Oltretorrente

Location: Paderna, Colli Tortonesi, Piedmont
Year Established: 2010
Size: 7 hectares
Varieties: Barbera, Cortese, Dolcetto, Timorasso, Favorito, Moscato
Viticulture: Certified Organic, manual harvest
Vinification: Whole cluster, Indigenous yeasts

After many years working for larger and more conventional wine producers, Michele Conoscente and Chiara Penati moved in 2010 from Milan to Paderna, a tiny village in the hills of the Tortona region in Piedmont, to establish their small artisanal winery and start their family. “Oltretorrente” means “beyond the stream” – the name is taken from a novel whose themes include starting from zero and taking brave leaps. They began with a small parcel of land, nursing back to life the old and abandoned Timorasso vines they found there. Now they have seven hectares, with vines ranging from fifteen to more than one hundred years old. The Colli Tortonese Bianco, mostly equal parts Cortese and Favorito (plus a bit of Moscato and Timorasso) is aged in stainless steel. Their Derthona (Piemontese for Tortona) Timorasso undergoes no skin contact, and is aged in concrete tanks. The Colli Tortonesi Rosso, a blend of Barbera and Dolcetto (along with a number of other aromatic varieties that grow sporadically among these vines), spends about three weeks on the skins and also ages in concrete. The Barbera Superiore, made from a half hectare of vines that are almost a century old, spends a year and a half in very old wooden barrels after several weeks on the skins in concrete tanks. Sulfur is used sparingly, with the reds ending up at less than 50 ppm, the whites, 60 ppm.