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Oltretorrente - 'Rosso' - Barbara, Dolcetto - Colli Tortonesi, Piemonte, IT - 2019

Oltretorrente - 'Rosso' - Barbara, Dolcetto - Colli Tortonesi, Piemonte, IT - 2019

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Tags: Classic

Sourced from all the estate's red grapes that are not directed towards the Barbera Superiore. Several parcels over 3 hectares are harvested for this wine. The vines were planted between 1955 and 1990 with 6,000 plants/hectare. Exposures are both north and south. In 2018, the blend is basically 90% Barbera and 10% Dolcetto, but co-planted throughout the vineyards there small amounts of Croatina, Freisa, Slarina, Brachetto, and Aleatico, which all make their way into this wine. Harvest was between September 24th and October 3rd at yields of 7,500 kg/hectare (around 41 hl/ha). The bunches are destemmed and fermentation is spontaneous in concrete vats, with macerations lasting 1 month. Aging occurs in concrete, kept on the fine lees for 6 months. The wine was bottled in April 2019 with a wide filtration. 15,000 bottles and 900 magnums produced.  --- After several years working for more conventional wineries, Chiara Penati and her husband Michele Conoscente started Oltretorrente in 2010 with the purchase of 1.5 hectares of vines in Paderna, set in the hills of the Tortona region (Colli Tortonesi) in southeast Piedmont, where there are only 30 estates bottling wine. The name Oltretorrente means “Beyond the Stream,” in reference to the Scrivia, a tributary of the Po River, but it could be interpreted as “Countercurrent.” Today, the estate covers 7.5 hectares (7 are owned and 0.5 are rented and fully farmed). The vines range from 15 to 100 years old at altitudes up to 300 meters, with slopes so steep that when it rains too much, their small caterpillar tractor is useless and they have to do the vineyard work the old-fashioned way.  They farm their land organically, but use some biodynamic methods as well. Since they acquired the vineyards, they have worked to restore natural soil fertility by planting grass in soils that were hoed for many years. In the cellar, macerations and aging are not standardized and change depending on what the vintage gives them. In general, however, for the white wines they put whole bunches into the pneumatic press instead of destemming before pressing; there is no skin maceration and malolactic is not necessarily a given. For the reds, they harvest late to ensure full ripeness, and long macerations follow. For both whites and reds, aging is always on the lees to increase the complexity and stability of wines in a natural way.
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