Livia Fontana’s family cantina (named ‘Fontanin’) was founded in 1820. Livia is the 8th generation of her family at the helm working with her sons Michele and Lorenzo and still following the same philosophy as her ancestors. Livia is regularly name-checked by purveyors of the finest Piemonte wines by those ‘in the know’ in the US and the Nordics where she is fast developing quite a cult following. Beautifully situated in the heart of Castiglione Falletto in Piemonte, the winery is surrounded by the vineyards that contribute to several of Livia’s famous wines.
In the vineyards Livia uses organic manure and practices frequent tillage. If the soil is less compact, the roots of the vines dig deeper, have more nourishment and produce better quality grapes. No herbicides or pesticides are used. In the last few years, Livia's thinning has been brought forward to the end of May / June (normally conducted in August). In Livia’s opinion, the sooner the bunches are removed, the sooner the vine concentrates its resources on a single cluster (Livia keeps one bunch per branch instead of two or three) thus improving the quality of the grapes.
Livia's son Michele is the winemaker at Cascina Fontanin. Michele worked alongside the legendary oenologist Donato Lanati (consultant at Giacomo Conterno) at the cantina for many years. From the 2016 vintage onwards, Michele presents his own signature style of winemaking which can only be described as pure alchemy. For the harvest ('vendemmia'), Michele introduced a selective de-stemming / sorting machine which ensures 99.8% of the grapes remain intact whilst guaranteeing no contamination of green tannins during vinification. In short, Michele gives us "the whole juice and nothing but the juice."
Livia uses traditional large oak barrels ('botte grande') for ageing her wines. Recently the 'botte grande' got even grander with the introduction of some monster Austrian-made Stockinger barrels in the cellar and new oxygen control equipment used during bottling ensures even less residual oxygen in the bottles for improved preservation.
Livia has worked tirelessly for many years to raise the bar ever higher in her relentless pursuit for perfection and the vinous results are simply stunning. It’s been an absolute honour for us to be a small part of Livia’s journey and we proudly present her wines to you.