the demands of the crop. All fruit is hand-picked, yeasts are indigenous, temperature is rarely controlled and elevage takes place in variously sized, but always larger, oak casks. Nicoletta’s wines are triumph and tribute, polemics for the nobility of Dolcetto and elegies for the generations that worked the land before her.