LA CONTRADA DI SORANO – ONE OF THE SMALLEST WINERIES IN BAROLO
I once heard from a winery owner that to break even, you need to make at least 20,000 bottles. In the Langhe, most family run wineries range from 50,000-100,000 bottles while some more coorporate, are as big as millions of bottles per year! It is also easier to find smaller wineries with under 50,000 bottle productions in Barbaresco compared to Barolo which is a smaller appellation in itself. One of the smallest wineries I have come across in Barolo though is called Contrada Sorano in Serralunga d’Alba run by a young couple Paolo Baudana and Cristina. They only make about 10,000 bottles on a good year. Since I get really excited about hard to find Barolos, it was a thrill to find them!
Paolo’s family always worked the land and had vineyards in Serralunga. Working for the nearby Fontanafredda was a stable income for many families like Paolo’s which meant selling grapes and working in the vineyards.
Paolo’s father had a dream to make his own wines from these grapes coming from such prestigious sites. Unfortunately he passed away too soon but his dream remained alive.
Paolo decided to move forward and founded La Contrada di Sorano. Sorano is the name of the MGA “cru” in the Barolo appellation.
Their space is small, their tasting room is their kitchen but their hearts are big and the wines are tasty.
You should never choose a wine based solely on the label, but it sure doesn’t hurt when it is so pretty. Contrada Sorano’s label is so beautiful. It was designed by a famous anarchist local artist, Gianni Gallo.
In order to have your labels done by him, you had to be a good friend. You may recognize some of his work from Vietti’s labels, Vajra’s labels and Bruno Rocca to name a few. There is even a whole book on all his work.
The labels for Contrada’s was actually intended for the use of jam jars but Paolo’s father had already chosen them with the artist.
Favorita has a dove to symbolize conviviality and friendship.
One of the wines I love from this winery is their Favorita. If you are not familiar with this grape, it is a local white varietal related to Vermentino.
Unfortunately, it has lost popularity because of it being prone to disease and having a lack of character as a wine. But Paolo was mesmerized by the golden color of the skins and the deliciousness of the grapes when he would taste them off the vine.
This inspired him to do long maceration and skin contact to get that beauty into the wine itself. The result is a spicy medium bodied white wine that really really impresses.
Visit their website: La Contrada del Sorano
If you want to visit the winery let me know, since they don’t speak English I can accompany you, just write me here: firstname.lastname@example.org