Chapter 01 - History
A name that is of history, a history that is of land
It was 1990 and finding themselves in front of their first 10,000 bottles, all three sisters wondered the same thing: "And now who will drink them all?". Thus begins the adventure of Marchesi Alfieri.
The Alfieri story features plenty of protagonists, such as the writer Vittorio or Carlo, the senator of the Kingdom of Italy. It’s a story that from the 17th century onwards continues to be enriched with fresh chapters and begins like this.
Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy grants Urbano Alfieri the fiefdom of San Martino.
Carlo Antonio Massimiliano Alfieri entrusts the engineer Antonio Bertola with the task of transforming the property in the Baroque style. A modern wine cellar, the castle and a park are constructed, created by leveling a hill adjacent to the property.
Xavier Kurten, a Prussian landscape architect, transforms the formal garden of the castle into a Romantic English Park. In the same year, the architect Ernesto Melano dedicates himself to the reconstruction of the south facade and the core of the castle in the neo-Baroque style.
Giuseppina Benso di Cavour, niece of the statesman Camillo Benso di Cavour, marries Carlo Alfieri di Sostegno. It will be Camillo Benso di Cavour who gives a boost to Alfieri’s wine production, improving the quality of the wines and introducing the Pinot Noir grape to Piedmont.
Giovanni Visconti Venosta, son of Luisa Alfieri di Sostegno, marries Margherita Pallavicino Mossi, but they have no children. With Giovanni Visconti Venosta the lineage of the Alfieri di Sostegno ends.
Margherita Pallavicino Mossi leaves the castle and the wine cellar to Casimiro San Martino di San Germano, with whom she has a bond of not only blood but also of profound esteem and respect. Casimiro, a former member of the Agricultural Academy, is in charge of relaunching the property’s wine production.
Casimiro San Martino di San Germano dies. His daughters Emanuela, Antonella and Giovanna take over the winery with the courage and determination that have defined the last 30 years’ history of their winery and the family.
The first 10,000 bottles of Marchesi Alfieri wines are produced.
Green harvesting (selective thinning of the bunches) in the vineyard starts to be practiced. The Marchesi Alfieri winery is among the first in the region to carry out this type of operation, renewing its proclivity for agronomical innovation.
The arrival of the oenologist Mario Olivero coincides with receiving the esteemed "Tre Bicchieri" rating for the first time, awarded by the Gambero Rosso wine guide for the Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG Alfiera, which it will also receive the following two years. These are the winery’s first important accolades, and from this moment on, it will establish itself as one of the most important in the area.
The first Nebbiolo vineyard is planted on the Quaglia hillside. In the same year, the Marchesi Alfieri winery inaugurates the first four guest rooms in its historic village and begins to welcome the first visitors. These will be followed by other rooms and the opening of Cascina Margherita.
A new, ambitious project begins, linked to the production of “metodo classico” from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. From the old Alfieri stables, dating back to the 18th century, a space is created which is suitable for refermenting Metodo Classico Extra Brut Millesimato Blanc de Noir in bottle and aging on its lees.
The first vintage of Metodo Classico Extra Brut Millesimato Blanc de Noir is produced with 100% Pinot Noir grapes exclusively from the estate’s vineyards.
Among the lands owned by the Marchesi Alfieri winery, the most suitable are identified for planting 5 hectares of hazelnut trees which starts the high-quality production of one of the most iconic fruits of Piedmont.
The architectural restoration of the historic kitchens begins and also the construction of the second barrel cellar beneath the castle. In the same year, the collaboration with the "Terre di Tartufi" association begins, leading to the transformation of several hectares of forest into an educational truffle ground. Pinot Noir vines are planted on the north side of the Quaglia hillside and a new vineyard dedicated to the cultivation of Barbera is created: Vigna del Castello.
The 2015 harvest of Carlo Alfieri is presented.
This wine is only made in exceptional vintages with grapes that best interpret the identity of the Barbera variety. This wine comes from a careful selection in the vineyard followed by a long process of aging in wood and in the bottle.
Today Emanuela, Antonella and Giovanna San Martino di San Germano are joined by the new generations of the family. Their task: to shape the future of a timeless place with passion, ideas and projects.