Giacomo Conterno is an estate that produces some of the best
Barolos in the Piedmont region and epitomises the Barolo traditionalist method
of viticulture. Situated in Monforte d’Alba in the district of Langhe, its
showpiece is the Montfortino which typically fetches $1000 a bottle.
The story of this iconic wine started when Giacomo’s father Giovanni Conterno
opened an inn back in 1908 in the small village of San Giuseppe and needed a
steady supply of wine for his patrons. The family tradition of winemaking can
be traced back to the 1800s, yet it was Giacomo in the 1930s who took things up
a notch up by bottling these Barolos and allowing them to age. Previously they
had only been seen fit for casks or drinking young.
This change in how Barolos were stored and aged led to the creation of the much
admired ‘Montfortino’, named after Montforte d’Alba, which enjoys cult status
in any serious collector’s cellar today.
Giacomo’s sons Giovanni and Aldo continued to run the estate until Aldo left to
form his own estate, Poderi Aldo Conterno, in 1969. In 1978 Giovanni purchased
the vineyard Cascina Francia in Serralunga, which allowed the estate to use its
own fruit, rather than having to buy in produce from local growers.
Today the Giacomo Conterno estate is run by Roberto Conterno and its 17
hectares of organically-farmed vineyards in Monforte and Serralunga l’Alba
produce Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes.