Luigi Ferrando is one of Italy’s best winemakers and his Carema red wines, true expressions of extreme mountain viticulture, are some of Italy’s greatest and longest lived wines.
Luigi Ferrando has long been the leading producer of wines from the Canavese region where his family's winemaking tradition goes back to 1900. Like many of our producers, he has strong ties to his local region. His attachment and commitment run deep, and have led him to collaborate with other winemakers and academics. Together, they are responsible for discovering and preserving local grape varieties and traditions that might otherwise have been lost. Luigi’s sons, Roberto and Andrea, now work with him on the estate (Roberto) and in the family’s vinoteca (Andrea) located in the heart of the city of Ivrea, the commercial hub of the Canavese region. Thus, the continuation of the Ferrando tradition has been enabled.
Technically speaking, the Canavese is part of Piedmont. Its location at the frontier of the Valle d'Aosta, the very edge of Piedmont, an area renowned for its steeply terraced vineyards, imparts a distinctive quality to the wines. The Ferrandos painstakingly cultivate their Nebbiolo vineyards on the mountainside terroir of Carema, in an amphitheater that sits in the very shadows of Monte Bianco. The resulting wine is very different than its more famous cousins from Barolo or Barbaresco and is sought after by connoisseurs for its finesse, complexity, and longevity. Their other vineyard holdings are lower in altitude, on the plains and hills of the Canavese region, in and around the village of Caluso, approximately 45 minutes north of Torino. Here, they work with interesting local grape varieties and are particularly known for their Erbaluce di Caluso. The Erbaluce grape is an ancient white variety that originates, and can only be found, in the alpine foothills of this northwestern corner of Piedmont. It has a bright acidity, an elegant underlying minerality, and a complex structure that makes it the ultimate flexible wine: producing everything from sparkling wine, through bone-dry, off-dry, and late harvest wines.
The Ferrando wines were the very first wines Rosenthal imported to the United States back in January 1980. This was at a time when Carema and Erbaluce were unknown to almost anyone who did not live within 50 kilometers of Torino. It has been Neal Rosenthal's particular pleasure and satisfaction to see the growing respect for these exceptional wines within the American market, further proof of the compelling, almost mystical aura that is at the core of the series of wines produced by the Ferrando family.
"Ferrando is the most famous estate in the tiny Carema appellation. The flagship Etichetta Bianca (white label) and Etichetta Nera (black label) Caremas are some of the most intriguing wines in all of Italy. Generally, the white label is the more delicate of the two, while the black label is more powerful. In 2015, both wines will vie for your attention. I also found so much to like in the whites and the entry-level Rosso Terrazza."
"Ferrando is the reference-point producer in the tiny Carema appellation."
Not Drinking Poison: n.d.p. in piemonte: luigi ferrando