The story of Poderi Colla’s ‘Campo Romano’ Pinot Nero starts in 1969 when Tino Colla, at the age of 18, travelled abroad to study winemaking in Burgundy. He spent 6 months at the Laboratoire Oenologique de Bourgogne, where he discovered a pride in cultivating vineyards and making wine that didn’t exist at that time in Piemonte.
During his stay he was visited by his brother Beppe and a friend Luciano Degiacomi (at the time the owner of the Cascina Drago estate in San Rocco Seno d’Elvio). They both fell in love with Pinot Noir and this was how it came to be… that the French cuttings that Luciano brought with him from his trip were planted in 2.5 hectares of land that now make up part of Poderi Colla’s estate.
The field was unnamed, but Roman relics had been found deep below it, so they gave it the name ‘Campo Romano’. Today the 100% Pinot Noir (Nero) produced from this site is classified as Langhe DOC.
At the start, Luciano vinified the Pinot Nero exclusively in stainless steel, which didn’t give full expression to the grape. It wasn’t until the Colla family took over the Bricco del Drago property in 1994, that they began to age the wine carefully in oak. Today Tino’s son Pietro is the winemaker for Campo Romano – ageing in large 30 hl barrels, and with a little carbonic maceration. He says:
“I’m very attached to Campo Romano, maybe because we have given the vineyard so much care and attention in order to understand it and interpret it better. Its soils are compact with evident amounts of clay, loam and limestone. It’s not very easy to work with, and if we consider that the Pinot Nero yields are very low, it’s clear that we choose to continue maintaining this variety for the quality of the grape and the great respect that our family has always had for the history of Bricco del Drago and its previous owner, a cultured and visionary man.”
Campo Romano Langhe DOC is still identifiable by its Burgundy-style label!