Francesco Borgogno

When trying to put words to their experiences when visiting the Barolo region, the word family often make it to the top of the list.  When visiting Francesco Borgogno, this is very much so. 

Francesco Borgogno Family

 In a location right at the interface between Barolo’s historic Cannubi hill and La Morra’s Brunate vineyard, you’ll find a winery founded in the early 1930s that is the classic family-run wine estate.   The passion, the knowledge, and the hard work ethic has been handed down from father to son. Today, Francesco Borgogno’s sons (Giancarlo and Claudio) lead the winery’s endeavours, flanked by Claudio’s wife Silvia. They look after the winemaking, the cellar and the vineyards.  Apart from Barolo, the company produces Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo and Langhe Favorita.

The family strives to produce high quality wines, respecting tradition and environment fully.  Aiming for genuine and terroir-based wines.  

Wines

Cantina Francesco Borgogno own approx 7 hectars of land and produce every year 35.000 bottles of wine  (15,000 of Barolo Brunate, 10,000 between Barbera d’Alba and Dolcetto, and some 5,000 of Nebbiolo and Favorita).

The nebbiolo for Barolo comes from a 4+ hectare vineyard located in the heart of the Brunate hill, with southwest exposure at an altitude of 350 metres, and planted on calcareous-clay marl that makes its influence felt in the wine. Their vineyards in La Morra, in the area called Liste, is their source for their Dolcetto d’Alba.  Barbera is sourced from a vineyard in Monforte d’Alba.  Grapes for the Langhe Favorita are from vines in Sommariva Perno (in Roero). The vineyards range in age from 19 years (planted in 2000) to over 60 (Brunate).

Winemaking

The vinification is made under temperature controlled after the pressing of grapes. The process of fermentation and maceration are different for each type of wine and every step is followed from us with the help of expert of oenology Piero Ballario.

Francesco Borgogno Dolcetto d’Alba and Langhe Favorita wines stay just in stainlees steel and not in wood. Barberad d’Alba and Langhe Nebbiolo remain between 6 and 8 months in wood barrel (7 hl).

The philosophy of Barolo Brunate is rigorously traditional, with fairly lengthy macerations on the order of 20 days and more, followed by long maturations of about three years in 30-hectolitre oak botti, and 10 months’ bottle-ageing before release. Thus, Francesco Borgogno Barolo appears on the market about a year later than the average, although the word “riserva” does not appear on the label.

Francesco Borgogno Fun fact

Every August, more than forty years, La Morra celebrates the King of Wines with an event in his honor: “The party of the Barolo wine in his land.“

Just on this occasion, in the summer of ’71, Francesco Borgogno was awarded the title of “Buon Vignaiolo” official recognition conferred for having distinguished himself in wine production, hard work, passion and dedication that characterized the family’s Borgogno in the production of their wines.

Fun fact II

The Francesco Borgogno 2015 Barolo Brunate does not say Brunate on the label, only Barolo.   

Langhe Favorita

Favorita is a dry white wine made from grapes grown in a small plot of land in the Roero.  The golden yellow bunches of grapes produced by the favorita vine are medium-sized, long and cylindrical.

The wine itself is straw-yellow with greenish highlights, a delicate nose showing light fruit, and a dry taste with a slightly bitter finish. It is generally drunk as a “young” wine, within a year of the vintage. It is delicate and fruity, slightly “flowery”, dry with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Excellent as an aperitif, it goes very well with fish and white meat. Serve chilled.

Product name: Langhe Favorita DOC 2017
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 1,000

Vinification (Wine-making)

Method: the grape-harvest starts the second half of September. After the grapes are crushed and de-stemmed, the must undergoes its alcoholic fermentation in the winery at a constantly low temperature (17-18°C). The wine is then stored in stainless steel, and bottling generally takes place in spring.
Temperature: 17-18°
Lenght: 5/6 days
Aging: in steel
Minimum aging in bottle: 2 months

Vineyard

% of Grape/Cépage: Favorita 100%
Soil: sandy
Exposure: southwest
Agricultural method: sustainable agriculture with no use of herbicides
Year of plantation: 1990
Date of harvest: September
Type of harvest: by hand

Dolcetto d’Alba

This wine is defined as “the friendship wine” because it is the true country wine. It is generally consumed at an early age.

The care of Dolcetto vines follows the same steps as Nebbiolo da Barolo – that is, winter pruning of the vines, the jobs of allegation, cleaning and cutting of branches – and finally harvesting in the month of September.  Afterwards the pressing and separation, the steeping in the presence of the peels for circa 5-6 days at a maximum temperature of 25-27°C.  Conservation of the wine is in stainless steel tubs, where the malolactic fermentation terminates. Then it is poured off. The bottling is in April, May.

