Luigi Ferrando

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Luigi Ferrando has long been the leading producer of wines from the Canavese region where his family’s winemaking tradition goes back to 1900. Like many of our producers, he has strong ties to his local region. His attachment and commitment run deep, and have led him to collaborate with other wine growers and academics. Together, they are responsible for discovering and preserving local grape varieties and traditions that might otherwise have been lost. Luigi’s sons, Roberto and Andrea, now work with him on the estate (Roberto) and in the family’s vinoteca (Andrea) located in the heart of the city of Ivrea, the commercial hub of the Canavese region. Thus, the continuation of the Ferrando tradition has been enabled.

Technically speaking, the Canavese is part of Piedmont. Its location at the frontier of the Valle d’Aosta, the very edge of Piedmont, an area renowned for its steeply terraced vineyards, imparts a distinctive quality to the wines. The Ferrandos painstakingly cultivate their Nebbiolo vineyards on the mountainside terroir of Carema, in an amphitheater that sits in the very shadows of Monte Bianco. The resulting wine is very different than its more famous cousins from Barolo or Barbaresco and is sought after by connoisseurs for its finesse, complexity, and longevity. Their other vineyard holdings are lower in altitude, on the plains and hills of the Canavese region, in and around the village of Caluso, approximately 45 minutes north of Torino. Here, they work with interesting local grape varieties and are particularly known for their Erbaluce di Caluso. The Erbaluce grape is an ancient white variety that originates, and can only be found, in the alpine foothills of this northwestern corner of Piedmont. It has a bright acidity, an elegant underlying minerality, and a complex structure that makes it the ultimate flexible wine: producing everything from sparkling wine, through bone-dry, off-dry, and late harvest wines.

The Ferrando wines were the very first wines we imported to the United States back in January 1980. This was at a time when Carema and Erbaluce were unknown to almost anyone who did not live within 50 kilometers of Torino. It has been our particular pleasure and satisfaction to see the growing respect for these exceptional wines within the American market, further proof of the compelling, almost mystical aura that is at the core of the series of wines produced by the Ferrando family.

Ferrando-Brut-La-Torazza Erbaluce di Caluso Spumante Brut: A unique sparkling wine made from Erbaluce and aged in bottle for 18 to 36 months, all in the Champagne tradition. The soil underlying the Erbaluce vineyards was formed millions of years ago during the ice age and is essentially a glacial moraine of stone and silt. Approximately 2000 bottles of this hand-crafted spumante are produced annually.
Erbaluce di Caluso La Torrazza:  A fresh, dry, mineral-driven wine
Erbaluce di Caluso Cascina Cariola: This special cuvée is produced from the single-vineyard “cru” site of Cascina Cariola situated in the village of Piverone. For ultimate ripeness, harvest frequently takes place in the first days of October. Fermentation is at controlled temperatures in stainless steel cuves. The wine, approximately 6,000 bottles annually, is bottled 9 to 12 months after harvest and is released after several months of additional aging in bottle. The US market receives 2400 bottles per annum.
Ferrando-Castello-di-Lorenze Canavese Bianco Castello Loranze: A very limited production wine that is dedicated almost exclusively for the US market ; from a single vineyard that lies just outside of the delimited zone of « Erbaluce di Caluso », thus the appellation of « Canavese Bianco » ; again, a wine produced exclusively from the Erbaluce grape, vinified in stainless steel with a more reserved character, less full bodied than the single vineyard Cascina Cariola but quite elegant and delicate with a singing minerality to the finish. 600 bottles are shipped annually to the USA.
 Ferrando-Canavese-Rosso-La-Torazza Canavese Rosso La Torrazza: Produced predominantly from Nebbiolo with roughly 30% Barbera and a touch of a local variety known as “Neretta” (the “little black”), this lovely red wine, vinified in stainless steel and bottled 12 to 15 months after harvest, is full of wild berries (notably strawberry and raspberry), spice and a touch of warm earthiness. The tannins are delicate and fine which enables this wine to be consumed with pleasure in its youth. As always with Nebbiolo-based wines, harvest occurs usually in the early to mid parts of October. Approximately 8000 bottles of this wine are produced annually and a major portion of the production is shipped under our care for sale in the US market.
