Cascina Disa – A jewel in Monforte

23 03 2010



So often in the wine world, producers, importers, retailers sell or push a wine before it is ready to drink, especially where the more age worthy or expensive wines are concerned.

This is understandable, as many producers need to sell the wine for cash flow reasons, but when you buy the wine and then drink it, it is too young. So, what a pleasure to find a producer who only sells his Barolo when it is ready to drink!!

 At the top of a steep hill, hidden between the fortress towns of Serralunga and Castiglione Falletto, you can find Cascina Disa and its owner, Elio Sandri.

 Elio Sandri is a wise man, (you can spend 4-5 hours talking with him in his cantina about the ways and whims of the wine world). Some of his peers say he is foolish, some say he is brave, but he will only release his wine when it is ready to drink. This is a great risk, and is a huge investment for him both in terms of money and time and space. But it is the way he does things, and the results are well worth it.

 He makes a traditional Barolo, does not enter competitions, does not send wines for ratings reviews, does not even want a sign on the main road pointing the way to his well hidden cantina nestled at the top of a hill. Even many people in the village of Barolo have never heard of him!! On a recent visit, when asked “why don’t you put up a sign to your vineyard”, the reply was “why?”. Well, so people can find where you are, said the journalist asking the question. “Well, I don’t want people to know where I am, I just want to make great wine and hope people enjoy it”, came the reply!!

Similarly, later the same day, some American buyers wanted to purchase his Barolo 2003. “Not ready yet, needs another 6 -12 months”, came the reply from Elio. Followed quickly by a witty “I feel like a father not letting his children out to play on their own, as they aren’t quite ready for it yet!!”. Even the lure of an extra 3 euros a litre for the 2003 vintage could not persuade him to sell it there and then.

And, for the real special occasion, (birthdays, etc), he will personally sign every label. Even better!!

So, all in all, a dream. A great Barolo, ready to drink, no need to lay it down or age it, and all for the same price as many younger Barolo’s you would have to cellar. Do something different today, and go search it out, but dont ask me for directions!!

So if  you like traditional Barolo, you will love this!! And then go try his Langhe Nebbiolo too!!