Giovanni Canonica

Barolo (Piedmont) 1.7 ha
6,000 bottles per year
Fertiliser: Manure
Pest Control: Copper/Sulphur
Weed Control: Mechanical
Yeast: Natural
Certification: None
100% Estate Grown

The wines of Giovanni Canonica are hidden gems within Barolo. So much so that he has become an iconic figure among wine lovers from all corners of the globe - something that this humble and warm soul definitely did not seek to obtain. The production of his Barolo is extremely limited. Some 6000 or so bottles are released and generally sold, before most people even have the chance to think about purchasing them.

The cellar resonates with any notion one might have of pressing grapes in one’s backyard - because that is exactly what he does. Giovanni only started bottling the wine he was making underneath his family home and bed and breakfast about fifteen years ago, and only under the persuasion of a certain Japanese importer who was incredibly impressed by the raw energy that this traditional version of Nebbiolo possessed.

He is quite an anomaly in this area of Piedmonte by way of the fact that he avoids using sulphur as much as possible, refrains from fining, filtering and continues to age in large botte made from Slovenian oak. His approach encompasses the essence of tradition from the region.

There are just under four acres of vines in total and he only treats them with copper and sulphur – in place of pesticides and/or chemical fertilizers. The grapes are then plucked, destemmed and subject to a lengthy maceration before being pressed and aged in the large Slovenian oak barrels. Giovanni eschews the addition of selected yeasts and has never dabbled in temperature control. Every aspect of this tiny production is done by hand.