View from Manuel Marinacci vineyard, at the border of Barbaresco and Dolcetto DOCG. His vineyard is steep. Across the street, a plot of land which shows the types of soil in Piedmont, a geology lesson in one picture.
Manuel aims to use as little sulfur as possible, as sulfur treatment needs to happen every time you move the wine from one container to another. For example, he said that his 2011 Barbaresco has only 60mg/l total sulfur dioxide (SO2), compared with the maximum EU limit for red wines of 150mg/l. As consumers are getting more aware of additives this kind of low-sulfur approach is going to become more common but Manuel is something of a pioneer.
Manuel Marinacci believes in minimal intervention. The three grapes have different maceration and maturation profiles. The Dolcetto grapes gets macerated on skins for one week, are fermented and then matured in cement for ten months before bottling. The Barbera grapes are macerated for ten days to extract more colour and tannin, fermented and then matured for about one year in cement or stainless steel vats.
His Nebbiolo grapes spends around a month on skins (20-40 days) before fermentation. He extracts gently, so that the wine does not get bitter, astringent flavours. His Barbaresco is than maturated for three years in large Slavonian neutral oak casks, a year more than the minimum legal requirement.