ferrandolabel2 Carema Etichetta Bianca: If there is any wine that defines the Ferrando “oeuvre” it is this one: the white label Carema. No single wine in our portfolio is more illustrative of our work than this brilliant rendition of Nebbiolo. Produced exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape planted in a series of vineyards that sit beneath Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) in a broad amphitheatre with full southern exposure overlooking the river, Dora Baltea, that runs from the snow-capped mountains south through the Valle d’Aosta into the northwestern range of Piedmont slicing the city of Ivrea in half. The vines are trained in a special way on pergola (known as “tupin” in local dialect) to obtain maximum exposure to the sun in this high altitude district and are planted to soils that are dominated by slate. The appellation of Carema is extremely small: only 16 hectares (approximately 40 acres) are planted to the vine. The Ferrando family controls 2.5 hectares of the appellation. The Nebbiolo grapes are harvested normally during the second half of October; then, they undergo a cuvaison of approximately two weeks in stainless steel before being racked into a mixture of large and small barrels for an extensive aging period of 30 to 36 months before being bottled (without filtration). By law, the Carema cannot be released before four years of aging. Production of the Carema “Etichetta Bianca” is approximately 7200 bottles per annum, two-thirds of which (4800 bottles) comes to the States. A small quantity of magnums is bottled each year at our request as well. The Carema of Ferrando reveals the most elegant and delicate and complex characteristics of the Nebbiolo grape with a surprising capacity to age. We have witnessed this wine at thirty-plus years of age displaying vibrant, seductive qualities that are simply astonishing.
ferrandolabel3 Carema Etichetta Nera: This exceptional and rare wine is produced only in the finest vintages. It comes from a special selection of grapes harvested from several particularly well-placed parcels within the appellation (frequently from the Silanc and Siei vineyard sites). Aged for at least three years prior to bottling, the “elevage” is done primarily in small barrels, only a small percentage of which are new. One hundred of the three hundred cases produced are dedicated to the US market, augmented by a small amount of magnums.
Solativo Erbaluce Vendemmia Tardiva: A late harvest wine made from Erbaluce grapes grown in the Canavese district. The grapes are left to “raisin” on the vine with harvest usually occurring in the last days of December. The grapes are then pressed and fermented and aged in small oak barrels a la Sauternes for approximately ten months prior to bottling. The wine is marked by aromas and flavors of ripe citrus and honey and is a splendid accompaniment to many of the cheeses of the high mountain regions of Piedmont and the Valle d’Aosta. Approximately 2000 half bottles are produced annually.
Ferrando-Passito Caluso Passito Cascina Cariola: This fabled wine is the traditional late harvest wine of the region and is sourced from the Cascina Cariola vineyard in the village of Piverone. Harvest occurs in late September at which point the grapes are left on racks to dry for five months before being pressed gently during the month of March following the year of harvest. The juice is then fermented in barrique and aged for an additional two years in small barrel followed by two years of bottle aging prior to release. The wine, we assure you, will age to perfection over an eternity! Approximately 2000 half bottles are produced annually. The Caluso Passito “Cascina Cariola” is a wonderful companion to dried fruits and aromatic, flavorful cheeses and is a classic “vino da meditazione”.
Ferrando-Grappa-di-Carema-FrFerrando-Grappa-Erbaluce-di-Caluso Grappa di Carema and Grappa di Erbaluce: We import from time-to-time small amounts of two grappas distilled from the must and grapes of the Nebbiolo and Erbaluce grapes used by the Ferrando family to produce their exceptional range of wines. The Grappas are clear, smooth and elegant … the perfect digestifs.
Download Ferrando Tech Sheet
Domaine NameFerrando Azienda Vitivinicola
Family/Owners NameFerrando
How many years has the family owned the domaine?Since 1890
How many hectares of vines are leased?1
How many hectares of vines are owned?3
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? No, currently we don't have any certifications. As far as Carema is concerned, we are studying the possibility to go completely bio, since we are almost bio already.
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).To manage the vineyard, we use copper and sulphur. Usually, there are two or three systemic treatments.
Do you do field work and harvest manually? By machine? By horse?Grapes are harvested by hand. In August, we choose what bunches to keep (thinning)
Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning? How do you fertilize?As fertilizers for Carema, we use manure and mineral compost. For Erbaluce,mineral compost.
