"One of Italy's most fashionable winemakers/proprietors, Giorgio Rivetti displays a masterful touch whether he is making Barbera, Moscato d'Asti, or his proprietary red wine Pin." – Robert Parker, Jr.
"Giorgio Rivetti, owner and winemaker of La Spinetta in Barbaresco, has become one of the leading forces in Piedmont. He's making exciting ripe, fruit-forward Nebbiolos that would give many highly rated New World wines a run for their money. Now he's making waves in Barolo....Rivetti is first and foremost a winemaker--one of the best and most innovative winemakers in Piedmont today. But he is also in tune with today's consumer, whom he believes shares his preference for wines that are more approachable on release." -- The Wine Spectator
Giorgio Rivetti's magic touch with Moscato, Barbera, Nebbiolo and, more recently, Sangiovese, Colorino, Vermentino and Sangiovese Rosé has taken the wine world by storm. He produces approachable yet age-worthy wines that command the attention of wine critics and consumers alike, year-in and year-out; their lushness, concentration, aromatics and length are unrivaled. Giorgio's speedy ascent from Moscato producer in the 1970's to venerated Barbaresco and Barolo vigneron today is studded with success.
The genius of La Spinetta encompasses a vast array of great wines, all boasting an inimitably approachable and voluptuous style. From Moscato to Nebbiolo to Sangiovese, whatever Giorgio touches turns to gold. His pioneering single-vineyard Barberas and Barbera/Nebbiolo blend "Pin" are considered to be the best of the Langhe. His Barbareschi and Baroli are at the very top of their category. In fact La Spinetta's wines are among Italy's most celebrated, as the winery has attained the coveted Tre Bicchieri award for more than 30 of their wines throughout their relatively short career. Let it never be said, however, that the greatness of La Spinetta is inaccessible to the average consumer; from the longtime favorite Barbera d'Asti "Ca' di Pian," featured in numerous magazines as a Best Value, to the Langhe Nebbiolo, a bottling of young vine fruit from the famed Starderi vineyard in Barbaresco, the winery offers incredible opportunities to experience the beauty of their best crus at a fraction of the cost.
In addition to the wines of La Spinetta, Giorgio Rivetti and his son Andrea have recently taken ownership of the beautiful and historic Contratto estate, where they produce both sparkling wines and a line of spirits. Giuseppe Contratto founded Contratto in 1867, and the estate remained in the family's hands for 126 years. In 1993, Carlo Bocchino purchased the property, and the historical cellars underwent substantial renovations. In 2011, Giorgio Rivetti and the La Spinetta took ownership of this understated jewel with the goal of reviving Contratto to its former glory. Today, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Contratto produces traditional method sparkling wine and selected spirits that we are proud to represent.
The vast majority of efforts at LA SPINETTA are dedicated to the vineyards, which are treated with the utmost care, attention and respect, particularly in regards to agronomic practices and production quantities. In the vineyard, each plant receives extensive year-round care. The yields are kept extremely low and they do not use chemical products, fertilizers or pesticides. 75% of the vineyards are worked according to biodynamic principles.
Not having inherited the land through generations of winemakers, their vineyards were carefully selected. All of their vineyards face south, south-east or south-west and most of the vines are quite old (35-65 years). They believe that only vines of substantial age are able to contribute minerality, longevity, complexity, and the particular characteristics of a distinct terrain to the wine. They use the younger vines in the production to only make three wines: Barbera Cà di Pian, Langhe Nebbiolo and Il Nero di Casanova. All other wines are made from old vine grapes.
GREEN HARVESTBetween the beginning of July and the beginning of August, and up to three times each summer, bunches of unripe grapes are cut off in order to reduce production quantities and maximize quality. This practice is called " Green Harvest" and requires great skill, as the grape quantity needs to be reduced to an optimal level, taking into consideration both past and future weather conditions and particular characteristics of the vintage.
Only through the production of small quantities (yields of 2,500 bottle per hectare) are they able to transmit the characteristics and identity of the terrain and achieving great quality, obtaining an optimal concentration of sugar, a perfect ripeness of tannins and maintaining pure fruit flavors in the juice. Giorgio himself supervises each Green Harvest. As growth, yields and grape size differ from vintage to vintage, it is very important for Giorgio to set goals in advance regarding how many bunches to cut for each variety and vineyard. The earlier the Green Harvest, the more sun and energy the remaing fruit is able to absorb before it is time for picking.