20 April 2022
Some wineries represent a territory, while others are the territory.
Cascina Chicco undeniably belongs to the latter. A mysterious and fascinating terroir made up of landscapes, microclimates, soils and devotion to an environment that has long been dedicated to the production of high-quality wines.
But also work in the cellar and utmost commitment to selecting and enhancing the best soils: one of the missions that Enrico and Marco Faccenda, owners of the winery from Canale d'Alba, have never given up on.
The Roero and the Roeros
Roero is not one land, and definitely not exclusive to a single grape variety. It is a picture painted with a variety of nuances that change from vineyard to vineyard, and from hill to hill.
The Faccenda family has been cultivating grapes for at least three generations and has always vinified independently. In the ‘80s, their passion turned into a modern winery ready to face the market: new vineyards were purchased, the cellar was expanded, and new types of wines were produced. During these years, Enrico and Marco finished their studies as wine technologists and decided to completely devote themselves to wine. The one hectare they cultivated after the war expanded to 40: from simply producing demijohns of Nebbiolo and Barbera, today Cascina Chicco boasts a production of 350,000 bottles. Thanks to Arneis, the “white Nebbiolo of Roero”, Cascina Chicco has flourished and received its first international awards.
Excellent soils and historical vocation
The Faccenda brothers wanted to communicate the whole of Roero and not be satisfied with the success of a grape. They wanted to tell the story of their land of origin through wine: this prompted a ten-year research on the best plots, which have been selected based on the expressions that the native Roero grapes bring out in the specific terroir. Arneis was planted in Canale d’Alba, Barbera in Castellinaldo, and Nebbiolo in Vezza and Castagnito. Enrico often uses Barbera Bric Loira and Granera Alta as examples of this «territorial mark». The grapes grow in the middle of the peach orchards of Castellinaldo and develop unique aromas that recall the sweetness of ripe fruit as they mature.
The underground cathedral of Roero
The Cascina Chicco winery has also undergone a profound evolution aimed towards the enhancement of the territory. Renovation of the 1950’s farmhouse began in the mid-2000s, turning it into a modern structure equipped with a kitchen and a multimedia hall for tasting and events. But the most spectacular part lies underground. Amidst tunnels and underground corridors, crutin and infernot dug into the bare rock, are circular rooms surmounted by dodecagonal vaults entirely covered with terracotta. The breathtaking architecture reproduces a twelve-spoke wheel, the ancient banner of the Roero dynasty.
A real wine «cathedral», with its crypts, naves, domes and “frescoes”. The walls of Cascina Chicco’s underground cellar also celebrate the family’s roots: they are covered with stones from the land owned by the Faccenda family. For instance, the gypsum of Castellinaldo, crystallized in brown rocks, shine along the corridors and lead visitors to the heart of the hill, 28 meters underground.