The La Raia vineyard, Cascina del Melo is a biodynamic winery set in the gentle hills of Piedmont’s Gavi wine district; it is producing some truly astonishing wines. In 2003 Giorgio Rossi Cairo bought this stunning 110 hectare estate. Cascina del Melo is now run by Caterina Rossi Cairo and her English husband Tom Dean who live on the estate with their young children, Matthias, Elena and Arianna.
They have recently installed a brand new winery to process their Cortese and Barbera grapes. They recently installed an amazing new winery, covering over 2500 m2, featuring a large traditionally built rammed clay wall providing natural insulation for the winemaking equipment. Their dedication to a genuinely natural estate is borne out by the fact that they have only planted about a fifth (25ha) of their valuable land leaving the rest to its own devices: fields (55ha) and woodland (30ha) such as oak, chestnut, elderflower and acacia. The family believe that such diversity is of great benefit to the vines and of course in the end to the wine.
Towards the end of September the Cortese grapes are handpicked, de-stemmed, delicately pressed and the skins removed. Temperature controlled fermentation using indigenous yeasts takes place in stainless steel tank. The Gavi wines are left on their ‘lees’ for six months imparting flavour and finesse, then matured for a further 3 months, still in tank before bottling. The Barbera wines are aged in barrique for 18 months, they continue to age well in the bottle.
The very natural way in which the Cascina del Melo Gavi is made really shows through with its intense mineral and fruit flavours. Almost green in colour its intense aroma is of elderflowers, citrus and toffee. Dry full and soft in the mouth with a delicious, vital, citrus flavour.
The Cascina del Melo Barbera is a stunner full or dark chocolate and berry fruit, rounded tannins and arresting depth and complexity.