The grapes that fall on the sides of the weighing cabinet; expert hands that pick them up – tired from the harvest, but ready to intervene to stack the grapes again and reduce the number of weighings; a quick passage through the crusher, in a flurry of urgency, expectation, and solidarity; the measurement of the sugar content with the mostimeter; and, at the end of the day, wooden tables full of food to refresh souls and bodies, and chorally pay homage to the tutelary gods of grapes after the ancestral rite of harvest.
We’re in Treiso, Langhe, in 1973, and the Vignaioli Elvio Pertinace Winery has just finished its first harvest. Cesare Barbero (the winery’s new director) is accompanying his father Mario (the winery’s founder and first president) to celebrate the most important event of the year and ensure that everything is proceeding smoothly.
A wine that, as the counter-label of the time states, “is not born from ancient possessions, but from the effort of man”, and which has a challenging and dutiful goal: that of redeeming the Treiso wine from the exploitation that was carried out in those years by mediators looking for easy margins.
Since then, UNESCO has recognized the wine landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato as world heritage, for the exceptional universal value of the Piedmontese cultural landscape; a recognition that has surely increased the attraction of the region’s oenological brilliance, expanding it to a broader, more global, and, above all, all-year-round tourism.
If, in the past, tourist flows in the Langhe were concentrated between the end of August and the beginning of November, with a preponderance of Swiss and German neighbors, today’s arrivals are spread throughout the year, with a significant presence of Americans, Australians, Japanese, and North Europeans; a phenomenon made possible by the recent blooming of hospitality structures and encouraged by the presence of a dozen Michelin-starred restaurants.
Pertinace, which derives its name from the Roman commander and emperor Publio Elvio Pertinace – who was born where the winery stands – has been seeing a connection to the land and its traditions that has never made compromises to styles and trends since 1973. From a technical point of view, Pertinace has developed a style of vinification and aging that has remained faithful to the large cask.
Treiso is one of the four municipalities of the Barbaresco DOCG, along with Barbaresco, Neive, and San Rocco Seno d’Elvio; a few years ago, the disciplinary introduced Additional Geographical Mentions, micro-territories to which the name of the vineyard can be added, including Castellizzano, Marcarini, and Nervo.
Today, the winery represents 20 members for 110 hectares of rows that run through the hills of the Langhe, and produces superb Barbaresco DOCG with an aging capacity of up to 40 years, as proven by some 1982 magnums preserved in the basement.
Barbaresco is a wine that must constantly deal with the other Nebbiolo expression, Barolo, which, without detracting from the so-called “King of wines,” stands out for its finesse, elegance, and great matchability.
The Nebbiolo DOC range includes Langhe and Alba variants, Dolcetto DOC and Barbera d’Alba DOC, as well as Moscato d’Asti and Barbera d’Asti DOC.
800,000 bottles, for a range that includes a large-scale distribution line and a Horeca line, for a mostly domestic destination market, but with strong opportunities in the US, Northern Europe, Korea, and Japan.
Today, Cantina Pertinace is devoted on the one hand to modernizing the production processes in accordance with Industry 4.0, integrating new technologies, improving packaging efficiency, digitizing the cellar, and ensuring product traceability; on the other hand, it is committed to maintaining and expanding its quality approach. Following its certification in 2018, the first sustainable Barbaresco (2018) was issued this year, in accordance with the SQNPI protocol (National Integrated Production Quality System).
Pertinace also dabbles with aggregation: it’s a member of The Wine Net, a group of enterprises that brings together some of Italy’s most important wine cooperatives to share commercial and internationalization strategies.
As a result, the areas in which Pertinace has decided to experiment are diverse and strategic: by no means taken for granted for a reality that has chosen and shown its commitment to tradition.
As a result, the areas in which Pertinace has decided to experiment and develop are diverse and strategic: a refreshing approach for a corporation that has chosen and proved its intention to stay firmly attached to tradition.