Forti del Vento (“strengthened by the wind”), is a name inspired by the castles of the northern part of the Monferrato region in Piedmont, and the winds that blow on the rolling hills of Castelletto D’Orba, but also by the firmness of the passion that guides Marco, Manuela and Tomaso.
Lifelong friends, they inherited what was once their grandparents’ land, vineyards, and winemaking knowledge, transforming a traditional winery into an extraordinary laboratory of biodynamic practices applied to winemaking.
Fifteen acres are organically certified, planted on hilly terrain at about 900 feet above sea level, following the level lines perpendicular to the slope of the hill, textbook exposure and the ideal stage for cultivation using ancient methods. The grass in the rows is Forti del Vento’s ally, a natural method to combat the erosive action of the rains, promote the balance of substances necessary to the soil, and increase insects and biodiversity.
Marco, Manuela and Tomaso have worked hard to restore and recover old Dolcetto vineyards, some of them with rows arranged on light terracing on which the vines grow. The other grapes grown are Barbera, Cortese, Chardonnay, Albarossa which was developed by Prof. Giovanni Dalmasso in 1938 as a crossing between Barbera and Chatus (which Dalmasso thought was a variety of Nebbiolo – Nebbiolo di Dronero); and last but not least, the Nibiö, an ancestor of the historical Dolcetto grape that was only grown in small parts of the Alessandria province and that was at risk of extinction due to its low productivity.
Just one rule in the cellar: Do not remove or add anything to the wine! Let it be the expression of the vineyard. Fermentation takes place in an old country house where Forti del Vento works with stainless steel tanks in a controlled temperature environment, as well as in amphoras to preserve the evolution of indigenous yeasts. In addition to that, there is an old underground cellar, where they keep the (used) wooden barrels for wine aging. They occasionally replace the oldest barrel in rotation to make sure that the aging wine fully reflects their “natural” winemaking philosophy.
“In our wines you find our way of being and thinking. We like to be wine growers, but also drink good wine. Our goal is to bring the taster back to everything that is behind the wine: work, respect for the place, and the vine it comes from.” – Forti del Vento
Forti Del Vento Wines (imported by Living Wine):
La Volpe, Dolcetto
La Volpe is a red wine from the Dolcetto grape that is fermented and aged in Stainless Steel tanks for about a year before being bottled. It aims at being simple and true to the fruit. Dolcetto is a part of the territory’s history, almost all the producers of the Ovada area are focused on it. Forti Del Vento’s vinification aims to respect its historical roots. They strive along the whole process to keep all its typical aspects until the very end so as the taster can rediscover the taste of the terroir.
Ottotori, Dolcetto, Ovada DOCG
The name comes from the vineyard from which this wine was born. It’s Forti Del Vento’s passionate bet on Dolcetto and its nobility. Ottotori is the result of a thorough selection of the grapes for purity and then a more refined vinification than La Volpe. The wine is aged in wooden barrels for a year and then bottled for further aging before being released.
Ventipassi means “twenty steps”. This name was inspired by the measure from the edge of the field to the first pole of the first row of vines. This red wine is Forti del Vento’s attempt to rediscover the Nibiö grape, an ancestor of the Dolcetto grape that was only grown in small parts of the Alessandria province and that was at risk of extinction. It’s a particular red wine, expressing deeply the fruit, but yet very structured and long. It’s vinification follow a very similar path as Ottotori, vinified and aged first in wooden barrels.