Cycling Legacy Lives On In Great Wine!
4th June 2018 Paul Andrews
Vigne Marina Coppi was established in 2003 in the town of Castellania, the birthplace of Marina's father Fausto Coppi, one of the greatest cyclists of the 20th century.
Fausto was the first man ever to win the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same year!
The family has taken the traditional heritage of the area and applied a modern approach in the winery to produce wines of excellent quality concentrating on the native varieties of Timorasso, Favorita, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Croatina. Timorasso has been cultivated in this area since the middle ages and is the hallmark of this corner of Piemonte whilst Barbera has always been cultivated in the Tortonese area.
Marina Coppi is the daughter of the legendary cyclist and with her husband Giovanni works closely with son Francesco and his wife Anna, using sustainable methods in the vineyard and employing great expertise in the winery to produce their wine.
Though vines have always been planted at Castellania, a small village in south eastern Piemonte, it was only when Marina's son Francesco, along with his wife Anna, took over the property that they began bottling their own wine. They focus on the native varieties of grape; Barbera, Nebbiolo, Croatina, Freisa, Favorita and Timorasso to make wines that are vibrant and well defined.
The vineyard is only a few hectares in size and allows the family to grow and harvest directly, thus focussing on quality throughout the process.
Their wines are the result of modern, careful and respectful winemaking based on local knowledge of the peculiarities of the area. Productions is only about 25.000 bottles per year and can be called ‘artisanal’ allowing them to manage directly each step of the process and produce wines that reflect their ‘will and personality and the strength of the land.’
The human factor is the key to the philosophy of this winery and is only by understanding Francesco, a true viticulturist, that you can also understand the wines and their relationship with the market. His vineyard and ethical choices are essential to the production of high quality grapes and great wines.
His wife Anna, mother of their three daughters, has been on his side since the first harvest in 2005 and contributes to the management of the property whilst Giovanni and Marina, Francesco’s parents contribute to the workload, adding the level of wisdom and input that you only achieve with age and experience.
A great family of wines with a great story behind each one of them, the legacy of one of the greatest cyclists of the 20th century too.
Fausto - This wine of character and a great personality, an expression of the land which is dedicated to their grandfather Fausto. It is `made from Timorasso grapes and highlights the natural qualities of this rare grape variety. complex, elegant aromas, red blood in the body of a white, minerality, flavor, warmth and freshness. It can grow over the years and likes to excite those who will have a little `patience'!
Marine - This white wine is dedicated to the two Marinas in the family: Marina Coppi the grandmother and Marina Bellocchio, her grand-daughter, who was born on the eve of their first grape-harvest. It is made from Favorita grapes which are harvested late so as to attain high sugar content and a particularly intense aroma. Their structure and bouquet are highlighted by a prolonged contact with yeasts and manual batonnage. Its bouquet is fine and intense with distinctive hints of rennet apple, peaches and meadow grass. It is full on the palate, round and balanced and has traces of the sapidity of a sea breeze.
I Grop - This name comes from the local dialect and is the name given to the calcareous and fossil-rich boulders which characterise a particular area of the vineyard. This important ‘Cru’, made from Barbera grapes embodies both structure and elegance. I Grop is aged in big barriques, according to Piedmontese traditions, so that it keeps its balance between the merits of refinement and its fruity bouquet. After two years in the cellar, it gets ready to emerge but we have to wait just a while longer before imbibing in this long-living wine.
Sant’Andrea - This wine is named after the locality of Sant’Andrea in the village of Castellania. In fact, at number five via Sant’Andrea, which is close to the centre of the hamlet, you will find the Vigne Marina Coppi winery. This is predominately a Barbera with a harmoniously small percentage of Croatina. Its simplicity, the intensity of its bouquet and its pleasantness to the palate make this young red wine pleasant to drink, even when served at a low temperature.
A legacy of one of the cycling greats that lives on through the generations on the family vineyard.