Cascina Cottignano is situated a little outside, in the middle of a vineyard. Carlo Colombera tells me how he worked in rice paddies, but was disgusted by the exaggerated use of pesticides, so he went to work for a winery in Gattinara.

Then he bought Cascina Cottignano and its vineyard. He quickly fell under the spell of the vines… and became a winemaker! His two sons studied at the University of Oenology in Alba and have now taken over, together with Cristiano Garella.

He shows me the differences in the soil of his three plots, which are just under 1 km apart. Lessona is pure sand, with fossils of shell in it, Bramaterra is red volcanic rock. The one just outside the house is white and brown clay. So, they make a single wine from each plot – a Lessona, a Bramaterra and a Coste della Sesia. Same grapes, different wines, different aromas, body, structure, texture…a wonderful expression of a great “terroir”!