GALLINA – A HEN OR TOP BARBARESCO VINEYARD SITE?
Gallina is both a hen in Italian and the name of a top vineyard site of Barbaresco in the town of Neive. You will be just like a fox in a henhouse once you start tasting these! Ok, I will stop with the hen references and get to the point:)
GALLINA SOIL & POSITION
Barbaresco wine comes from a small area including 3 villages and a hamlet. The largest producing town of the main 3 is called Neive (seen in purple on the map). Not only is it home to this famed vineyard Gallina, but it is has been nominated one of the Borghi Piu Belli d’Italia – one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It is also called the town of 4 Vini because 4 different grapes from Neive can be made into DOC/DOCGs Dolcetto d’Alba DOC, Barbera D’Alba DOC, Barbaresco DOCG and Moscato d’Asti DOCG.
You can spot Gallina easily on the left as you come in off the highway, cross the Tanaro River and make your way to the town of Neive. The elevation is on the lower side ranging from 170-250 mt/ 56-820 ft and faces mostly south, southwest with an open and bright sun exposure. Surprisingly for the densely packed area of Barbaresco, the hill is planted with just over half with vines. The soils are mostly Tortonian that are composed of high quantities of St. Agatha marls in combination with light sand.
- There are approximately 15 different plots on the Gallina hill that are farmed by different wineries.
- Its open exposure and high quality soils give Gallina Barbarescos a beautiful round mouthfeel with finesse.
- The Barbarescos can often be characterized by floral notes and subtle mint.
- It is one of the most historically recognized single vineyards in the Barbaresco appellation.
- Some important producers with plots of land in Gallina are: Francone, Ugo Lequio, Castello di Neive, Piero Busso, La Spinetta and Oddero.
UGO LEQUIO BARBARESCO GALLINA RISERVA 2016 IN COMPARISON TO FRANCONE
Francone is one of the most historical winemaking families in the Barbaresco area. The two brothers Fabrizio and Marco carry on the family’s tradition and also have a passion for making sparkling wine! The winery has a production of about 100,000 bottles.
Ugo Lequio is a one man show whose family was not in the wine business. After different life experiences his dream of having his own vineyard came true with Barbera. This led to acquiring Nebbiolo for Barbaresco vineyards and today Ugo makes a beautiful line up of wines that are under the radar and made with enthusiasm. His total production is only about 30,000 bottles.
Francone’s vineyards for Gallina are at a slightly higher elevation than Ugo Lequio’s. From what I gather from Enogea’s MGA map, Francone’s vineyards are South/Southwest while Ugo’s seem to be facing more towards the west.
Both riservas are made from a selection of the best grapes from the vineyard only during the best years. Evidently 2016 is a fantastic vintage without discussion!
The Francone Riserva is also coming from different vineyards within the town of Neive, goes through a 20 day fermentation in stainless steel and ages for at least 36 months in French casks of different sizes. Ugo Lequio’s Riserva goes through a slightly shorter fermentation phase in stainless steel and also ages in both big Slavonian oak barrels of varying sizes.
Both of these wines were presented in our last Fall 2021 Wine Club Selection in the Barolo & Barbaresco Only pack. If you would like to try them, please contact us directly!