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A Visit with Odilio Antoniotti
This visit with Odilio Antoniotti took place in May, 2014
Words by Jules Dressner, photos by Jill Berheimer, Josefa Concannon and David Norris.
When you've travelled all the way from another continent to visit an
This was unfortunately the case as we pulled up to Casa del Bosco to visit father/son team Odilio and Mattia Antoniotti. In the winter it's not the end of the world since the vines are hibernating and it's cold as hell. But when you've just landed in Italy in early May and the vines are bursting full of vigor and life, you definitely want to spend as much time outside as possible. Alas, the rain was coming down hard and it looked like it was going to be an "inside only" visit...
Luckily, the Antoniottis have some nice inside stuff to visit. For example, their really old
Grapes come in through this window:
All of the wine
There used to only be a single huge
The Antoniotti family produces two
"And each grower has a tiny annual production."
Factoid: the tiny village of Casa del Bosco was originally built as a lord's hunting resort. The historical reason vines were planted in the area is because the lord and his crew naturally needed wine to celebrate after the hunt!
Moving on, Mattia showed us their
That's what I call attention to detail!
From the tasting room, a large window faces a large hill right by the house.
"50 years ago, this entire hillside was planted in vineyards."
Before getting to down to business, Mattia busted out some local cheeses.
There was also some Prosciutto thrown in for good measure.
Finally, there was some wine to taste!
We started the tasting with a first time experiment, a delicious
Next up was the
"This is the best
Conditions were perfect in 2011: cool winds, no illness, no
We ended with the
Someone asked about the lesser planted and known grapes used at the
"Having many grape
By the time the tasting was over, the rain had majorly subsided so we decided to brave the elements and visit some nearby vineyards. Incredibly, Odilio had eight million umbrellas handy and was able to lend one to each of us.
Well, everyone but me. I actually got a broken parasol.
The first vineyard we visited is 450 meters
In better weather conditions, you can clearly see the Alps and the Sesia river in the background.
The vineyard is and isolated
"Every different color you see is a different
Here's another, smaller piece to give you an idea.
The next vineyard we visited took us through a slippery and very uneven road that you can only access with a 4x4 truck.
This is the Antoniotti's main vineyard; the current vines were planted in 1978, but the family purchased the land in 1860 (Odilio still has the contract papers stashed somewhere). The soils are also
The Antoniottis have never used
The site is a proper viticultural amphitheater, and as such the