Colour: very bright ruby red with violet reflections.
Fragrance: delicate and fruity.
Taste: rounded, dry and slightly bitter – recalling fruits such as amarena cherry.
Temperature: 18 – 19 °C.
Gastronomic combinings: antipasti, first courses with, above all, meat sauces, soups.

Product name: Dolcetto d’Alba DOC
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 5,000

Vinification (Wine-making)

Method: we start with pressing and separation, the steeping in the presence of the peels for circa 5-6 days at a maximum temperature of 25-27°C. Conservation of the wine is in stainless steel tubs, where the malolactic fermentation terminates. Then it is poured off. The bottling is in April, May.
Temperature: 25 – 28 °C
Lenght: 5/6 days
Aging: in steel
Minimum aging in bottle: 2 months

Vineyard

% of Grape/Cépage: Dolcetto 100%
Soil: clay
Exposure: southeast
Agricultural method: sustainable agriculture without chemical products – mechanical weeding
Year of plantation: 1973
Date of harvest: September

Barolo Brunate

We start during the winter by pruning the vines (“guyot” method) and then, in the following months of the year we proceed with other jobs such as cleaning and cutting the vines.

The wine-making starts in the Barolo winery with the pressing and the traditional fermentation of about thirty days.   The wine ages for about 3 years in 30 or 50 hectolitre oak Slavonian barrels and then in the bottle for 12 months.

Colour: ruby red, very intense red.
Fragrance: very pleasant and delicate, recalling wilted roses and notes licorice and wood vanilla.
Taste: velvety, dry, rounded, rich and balanced in body and structure.
Temperature: 16 – 18 °C
Gastronomic’s combining: risottos, fondues, game, red meat and meat in general (roasts, grilled or skewered).

Product name: Barolo DOCG
Classification: DOCG
Number of bottles produced: 10,000

Vinification (Wine-making)

Method: the process of the product’s transformation begins: wine-making starts in the Barolo winery with pressing and the traditional fermentation of about thirty days.
The entire philosophy of our Barolo is rigorously traditional, with fairly lengthy macerations followed by long maturations of about three years in 30 or 50-hectolitre oak Slavonian barrels and 12 months’ bottle ageing before release. It can be enjoyed after a few months in the bottle, but will continue improving and developing its elegance during the years…. it is the true jewel of Italian and international enology.
Temperature: 25 – 28°
Length: 1 month
Malolactic: done
Aging: in slavonian oak
Age of barrels: 5 years
Aging time in wood: 3 years
Minimum aging in bottle: 6 months

Vineyard

% of Grape/Cépage: Nebbiolo da Barolo 100% Soil: clay
Exposure: south
Agricultural method: sustainable agriculture, without the use of herbicide – mechanical weeding
Year of the plantation: 1990
Date of harvest: October

Barbera d’Alba

Cantina Borgogno also produces a small quantity of Barbera d’Alba with grapes which comes from the near village of Monforte d’Alba.  Barbera is a “peppy” wine with a robust structure and it is one of a most characteristic Piemonte vine.  The work in the winery begins with the crushing of the grapes, followed by fermentation – lasting around 9 days for this wine, drawing off, and a further racking approximately 18 days later.   Then, the wine is stored prior to bottling in the following spring.

Colour: bright red with purplish highlights when young; deep ruby red following ageing.
Fragrance: intense and fruity; dry flavour and good body.
Taste: bitterish, though fresh, dry and well-bodied.
Temperature: 19 – 20°C.
Gastronomic’s combining: best served with strong-tasting dishes, red and grilled meats, game, and mature cheeses.

Product name: Barbera d’Alba DOC
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 4,000

Vinification (Wine-making)

Method: the process in winery is very traditional because grapes’ fermentation is in steel barrel at checked temperature. Then we pour off the wine and at the end of maturation we bottling it. Then, the wine is stored for about two months before release.
Temperature: 25 – 28°
Lenght: 8 / 9 days
Aging: in steel
Minimum aging in bottle: 2 months

Vineyard

% of Grape/Cépage: Barbera 100%
Soil: clay
Exposure: southeast
Agricultural method: sustainable agriculture without the use of herbicides – mechanical weeding
Year of plantation: 1961
Date of harvest: October
Type of harvest: by hand

Author: Toni Fadnes
Pictures:
Francesco Borgogno

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