2019 La Spinetta Barbera D’Asti

Barbera d’Asti wine dates back as far as the 13th century, and most likely originated in northern Italy’s Piedmont region in the hills of Monferrato. The earliest written record of the wine can be found in the 17th century, however, it really began to gain popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries, to the point where, today, Barbera is considered to be Piedmont’s foremost and principal red grape variety. In fact, for much of the 20th century, the Barbera grape was Italy’s third most planted and produced variety.

La Spinetta Winery

The founders of La Spinetta, the Rivetti family story begins in the 1890s, when Giovanni Rivetti, left Piedmont for Argentina. Like many Italians then, he dreamed of returning rich man, perhaps even one day able to make great wine in his homeland. He never did, though his son, Giuseppe “Pin” did. Pin married Lidia, bought vineyards and began to make wine. In 1977 the family took up residence at La Spinetta (top of the hill) in Castagnole Lanze. It was the heart of the Moscato d’Asti country, which is a  light and simple dessert wine. But the Rivettis believed that Moscato had the potential for greatness and set out to prove it by making Moscato Bricco Quaglia and Biancospino.

Eventually though the family’s wanted to expand into other styles of wine. In 1985 La Spinetta made its first red wine, Barbera Cà di Pian. After this many great reds followed: In 1989 the Rivettis dedicated their red blend Pin to their father. From 1995 to 1998 they started to make their first Barbaresco Gallina, Barbarescos Starderi, Barbera d'Alba Gallina, Barbaresco Valeirano, and the Barbera d'Asti Superiore. In 2000 the family began making a Barolo and built a state of the art cellar, Barolo Campè.

What's Up with The Rhino?

Why the Rhino on the label? It was Giuseppe Rivetti whose love of the German artist Dürer that inspired the label. The woodcarving and illustration of “The Rhinoceros” was created in 1515.  Arriving from India to Lisbon, this was the first rhinoceros to ever be seen in Europe. Dürer executed this woodcarving without ever actually having seen a real rhinoceros. He drew it from a description. The accuracy (except for the scales on the rhino!) of the drawing made this an inspiration for European illustrators. 


Though the Barbera grape from Asti usually tends to be crisper and sharper (when compared to the Barbera grape from Alba), the Ca' di Pian has a rich fruit character and medium acidity, thanks to 45-year-old vines and low vineyard yields. Aromas of Twizllers candy,  blueberry, wet earth and a hint of blood orange come through.This Barbera’s full body and intensity are balanced by medium tannins and a smooth finish, that makes this ready to drink now. 

With Barbera d'Asti, wines try rich dark meats, mushrooms, herbs, herbaceous cheeses like blue cheese, higher tannin foods like root vegetables & braised greens. It is a perfect compliment to fall and winter meals.