Barbaresco Winery Paitin Expands into Alto Piemonte

For seven generations, the Pasquero-Elia family has made wine for their Paitin label in Barbaresco. They’ve also acted as stewards of the Serraboella vineyard, a menzioni geografiche aggiuntiva (MGA), or designated vineyard, making intense, long-lived Nebbiolos from their Sorì Paitin parcel. This year they will release wines from outside Barbaresco for the first time thanks to a new partnership with the Bianchi family in Alto Piemonte.

“Great terroirs are not simply made of expert winemakers and powerful grapes,” said Luca Pasquero-Elia, who runs the Paitin winery with his father, Giovanni, and uncle, Silvano. “Soil, climate and history are key. Alto Piemonte has every single aspect needed for the recipe.”

This is the second recent expansion for Paitin. In 2018, Luca convinced the family to purchase vineyards in the Basarin MGA across the valley from Serraboella. Additional parcels farmed in Faset and Albesani bring Paitin’s total vineyard area to 47 acres.

Nebbiolo from Outside the Langhe

The new project began in 2022, when Luca convinced Giovanni and Silvano to venture 100 miles north to Alto Piemonte, purchasing a majority stake in the historical Bianchi estate in Sizzano. The price was undisclosed. The Bianchi holdings consist of 22 acres: 12 in Sizzano and 5 acres each in Gattinara (in the Valferana single vineyard) and Ghemme (the Barragiole single vineyard).

They are making three wines in the “Monte” range, named after peaks in the western Alps. The white and rosé will be available in the United States in a few months. Monte Bianco Colline Novaresi is 100 percent Erbaluce, and Monte Rosa Rosato Costa della Sesia is 100 percent Nebbiolo, while Monte Rosso Colline Novaresi is a blend of Nebbiolo (95 percent) and Vespolina (5 percent). The vineyard-designated Nebbiolos from Gattinara and Ghemme will be released at a later date.

[article-img-container][src=2024-06/ns_paitin-cellars-060424_1600.jpg] [caption= Luca, Silvano and Giovanni Pasquero-Elia, left to right, in the Paitin cellars.] [credit= (Photo Courtesy of Paitin)] [alt= Luca, Silvano and Giovanni Pasquero-Elia, left to right, in the Paitin cellars.][end: article-img-container]

Wine has been the Bianchi family’s focus since 1785. The connection between the two families goes back to when Silvano Pasquero-Elia met Paolo Bianchi at enology school. “The relationship intensified while I was visiting the winery in 2021 in one of my northern Piedmont trips and I sensed their need for support,” said Luca. “After different encounters, we understood there was space for a joint venture. We started to talk business in late 2021, and early 2022 we finalized an agreement.”

The Pasquero-Elia family helped out with the 2022 harvest and, since 2023, Giovanni has overseen the farming and Silvano and Luca have vinified the wines.

Potential in New Piedmont Locations

Alto Piemonte attracted the trio for a number of reasons. They felt the more northerly location of the vineyards could better adapt to climate change; they sought to broaden their Nebbiolo sensibility; and they recognized the quality of the terroir.

The Paitin team are the second Langhe winery family to see the potential of Alto Piemonte. Roberto Conterno of Giacomo Conterno invested in Nervi, the historical Gattinara winery, in 2018.

“In wines, innovation can be led by introducing new terroir, a perspective we rarely explored given that until 2018 the vineyards were property of the family for more than 100 years,” said Luca. “Basarin, Faset or Albesani were a big step for us, but pushing it further to Alto Piemonte was a challenge. I’m young and have plenty of energy, and I have full support from Giovanni and Silvano.”

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