Luigi Baudana

This small estate has just over 4 hectares of vineyard, all in the commune of Serralunga d'Alba. Their tiny cellar is situated in the village of Baudana, while their vineyards are primarily in the 'crus' of Baudana and the highly regarded Cerretta. After 30 years running the winery, and without heirs to take over the business, Luigi and Fiorina Baudana took the difficult decision to sell. Because of the location of the vineyards, in the heart of the 'golden mile' of Barolo, Luigi and Fiorina were offered some eye-watering sums of money. They were concerned, however, that the name and estate continue as is, rather than be absorbed into a larger entity.

As part of his research, Luigi visited the Vajra winery incognito one day, and was so impressed with the way they dealt with people and communicated their philosophy that he rang Aldo soon afterwards to ask if he would be interested in buying the estate. A deal was soon done, and the Vajra family have run this estate alongside Luigi and Fiorina ever since. The depth of flavour and intensity that comes from the vineyards has remained, but the Vajra touch in the cellar has brought them to a new level. The first vintage was 2009 and from then onwards we can see the true expression of the new Luiga Baudana. They make four wines: three Barolo and one white. The Bianco Dragon is a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon (planted in the northeastern part of Cerretta by Luigi in the early 1980s) with Nascetta and Riesling from the Vajra vineyards. It is fermented and aged in stainless steel, and has a lovely lift and depth, with real interest on the palate. The Barolo di Serralunga comes from younger vines planted in Cerretta and Baudana. It is more forward than either of the two 'crus' but retains the wonderful intensity of these vineyards. Drinking this wine, says Giuseppe Vajra, "is like walking you through this legendary hill of Serralunga d'Alba". The Baudana ("the forgotten cru" is what the Vajras call this vineyard) ripens earlier than Cerretta. It is a bit further north but lower in altitude, so the grapes are picked about a week earlier. Elegant and intense, it is accessible now but has the ability to age that marks out the best wines from Serralunga. Cerretta is similarly impressive - but even more so! It is one of the great historic vineyards of Barolo, and one taste of this wine shows why. It combines the power and structure derived from the old Helvetian soils (14 million years old) of Serralunga with an elegance and sweetness of fruit that comes from the poor soils and an altitude of over 300 metres above sea level. These are world class wines from one of the greatest wine producing regions in the world..