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Cantina del Pino's Langhe Nebbiolo — with Barbaresco Pedigree & Terroir

We've told the story of Cantina del Pino before, including the tragic early death of Renato Vacca in 2020, and the taking over of the Cantina by his wife Franca (who we were honored to host at our shop for a staff tasting a few weeks ago).

We have just received another small allocation from the winery, and this time it is a few cases of their insanely delicious Langhe Nebbiolo. It was so good that it made us stop to think about what made all this deliciousness happen.

Aside from the obvious — good terroir (the Nebbiolo is all grown within DOC Barbaresco), good farming (organic, of course), and good wine-making (Franca has been working side by side with Renato since 2013 and is very much a worthy successor) — one wonders if there is also something about the DNA of this wine. For the Cantina del Pino couldn’t be closer to the region’s roots and traditions.

It’s a Cantina that comes from a line of true Barbaresco giants. Renato’s ancestors were among those who founded the first Produttori di Barbaresco, which failed, and also the second Produttori, which continues today as the world’s greatest wine cooperative. They acquired their land from the great Damizio Cavazza, considered one of the inventors of Barbaresco in the late 19th century. From this land, multiple generations of Vaccas contributed grapes to the Produttori up until 1997, when Renato convinced his dad to start bottling their own wines.

Renato’s brother Aldo, meanwhile, has had an incredible career of his own, first making wine alongside Angelo Gaja, and then taking over as director of the Produttori. And their connection to the region goes beyond careers and wine production. This is a family of true locals: they eat local foods, and they speak Piemontese, rather than Italian, at home.

Can all this DNA be wrapped up in a bottle of wine? In subtle ways, yes. It appears in the little customs and traditions that are silently carried out, without thought, every day in the vineyard and then again in the winery. It appears in the taste and vision that Renato had, and that Franca now continues to honor through her wines. It’s these deeply rooted generational connections that reveal themselves in the wine’s deliciousness.

Cantina del Pino, Langhe Nebbiolo, 2022 $26.99


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.