A Mother-Daughter Tour de Force
By Taylor Friedlander & Birdie deQuay
Travaglini Wines | A Mother-Daughter Tour de Force
Alessia and Cinzia Travaglini have a shared charisma in their smiles, a look that makes you want to strike up a conversation. Together, they lead the winery, Travaglini Wines, into the future. Alessia is the fourth generation to come into the family business, and is a certified sommelier. Presently, she is earning a degree in Economics and Business Management, to equip her with the skills needed to carry on the family legacy. Under the mentorship of her mother, Cinzia Travaglini, she is positioned to continue on the tradition of excellence firmly established by the winery.
Cinzia herself became immersed in the wine world after graduating from high school. She started working alongside her father, traveling with him to conferences in Italy, as well as abroad, in order to further develop the family business. Without a doubt, the work of wine runs deep in the Travaglini bloodline.
The Family History
The wine crafted by this mother-daughter team carries with it a hundred-year old family history, which all began in the 1920s. It was then that Clemente Travaglini, the patriarch of the winery, planted the seeds of a dream that would become a reality generations later. Today, Travaglini Gatinara is a globally recognized brand held in the highest esteem, sought out by sommeliers around the world.
The success of the winery is owed to a unique combination of qualities – family talent, terroir, and a forward-thinking mentality. Clemente Travaglini passed the winery down to his son, Arturo, who in 1958 passed it on to his own son, Giancarlo. Giancarlo was a pioneer, introducing groundbreaking innovations, which were at the time, novel to the appellation. He insisted upon barrique aging, in which wine is aged in smaller barrels, enabling the cru to become imbued with more qualities of the oak.
Giancarlo also designed the iconic bottle shape that is unique to Travaglini wines. Much like an avant-garde sculpture, the bottle has a wavelike shape, designed to catch sediment as the wine is being poured. The bottle’s alluring curves complement the seductive quality of the wine itself. Producing such a wine is no easy feat, particularly when working with the Nebbiolo grape.
The Nebbiolo Varietal
The Nebbiolo varietal, also known as Spanna, is defined by strong, assertive tannins. Years of careful aging are required in order to soften and balance them. The wines are aged in a four-step process: first in stainless steel tanks, second in Slovenian oak barrels, third in smaller oak barrels, and finally in the bottle. The resulting wines boast depth and complexity, while manifesting the land from which they came.
The name Nebbiolo means “little fog” in Italian, an allusion to the thick fog that characterizes the grape’s native lands in Piedmont. Although there have been attempts to grow the grape beyond its original birthplace, few have been successful. This is a varietal in which the grape is inextricably linked to its homeland and terroir.
The Terroir | Piedmont and Gattinara
This land of “Piedmont” comes from the combination of two words. “Pied,” meaning foot, and “mont,” meaning mountain. Taken together, the significance is “foot of the mountain,” as this region rests at the base of the Alps. Gattinara is a tiny sub-region within Piedmont, situated in the north. Initially classified as a DOC region in 1967, Gattinara later advanced into the classification of DOCG in 1990 – the top category of Italian wine.
Today, the Travaglini family owns approximately 50% of all vineyards in the Gattinara DOCG region. The family name is nearly synonymous with the appellation. They own a grand total of 146 acres of vineyards, primarily Nebbiolo. The rocky soils are rich in granite, porphyry, and iron. The sediment is highly acidic, which is reflected in the profile of the wine. However, the acidity is balanced by tamed tannins and tempered fruit flavors, resulting in a smooth and hyper-palatable wine.
The Wines | https://vinporter.com/collections/travaglini
Sparkling Nebbiolo | Nebolè 2013
Forging a new tradition, Travaglini has put forth a sparkling Nebbiolo, sprightly and fun, with a citrus nose and delicate mouth-feel. Grapes are harvested by hand and made into a white wine before going through a second in-bottle fermentation. Given the Travaglini’s history of innovation, it is fitting that they continue to explore terra incognita with this originally crafted wine.
Nebbiolo Coste Della Sesia Doc 2017
This entry-level wine makes for a wonderful summer red, a perfect complement to a casual outdoor barbecue. The wine is aged in stainless steel for four months, and then aged for another ten months in oak casks. This light-bodied wine is highly-food friendly, with a bright flavor profile and soft fruity notes.
Gattinara DOCG 2015
A complex and well-balanced wine, possessing an interesting garden aroma, alongside distinct spicy notes. This wine was initially aged in stainless steel, and then aged for an additional two years in oak casks. It was then bottled-aged for another year. The ample aging process enabled the tannins to soften to a silky texture, and allowed its medley of flavors the opportunity to coalesce into a flavor profile of depth and complexity.
Gattinara Tre Vigne DOCG 2013
Tre Vigne is an expert blend of three separate single-vineyard wines. The wines are first aged in stainless steel, and then aged for an additional four years in oak casks. During the last year of the aging procsess, one fifth of the wine is removed and transported into separate barrels for aging purposes. The removed wine is then returned and aged for an additional ten months. The result is a wine that possesses an interesting array of Mediterranean flavors, boasting hints of tomato and olive.
Gattinara Tre Vigne DOCG 2006
Of an older vintage, this Tre Vigne was produced using the same process as its 2013 counterpart. The additional aging time further softens the tannins and heightens the palatability of this wine, synthesizing the flavors for a more nuanced flavor profile.
Gattinara Riserva DOCG 2013
This wine is the crème the la crème, crafted using grapes from the best parcels, harvested from the estate’s oldest vines. The wine is aged first in stainless steel, followed by three years of oak aging, and a year of aging in-bottle. The result is a smooth and soft wine, with a sharper and more notable aroma.
Gattinara Riserva DOCG 2009
The 2013 Riserva is aged using the same process as its 2013 counterpart. The additional five years of aging further tames the tannins and allows the flavors to blend into each other, producing a more nuanced result.
Il Sogno 2014
Utilizing a painstaking production process, the Il Sogno is what emerges from a labor of love. The grapes of this wine are hand-harvested, and left to air dry for 100 days. This allows half of the water content in the grapes to evaporate – a technique that yields more viscous, syrupy wine. The berries are then fermented in stainless steel and aged for 40 months in oak casks. An additional ten months of aging in-bottle follows.