…spontaneously fermenting

Natural Wine Making in Piemonte Part VI

Sunday October 4th, 2009

Sunday was another quiet day – Cleaned the destemmer and prepared for tomorrow’s second harvest.


2009-10-04_02009548Lunch at Carussin where we drank another wine made by Igino Garberoglio– a 1985 Barbera d’Asti bottled the year that his grandson Luca was born. If you are following these latest posts, you know that the wines of Igino are not labeled, but this was a special label he made for this bottle.  Most likely not stored in the best of conditions since it was in the dining area of the Carussin  house. This being said, it was still quite fresh,  acidic and full of life with slight oxidative notes – very drinkable indeed.

2009-10-04_02009553We also had the chance to taste a spontaneously fermented Moscato d’Asti from 1984 made by Bruna’s uncle Carlo. Bottled in the then typical 720ml bottle (compared to today’s 750ml wine bottle). Smelled of steel, oxidized honey and hints of caramelized lemon peel. Similar flavors were found on the mouth with still a slight sparkle left. A bit over the top, but interesting to taste none the less. This was stored in the Carussin cellar.

After lunch went back to check on our freshly fermenting wine and moistened the cap – the “protective” layer of grape skins that forms on top of the grape juice. As the juice begins to ferment, it expands and the cement tank which was about 80% to the top has now risen to about 95-98% full. As wine ferments, carbon dioxide is released.  To confirm the wine has begun fermenting in the early stages, one can light a candle or match and bring it down towards the fermenting grapes and it will burn out due to the lack of oxygen. Once the wine really begins to ferment there is no mistaking as the bubbling sound will be quite loud!


Igino pushing down the cap a bit to keep it moist

After moistening the cap, Igino pulled out another of his wines – a Brachetto vinfied dry and without bubbles!  Normally a Brachetto is a sweet sparkling wine that has about 5-6% alcohol by volume and is very enjoyable with fresh strawberries. This version was completely dry and had no bubbles. Very interesting indeed with the typical Brachetto aromas of wild strawberries and Campari but very dry and around 12% alcohol.

Igino's wonderful spontaneously fermented wines - dry Brachetto on the right

Igino's wonderful spontaneously fermented wines - dry Brachetto on the right

We then headed back over to Carussin’s and cleaned the containers for the harvest of Basarin tomorrow morning.

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, Events, natural wine (100% living wine), Natural Wine Making in Piemonte

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2 Responses

  1. Francesco says:

    I have really enjoyed reading your harvest experience in Piemonte. I actually just got back on the 11th from a week of harvesting at the Podere Poggio Scalette estate in Tuscany. I just began posting today, and it will be fun to contrast our experiences. The 2009 Tuscan harvest does not seem as healthy as that of Piemonte, “But we will see.”, says Jurij Fiore, the winemaker. Oh yeah question, have you heard anything about a truffle and Barolo festival up in Piemonte for the month of October?

  2. vinosseur says:


    I have not heard of this festival, but I am quite sure there is one. Most likely in Alba. I would love to follow your posts based on your Tuscan experience. Being in Italy has put me quite behind on my internet work and hope to resume it as soon as I get back home in the next few days!

    -ciao Francesco!

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Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

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