Continuing towards the A26 motorway that connects Valsesia with Milan, Genoa and Turin, Malpensa, Varese and Switzerland, staying always on the orographic left of the river Sesia, we find the territory of Ghemme. Here you can see the vineyards along the morainic hill formed by stones, pebbles, clay and fluvial sand brought down by the glaciers that descended from Monterosa. The wine of Ghemme has been famous for centuries. We have tasted almost all the Ghemme on the market and were enchanted by Lorenzo Ferro’s Il Motto from La Torretta natural winery. Once pressed, the selected Nebbiolo grapes are kept in contact with the skins for a long time. The result is a wine rich in aromas with great strength and body. As the soil is very acid, the wine is aged for a long time in large oak barrels to break down tannins. The long ageing process transforms the acidity into body and power, rounding off the rough composition of the soil to offer a flawless wine.
“Il Motto” La Torretta is a wine of great depth. If we did not know it was a Ghemme, we would have thought of a great Nebbiolo from the Langhe, or rather a good Barolo, absolutely one of our favourite red wines! In addition, a reserve of 666 bottles of Ghemme matures in a small oak barrel. This reserve is an authentic treasure to be savoured only on special occasions, and only after having tasted another local red wine, accompanied by important meat dishes. When the stomach is satisfied, but the palate still yearns for something extra the powerful scents, aromas and pleasures, from the Ghemme Riserva lead to the perfect finish.
But do not think that these wines are cloying or too demanding. On the contrary, they remain a great delight and tempt you to keep drinking. Every sip pulls another one, you never tire of their bouquet, structure, texture and taste.
Originally, the Ferro family are carpenters with a tradition of making wine for family and friends in the plot on the hill above their home and workshop in Ghemme. When the legal constraints became such that “winemaking for the family” was considered a business to the effects of taxation, they faced a tough decision: either sell their vineyards, and give up their tradition (and passion), or become a fully fledged winery.
When we first visited Paride Chiovini in Sizzano – and such visits can take hours of long conversations – after showing us around his vineyards, he told us how much he loved spending time there. “It makes me oblivious, because I’m so happy there”, he said.