One of the oldest and continously family-owned winery, Coppo in Canelli grew their reputation first on sparkling wine, but mastered it with Babera.
The history of Coppo winery is inextricably wound with the wine history of Piedmont. It is closely linked to the development of the city of Canelli, known as the capital of Italian sparkling wine and one of Italy’s most important viticulture centers today. The origins of the winery date back to 1892. For over 120 years, the family has remained the sole owner. Since the very beginning, the Coppo family has managed estate vineyards and bottled their own wine under the name of Coppo, making it one of the oldest family-run wineries in all of Italy. Their wines have always expressed Piedmontese wine tradition, and tell a story of hard work in the scope of one objective: excellence.
This determination for excellence is what propelled the family to develop the “new” Barbera. In the 1980s, the winery came to an important turning point. The Barbera wines that they produced was being undermined by the widespread belief at the time Barbera solely was made for mass consumption and was thus incapable of great expression. It was time to reframe the conversation and promote the potential of a high-quality Barbera. The family took into consideration the style of wine that had come to define their labels of sparkling wine over the years and applied it to what they wanted to see, taste, smell and feel in their Barbera. Three major changes occurred: vineyard management that lowered yields, adjusting the harvest period for when the grapes were at the correct ripeness and introducing barrique into the ageing process. All of this combined resulted in wines with more open bouquets, complexity and richness that were on par with other great Italian reds.
In 1984, Coppo bottled their first bottle of this ‘new’ Barbera under the label Pomorosso. Thirty-four years later and Pomorosso is still considered as a flagship label of both the winery and the wine style as well as a pioneer of Barbera’s new path into the future. A future that includes the Nizza cru recognized as a DOCG appellation, the highest awarded in Italy.
Barbera is the most diffused red grape in Piedmont, occupying about 35% of all vineyards planted in the region for a total of 50,000 hectares. Barbera’s origins are ancient and obscure, but wine historians and enologists have been able to trace it back to the 14th-century in this region. It grows best with warm and sunny exposures on gently sloping hills between 150 and 400 meters above sea level and is naturally high in acidity which helps conserve it. In the 19th and 20th centuries Barbera was generally made into a farmhouse wine, sustenance for farmers and rural folk, and it took a lot of innovation and hard work to change this reputation.
A visit to Coppo winery in Canelli showcases their excellence and mastery of Babera along the entire process of winemaking. From integrated vineyard management to ageing in their historic underground cellars, the story of Barbera is shared in each bottle.
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