VIGNARIONDA - ArnaldoRivera
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Serralunga d'Alba




Geological substrate: LEQUIO FORMATION; 12 million years old (SERRAVALLIAN STAGE).

The vineyard extends over the Lequio formation, the oldest in the whole of the Barolo growing area. This geological formation differs considerably from all the others in a number of well-defined characteristics: content in sand (20-30 %), fairly low amount of clay, and high calcium carbonate compared to the other formations (25-30 %). The result is a substrate with fairly low fertility, and a particular exchange with the plant.


Soil: WHITE, MARLY, CALCAREOUS, SHALLOW, YOUNG. The vineyard is planted on a typical white soil which retains the characteristics of the geological formation. The vine therefore finds itself interfacing with a fairly permeable soil which is not suffocating (sand), highly calcareous and not very fertile due to the low clay content. However, the clayey component is composed of minerals with a high exchange capacity, which allow the plant to develop without too much difficulty despite the poor fertility. The distinctive nature of the formation is associated with its origins. The strata of the Lequio formation were set in a very deep sea (more than 400 metres) and were subject to very long burial before being brought back to light to form the hill of Serralunga. The low fertility of these soils is reflected in the very clear-cut, distinctive nature of most of the Barolos from Serralunga: not too high in alcohol content, with a particular polyphenolic profile. The quantity and type of tannins synthesized by the vine are proportionate to the degree of stress. This stress can be of different kinds – water, heat or nutrition – and the plant responds in a different way to each one. In the case of Vignarionda, two factors intervene: low fertility, due to the work the vine does to draw nutrients out of the soil, and low availability of water in relation to the topographical position of the vineyard. As a result, this habitat is reflected in the wine. The bouquet is also fairly characteristic, associated with the high percentage of calcium carbonate (itself a generator of aromas) and the hot and dry climate.


Climate and topographical framework: SOUTHERLY aspect; 330 m a.s.l. (1083 ft. a.s.l.); gradient of c.20%.

The vineyard is located in a fairly hot area, where the microclimate typical of sunny slopes at medium altitude has a certain “Mediterranean” quality, and as a result the phenological phases take place relatively early. Here the position near the ridge stretching West from Serralunga results in a certain degree of drought in the dry phases during the year, due to the absence of water storage phenomena.

By Edmondo Bonelli, naturalist