Gianni’s first harvest was in 1983, which was a tough time for winemakers in the area. At the time, he only sold wine in large quantities at a time, as it was very difficult to reach the then small hamlet of Barolo, which had less than 1000 inhabitants… all without a car.
Despite the town’s limited size, however, its recognition has spread around the world.
Canonica has just 1.5 hectares of vines in the Paiagallo field, which rests idyllically on the hill above Barolo at 3-400 metres above sea level. The only other holders of this mythical vineyard are Marchesi de Gresy and Fontanafredda; neither of these masters bottles a monopoly wine (wine from only one field), and even supplemented by Gianni’s modest share, this means very limited production.
Gianni has also, since 2012, been producing Barolo from yet another minimal area of just 0.7 hectares in the Grinzane Cavour field. The vineyards are planted with Nebbiolo grapes on the plots best suited to Nebbiolo, and with Barbera on the plots that do not harmonise with Nebbiolo.
Canonica’s holdings differ markedly from those of other producers, maintaining the highest possible integrity in vineyard operations.
Everything is as natural as the vineyard’s singing grapes: no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers, minimal sulfur throughout the process, maceration in fiberglass tanks for 30-40 days using only natural yeast – everything is hand-pressed without the use of masking agents, then transferred to cement barrels and aged in large Slovenian oak barrels. In Gianni’s own words; “I want a Barolo that has almost made itself.”
Gianni was one of the first in Barolo to change the bill, a true partisan of his time, for which he was ridiculed at the time. But in the 90s, reality met Gianni’s uncompromising vision. As the idea of returning to simpler natural wines took root among the other producers, the first Japanese importers arrived and emptied Gianni’s cellar.
Due to political beliefs, Gianni previously refused to ship his wines to the United States and with the extremely limited production, it was difficult for American critics to gain access to taste and evaluate his wines.
Our allocation is very limited. You will therefore need to be quick if you want to access this investment opportunity in what seems to be a big year for Barolo wines.