Book Excerpt: Alessandro Masnaghetti’s Barolo MGA Vol. 1 – Third Edition


In this excerpt from the third edition of his book Barolo MGA Vol. 1 - The Encyclopedia of the Great Vineyards of Barolo, Alessandro Masnaghetti shares some of his extraordinary research on the nuances and history of Barolo’s great vineyards. Beautifully illustrated, with dozens of detailed maps and graphs, the third edition is an essential resource for readers who love the great wines of Piedmont.


According to the local people and local history, the area known as Gattera covers both sides of the hill with the famous Lebanese cedar tree at the top, which for more than a hundred years has been associated with the Barolo hills and their image more than anything else.

The west-facing side, with its gentler slopes and deep, evolved soils, now falls within the Annunziata MGA and is known for the quality of its Dolcetto. The opposite slope faces the direction of Castiglione Falletto and falls instead in the Gattera MGA. It was mentioned on Renato Ratti’s map under two different names: Le Turnote, to the left of the Cordero di Montezemolo winery, and Monfalletto, which refers to the hill with the Lebanese cedar on it and the south-facing slope immediately below the road, also known as Turna Lunga.

As is more easily visible on, within the Gattera MGA are more specific areas like Bricco, Gorette, Muscatej, Cà Veje, and finally Funtanin, which as the name suggests is known for its good water availability. Within Funtanin is an even more specific vineyard, now officially demarcated and known as Vigna Bricco Fontanile, from which the Angelo Veglio winery produced the Barolo of the same name between 1990 and 2009 (though I’m not certain on this final year). The same vineyard is now a single-MGA wine, under the name Barolo Gattera.

Lastly, Cordero di Montezemolo’s Barolo Monfalletto also deserves a mention, which in theory should not have a place on the table below since it’s been produced for several vintages now with a blend of the Gattera and Bricco Manescotto MGAs. That said, it remains in my opinion one of the most symbolic wines of this area and for this reason I decided to include it. The savory tannic structure and even more so the unmistakable truffle note that develops with age is typical of this and other Barolo wines from this MGA.


This is perhaps the most important news in the world of Castiglione Falletto’s MGAs while simultaneously being one of those cases where adequate insight is actually difficult to provide.

There are in fact few historical references relating to this area, whose name (probably derived from a person’s name) first appeared around the mid-1800s in connection with a vineyard cultivated in this area by a family living in the Codana hamlet.

Since then, we must go back to 1998 to find another significant event relating to it, namely when the commune of Castiglione Falletto deliberated the first subdivisions of its vineyards into separate zones from which the MGAs would later emerge in 2010. Among these was Valentino, whose boundaries have remained unchanged since then, also because they are very easy to trace both on paper and on the ground: on one side Brunella, on the other Monprivato and on the other Fiasco and Codana.

Its position is therefore rather cool and closed off and, in the past, has always boasted quite a wide spectrum of varieties, from Dolcetto to Grignolino (Francesco Sobrero) and Freisa (Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio). The latter is the only grape variety for which consistent traces still remain. In recent years, there has been a surge in Nebbiolo plantings, particularly destined for the production of Langhe Nebbiolo which is now largely in the majority.

The most recent and most important news to which I alluded earlier, is the fact that from the 2020 vintage, Mario Cordero (previously of Vietti) and his sons will release a Barolo Valentino for the first time. Subsequent vintages seem to express the character of the area even better, with the emphasis on an agile, dynamic structure. Before this, Vietti’s Barolo Castiglione was the only Barolo which considered incorporating a small percentage of Valentino in the blend, followed more recently by Francesco Sobrero’s Barolo Ciabot Tanasio and Achille Boroli’s Barolo del Comune di Castiglione Falletto.

Barolo MGA Vol. 1, 3rd Edition - The Encyclopedia of the Great Vineyards of Barolo is available through The Rare Wine Co and Alessandro Masnaghetti's website.

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