At Cascina delle Rose: beyond Barbaresco

 At Cascina delle Rose: beyond Barbaresco
By Elsa Leandri

Four areas: 

Barbaresco, Neive, Treiso and San Rocco Seno d'Elvio. Nebbiolo immediately springs to mind, which expresses itself in these territories with its elegance and persuasiveness in Barbaresco DOCG. And if 'the queen of black grapes' is synonymous with the Langhe, with Piedmont, and makes women and men, Italians and foreigners, dream, in reality its cultivation is not so widespread. 

Calice Barbera Cascina delle rose

 Do you know, however, what is the most widely produced grape variety in Piedmont? Let's find out at Cascina delle Rose. 

Cascina delle rose Barbera D’Alba DOC Superiore 2016 Donna Elena  

Cascina delle Rose


Cascina delle Rose is a small winery based in Barbaresco, in the province of Cuneo, with 5.5 hectares, 4 of which are vineyards. The property was purchased in 1948 by Beatrice Rizzolio, but it was Giovanna and Italo who, in the 1990s, decided to market the wines that were produced for family use. A winning challenge that, today, also sees their children Davide, in the vineyard and cellar, and Riccardo, in the commercial side, involved in the winery. 

Cascina delle rose Barbaresco

The winery's vineyards are mainly located in the Rio Sordo and Tre Stelle areas, two of the 66 Additional Geographical Mentions of Barbaresco. 


Territory Barbaresco Cascina delle rose

The terroir, in combination with the attention that is dedicated, not only in the vineyard, but also in all the production processes, gives products worthy of note and this is reflected in the company's flagship wines Barbaresco Tre Stelle DOCG and Barbaresco Rio Sordo DOCG, wines to which a specific article should be dedicated.

Cascina delle rose e la Barbera D’Alba 2016 Donna Elena

Today, however, let us discover the most widely cultivated grape variety in Piedmont: Barbera.

In fact, the Rizzolio family does not only dedicate itself to Nebbiolo, but part of their production also includes Barbera in the two versions Barbera d'Alba Doc and Barbera D'Alba Doc Superiore Donna Elena, a wine dedicated to 'Aunt Elena', Giovanna's sister.

The latter is produced from a single parcel of MGA Tre Stelle, where the soils are lean with the presence of clay/limestone marls outcropping on the surface, optimal conditions for producing elegant wines.

Barbera d'Alba

On tasting, the Barbera d'Alba Doc Superiore Donna Elena 2016 presents a lively ruby red colour with garnet reflections, indicating that we are dealing with a wine with a certain evolution. The typical Barbera scents, raspberry and blackberry, express themselves in the form of jam, while dried iris gives way to light balsamic notes. 

In closing, elegant hints of vanilla and cocoa and, with the further passage of time, the olfactory impact changes, moving even more towards tertiary notes and also revealing hints of tobacco. Already from these initial indications, we realise that the expectations of tasting in the mouth become very high.

Cascina delle rose, Barbaresco, Barbera D’Alba

If, in general, Barbera is synonymous with acidity, this aspect is clearly seen in this wine: the freshness manages to balance, together with the savouriness, that important alcoholic note (15%), thus offering a satisfying and full sip, with a high length in the mouth.

Accompanied by Carla Latini's Spaghetti Senatore Cappelli with beef and wild boar meatballs in red sauce with walnut peach and basil, a dish prepared by Carol Agostini
The Rizzolio family, with this Barbera that stands out for its elegance while remaining faithful to its identity, shows us that on a terroir elective for Nebbiolo it is also possible to produce great Barbera, and so we can conclude by saying: beyond Barbaresco, there is Barbera d'Alba!

And we are reminded of the words of Giosuè Carducci:


Generosa Barbera.

Bevendola ci pare

d’essere soli in mare

sfidanti una Bufera”.


Di Elsa Leandri

Elsa Leandri author of the article: A CASCINA DELLE ROSE: Beyond Barbaresco, is a sommelier, blogger, wine expert 

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