Women of Wine

 

Women of Wine

Conti was started by Ermanno Conti in 1963 with the desire to preserve the heritage of his ancestors who were already producing wines in Boca, one of the small jewels of Piedmontese enology, located in the province of Novara in the northern part of Piemonte.

The Boca DOC was estabilished in 1969 and Castello Conti bottled its first Boca in 1973. There are now only half a dozen wineries making wines under the Boca DOC. The DOC prescribes a minimum of 45% and a maximum of 70% of Nebbiolo grapes and the remaining composed mainly of Vespolina, a grape known for its spicy character, and tiny portions of Uva Rara also known as Bonarda Novarese. The usual level of acidity in Boca is 6 per 1000 and that represents the “secret ingredient” that renders Boca one of the most long-lived Italian reds.

The winery is now in the hands of Ermanno’s three daughters: Paola, Anna and Elena who continue the family tradition with renewed passion and a feminine touch. Since 1996 their wine is called “ Boca - Rosso delle donne” the women’s red.


They produce 3000 bottles from two small hillside vineyards totaling one hectare in size. The elevation of the vineyard is 450 meters (1500 feet) above sea level, the soil is composed of sand, limestone and clay. There are 3000 vines per hectare and the yield is 30 hl, where the DOC allows for up to 90 hl. The winery uses no pesticides nor weed killers, utilizing instead the practice of planting wild fava beans (favino) amongst vines, a natural pest deterrent and a source of organic nutrients to the soil.


The maceration and fermentation take place in steel vats using only indigenous yeasts and it lasts 20 to 25 days. The law prescribes at least 3 years of aging before release, Castello Conti’s Boca spends 2 and a half years in used French tonneaux and barriques and then it is transferred back into steel where it spends 4 months prior to bottling without filtration.


The winery maintains a library of its older vintages dating back to the early eighties, when Ermanno used to bottle his vintages at least 8 years after harvest.

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