We arrived in Alto Piemonte on a light-jacket-weather spring afternoon and quickly met Andrea from Guido Platinetti (above left). He sped us up the hillside of Boca for us to take a look at his vines and those of a few of his neighbors. We were fascinated to learn that a century ago, the area was a far more significant wine production zone, with upwards of 800 hectares under vine. With the incredibly arduous task currently underway of replanting a handful of promising overgrown slopes, the total will soon be close to 20 hectares.
Before heading back to town, we stopped at the foot of the hill to meet and taste the wines of Davide Carlone (bottom right) at his cellar. Actually, our primary destination was Davide’s father’s garage, where he stores an astounding collection of close to a hundred antique motorcycles, including debut and early models from Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, et cetera. Tasting Carlone’s wines afterward from the current vintage going back a decade or so, it’s clear that he has inherited his father’s obsessive nature and transferred it to producing Boca.
Our day ended at the home and winery of Francesca Castaldi (bottom left), where we were joined by Francesca and her son Marco, Andrea, Davide, and a handful of other winemakers in the area. A large table in ine corner of the room quickly became littered with dozens of bottles of new and old vintages of nebbiolo, barbera, vespolino, et al; while an even larger table was decorated with an immoderate array of local cheeses and meats, bread, and a large pot of paniscia, the recipe for which we will soon provide…
An odd blend of Italian, French, and English conversations slowly crescendoed above the blaze of the woodstove, as our memories faded under the night.