Serralunga d’Alba, a secret kept in the long-term
Located in the outer edge of the district of Barolo– eleven municipalities south-west from Alba – Serralunga d’Alba has figured as the sleeping beauty of the area for a long time. When Barolo, for most of its early history and before obtaining the controlled and guaranteed denomination (DOCG), was the result of an assembly of grapes coming from all over the area, the only municipality that had the privilege of writing its name on the labels was the Barolo own. This happened also after the approval of the controlled denomination (DOC): the wine was officially denominated Barolo.
Far away from Barolo and its Castle, where the Falletti family was working on the popularity of its wine, Serralunga simply remained a wine making village away from the up roaring success. Only in the past five years both the national and international press learned about other parts of the Langhe, finally assimilating what was known by locals for over a century: the great Barolo wines, structured and long-lived, come from the Helvetian marls of Serralunga.
The majority of merchants didn’t pay attention to expenses when buying Nebbiolo from Serralunga d’Alba, aware of the structure and longevity it would bring to their Barolo. Local farmers were extremely proud of the quotations their grapes received.
Unfortunately the misery and poverty brought by phylloxera and the great economic recession in 1929 slowed down the well-deserved development and popularity for almost a century: for many years, vineyards had to share the land with primary need cultivations. This is the reason why Nebbiolo, at that time considered as the most noble vine yet the less profitable one – due to the evident problems of selling Barolo – was often substituted by the common Dolcetto. Only looking at numbers, in 1990 Serralunga d’Alba’s production of Barolo only counted 11% of the overall vineyards, Nebbiolo represented less than half of the whole grape-farming surface in the municipality.
In approximately 20 years, things have significantly changed. By the end of 2010, Serralunga counted 320 hectares of Barolo production, representing 17% of the denomination’s entire output, while within the municipality Nebbiolo for Barolo grapes are over 60% of the vineyards.
Serralunga d’Alba’s vineyards lay on one of the famous pieces of land (Langhe) which, from south, the high Langa, go towards north in direction of the Tanaro valley. The land’s morphology recalls a fishbone shape, with its ridge (south-north directed) as a backbone, crossing the view of the perpendicular hills.
The lateral strips are located in a more homogenous and regular way towards the west side of the ridge, so facing Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d’Alba, where we count famous crus such as Baudana, Lazzaritto, Parafada, Marenca, Vigna Rionda, Falletto and Ornato. The eastern side overlooking Diano d’Alba and Talloria valley, is characterised by less regular hills which decrease their homogeneity become thinner and shorter as we move towards south. It is asserted that, due to the geologic and climatic peculiarities of this area, the Barolo of Serralunga becomes mores tannic, austere and long-lived the more you move towards South. Therefore perfectly in line with the common idea of the red wines of this area.
Serralunga d’Alba’s castle,
an Italian icon
The fortress of Serralunga is a proper icon within the XIV century Italian medieval castles panorama. In ancient times it used to be property of the Falletti family who built this castle and other forts in the area of Castiglione Falletto, Barolo, La Morra and Roddi d’Alba. Since that time it oversees all of the surrounding lands and hills…