Founded by Tino Colla and his niece Federica in 1994, Poderi Colla (literally ‘the Colla Farms’) is made up of three distinct properties: prime holdings in both Barolo (Bussia) and Barbaresco (Roncaglia) as well as vineyards at Cascine Drago in Alba where the headquarters are located. The firms counts on the collaboration of Beppe Colla, Tino’s much older brother, and Federica’s father, a living institution in the Langhe. Tino’s son Pietro has also joined the company after completing the Scuola Enologica in Alba and Torino, and has now taken on many of the winemaking duties.
Wine has been in the family DNA for generations, with the first Colla with a winemaking reputation in the Langhe hills as early as 1703. In 1909, Beppe and Tino’s father, Pietro, started working at Gancia at the age of fifteen where he learned the delicate art of fermenting in the bottle in the classic Champenois method and was one of the last Italian sparkling wine specialist to have the title of Champagnista. More recent times have witnessed the legendary career of Beppe Colla (born in 1930), the definitive authority on the Langhe appellations and one of the founding fathers of the Alba DOCs in the 1960s. In 1956 Beppe purchased the well-respected Prunotto winery and under his guidance Prunotto made outstanding wines, in great part due to Beppe’s firsthand knowledge of the top vineyard sites in both Barolo and Barbaresco. Beppe was ahead of his time when it came to highlighting the importance of the single-vineyards and in 1961 he was the first to vinify separately and bottle single-vineyard selections. At a time when Barolo and Barbaresco was belended form different sites, he was met with criticism and resistance. By 1967, both Giacosa and Gaja would be introducing single-vineyard bottlings, but Beppe paved the way. By the mid-1980’s, after his business partner passed away, Prunotto ran into financial problems and Beppe was forced to sell though he stayed on till the early ‘90s as a consutant.
Thanks to Beppe’s firsthand knowledge of the Langhe Hills and his connection with vineyard owners, Poderi Colla was able to acquire prime vineyards in both Barolo and Barbaresco. Together, the three Colla properties offer a 360-degree spectrum of Piedmont’s star red wines worthy of the Colla heritage: the wines are all single-varietal wines with the exception of the dolcetto-nebbiolo blend Bricco del Drago which is however as Piedmontese as it gets and the earliest example of a ‘Super Piedmontese’ wines.
Total production is around 150,000 bottles yearly, all estate-grown and bottled. Like most top producers, the Collas avoid any harsh chemicals in the vineyards and use organic treatments and fertilizers only as needed. In the cellars, the Collas are adhere to the Langhe traditional school of aging in large Slavonian casks and no filtration. The result is terroir-driven wines that are elegant expression of their varietals but with their own personality that sets them apart from the crowd.
Hectares under vine: 26 (8ha in Barbaresco, 6ha in Barolo, 12ha in Alba)
Annual Production: 150,000 bottles
Winemaker(s): Pietro and Beppe Colla
In September 2014 the Colla family has celebrated their 20 years anniversary as “Poderi Colla’.
In June 2015 the Colla family has announced the purchase of the Bricco del Drago estate (12 ha) in San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, Alba. (see article below and Tom Maresca’s Blog)
Learn more at www.podericolla.it
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