Cascina Val del Prete
Certified Organic, Biodynamic
Val del Prete (Valley of the Priest) is thought to have come by its name when around 1850, the Abbot Felice de Grèsy was forced to reside here in exile. The property had been in the hands of the de Grèsy family for generations before, and remained that way until 1977, when it was purchased by Bartolomeo Roagna of Priocca d’Alba. At the time he had been a sharecropper on behalf of the de Grèsy family. Bartolomeo, his wife Carolina and their children, planted his first vineyards of Barbera and Nebbiolo in the amphitheater around the farmhouse and sold their grapes and bulk wine. They also cultivated peaches, and fodder for their cows. Over the years they expanded their holdings, buying other neighboring land and planting vineyards of Arneis.
In 1995 Bartolomeo’s son Mario, supported by his wife Maria Carla, took over the reins of the farm. He decided to move exclusively to viticulture and the production of quality wines. He also chose to move to natural agriculture and to bottle his own wines. Since 2013, the current 10 hectares of vineyards cultivated in Arneis, Barbera and Nebbiolo are certified organic. In 2010, Mario and Maria Carla’s son, Giovanni started managing the family business, bringing youth and new enthusiasm into the process. Mario is still quite involved.
For more almost 30 years now, natural agriculture has yielded good wine from healthy grapes that express the unique qualities of the Roero. The practice of the winery is non-interventionist. The vineyards are managed according to the dictates of natural agriculture, a set of practices that lower the environmental impact and increase the vitality of the soil, as well as contribute to the quality of the wines. Balanced pruning, meticulous management of vegetation and the entire production process preserve the varietal characteristics of these wonderful wines.
The Roero is situated in the northeastern most part of the province of Cuneo and it owes its name to an ancient family that held the district, a hilly area, as a feudal possession. The sandy soil of the Roero hills yields an intense red wine, bearing the district’s name, that differs from the other great Piedmontese wines in that it quickly attains good balance while the others traditionally peak only with long aging.