The Paolo Scavino estate was born on the Langhe Hills in the tiny village of Castiglioni Falletto in 1921. Paolo Scavino’s original purchase of the diminutive cru Bric del Fiasc, a prime 4.5 acre hillside vineyard, began the Scavino odyssey – the quest to produce the finest wine in all Barolo. Today, under the direction of Paolo Scavino’s son Enrico, the estate has grown to nearly 44 acres, with exceptional holdings in several of Barolo’s most privileged “grand cru” vineyards. More importantly, Enrico Scavino and his daughter Elisa, a trained enologist, are fashioning a bevy of compelling wines, including a stunning array of Barolos that place this estate among the greatest in Italy.
Our first impression of Enrico Scavino is his bright, beaming face as he swings open the large wooden doors of his new winery to welcome us. A cheerful, amiable man with an open smile, Enrico Scavino treats his vineyards as well as his guests with the utmost care. In his vineyards, he employs only organic fertilizers and prunes his vines seriously to extract the greatest concentration of flavor from the grapes. In the cellar, an impressive new state of the art facility, the affable Enrico works his magic, which somehow includes imbuing each and every one of his wines with the polish of his personality and the warmth of his smile. And alongside him now is Elisa, his equally talented and engaging young daughter, who has already established herself as one of Piedmont’s most prodigious young winemakers.
Like most Piedmontese estates, Paolo Scavino produces a wide array of wines, both red and white. Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo, the three most traditional red Piedmontese varietals, are all cultivated in ascending order on the estate’s hillsides, but Nebbiolo claims its rightful place in the hierarchy as it alone is responsible for Barolo, the estate’s greatest claim to fame. The Scavinos fashion several cru bottlings of Barolo in addition to the estate’s regular or normale bottling, including Bric del Fiasc, Bricco Ambroggio, and Cannubi. All of Paolo Scavino’s wines are produced in small quantities, often making them difficult to acquire.
Piedmont or Piemonte
In the north of Italy, nestled just beneath the great Alpine wall that tumbles out of Switzerland and the gleaming Mediterranean Sea, lies Italy’s Piedmont or Piemonte as it is known to the local population. It is a region of myriad beauty. It is also the region of Italy closest to France in proximity as well as in the sheer quality and variety of exceptional wines it produces. For centuries, Italy’s Piedmont remained a prize to be won among warring European powers; no doubt at least in part on account of the province’s world famous cuisine that still draws happily on the abundance and quality of local truffles. Yet today, it is the superbly made wines of Italy’s Piedmont that garner the most international recognition: complex, hedonistic red wines in the form of great Nebbiolo and Barbera, still delicate whites from Arneis and Gavi, and sweet haunting Muscats. With such exquisite fare, should anyone question why the hearty robust delights of the Piedmontese table remain the region’s most famous ambassadors to a hungry and thirsty world?