Perno has to be the best kept secret in Piemonte. You will not only find one of the best restaurants, Republicca di Perno, but you will also find Cascina Fontana. And I finally had the pleasure of visiting the winery. Mario Fontana and his son gave us a tour of the small, but beautiful wine cellar while we did some barrel tasting, followed by a regular tasting of the wines that are ready to leave the winery.
Mario is a passionate and kind person, who follows his heart. His wines are made the “traditional” way, except his barbera which is made the “Mario Fontana” way. In his lineup you will find Dolcetto, Barbera, Langhe Nebbiolo and a Barolo. His barolo is purely a blend, no crus, which is the way everyone made wine back in the day. And Mario has chosen to continue this way.
The wines at Cascina Fontana are very good. During my visit we tasted Langhe Nebbiolo 2017 (barrel), Barolo 2017 (tank), Dolcetto 2017, Barbera 2016, Langhe Nebbiolo 2016 and Barolo 2014.
Two things stood out to me. First, he releases his barolo one year later than everyone else. Or has he likes to say “everyone else releases their wine a year early.” Second, Mario said “The wine must reflect the season” when talking about the 2014 vintage. He also said to drink 2014, don’t save it. Very wise guy, this Mario Fontana. And you should def pay him a visit! I am going back soon, that’s for sure.