Our friend and Alto Piemonte advocate, historian, and winemaker Cristiano Garella introduced us to Gilberto Boniperti in 2018. Cristiano has been making wine in the region since his teen years; he knows pretty much everyone and has connected us to many of the producers with which we represent today. He insisted we meet and taste with Gilberto to understand the relatively unknown Fara DOC subregion of Alto Piemonte.
A small dog excitedly greeted us when we arrived at the tiny Boniperti winery attached to Gilberto’s parents home in Barengo. Gilberto came out to welcome us with a huge smile. We were told on our trip that many industry people don’t visit Fara, yet alone stay more than 1-2 days in all of Alto Piemonte (we were there for 4-5 days). Maybe it was that fact, maybe it wasn’t, but it seemed as though Gilberto had genuine excitement and pride that we were there from Chicago to spend half a day with him. He spoke little English, so Cristiano translated most of the conversation that day. What struck us, though, didn’t need a translator—Gilberto is talented, passionate, hardworking, and making a name for himself by producing fresh, acid-driven, texturally gorgeous, and expressive wines. We placed an order that day!
Gilberto Boniperti is the 3rd generation to work his family's vineyards. In 2003, he replenished his grandfather Barton's vineyard to start this estate winery. Today, Boniperti owns 3.5 hectares: 4 vineyards situated at 820 feet above sea level and bordered within a small area of about 4 square kilometers (2.5 miles). Vespolina, a small patch of Barbera, and of course Nebbiolo are planted. The vineyards are worked by hand with organic practices. The vineyards are all in the Fara DOC, which is relatively flat compared to other Alto Piemonte subregions. Fara is also the warmest subregion, producing juicy, ripe wines. Boniperti's wines are particularly fresh and fruity; this is due to the high percentage of sand in his soil as well as his minimalist touch in the cellar.