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso?For Erbaluce and the Canavezase red we buy grapes, and some grapes for Nebbiolo di Carema.
Wine #1
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationCarema
Cepage/UvaggioNebbiolo
% Alcohol by volume0.14
# of bottles produced4800
Grams of Residual Sugar0
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/ name(s) and locationsTerrazze a Carema
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth/West terracing
Soil Types(s)Morainic, mineral-rich soil (60% sandy)
Average vine age (per vineyard)50 years old
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)1,800 plants per hectare
Approximate harvest date(s)In the second half of October. 2012 was a great year, with good temperatures in the Summer and not too much rain. Vines had a very good phenological phase. Compared to previous years, 2012 produced less wine, because of some strong precipitation and winds in the blossoming phase, which affected the production but not the final quality of the grapes.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %The bunches are destalked
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeFermentation in 20-hectoliter steel vats
Duration of contact with leesApproximately 15/20 days
Lieviti selezionati o ambientali?Local yeasts
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationA pied de cuve is prepared, generally one week before harvesting. The bunches are then destalked and we add local yeasts that have started multiplying. During the fermentation, the must is pumped over three times daily and delestage (rack and return) is done twice. At the end of the fermentation, racking is done and pumace is pressed very gently. Wine is kept in steel vats where the malolactic fermentation takes place. Around December/January, wine is decanted and then aged in wood barrel.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)The white label wine ages in 5- and 20-hectoliter barrels. The black label wine ages in barriques that are not new.
Duration of elevage36 months for both
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeOnly a very light filtration before wine is bottled
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?We usually use sulphites during vinification and ageing. The total sulphur dioxide residue never exceeds 100 milligrams per liter. I am very happy with this vintage. It's a warm wine, with a good structure, long but also very sophisticated and elegant, as these nebbioli generally are. I would call this wine a good expression of Carema.
Wine #2
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationErbaluce di Caluso “Cariola”
Cepage/UvaggioErbaluce
% Alcohol by volume12,5
# of bottles produced8000
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/ name(s) and locationsDry white wine obtained from Erbaluce grapes in the town of Borgomasino
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth / Southwest
Soil Types(s)Morainic soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)35 years old
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)1,800 plants per hectare
Approximate harvest date(s)In the second half of September. 2015 was a very warm year and in August the vines suffered from some drought. The final quality was good.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %Grapes are destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and size90% of the fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats, 10% in barriques.
Duration of contact with lees1 month
Select or indigenous yeast?Cultured yeasts
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationThe bunches are destemmed, grapes are gently crushed, the must is fined and left to ferment in stainlees steel vats (10% in barriques). The wine in barriques is never decanted, lees are stirred once a week. After approximately three months, it is mixed to the rest that has fermented in steel.
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeWine is filtered before bottling.
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes, sulphites are added during the vinification process. The final content does not exceed 100 milligrams per liter. The bouquet includes floral aromas, notes of fresh fruit hints of vegetables, green apple and herbs. The flavor is fresh, good on the palate, thanks to the alcohol content. It is not an overbearing wine and it is balanced and medium-bodied.
Wine #3SPUMANTE - Cuvè e Luigi Ferrando
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationVino Spumante di Qualità. Cuvè e Luigi Ferrando
Cepage/UvaggioErbaluce
% Alcohol by volume0.125
# of bottles produced3600
Grams of Residual Sugar4 grams per liter
Vineyard/ name(s) and locationsLa Torrazza vineyard in the town of Borgomasino
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth/Southwest Hill
Soil Types(s)Morainic soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)35 years old
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)1,800 plants per hectare
Approximate harvest date(s)In the second half of September
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
Is preparation done in-house or outsourced? Generally, we harvest grapes for the Spumante 1 week before the regular harvest. The good, natural acidity of Erbaluce is well suited for this type of vinification. 75% of the 2001 vintage fermented in steel vats, 25% in barriques.
What is the dosage?In March of the following year, the wine developed its effervescence and then it remained in contact with the yeasts for 48 months.
Vinification in method champenoise or charmat?4 grams of sugar per liter (basically dry).
Wine #4
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationCaluso Passito
Cepage/UvaggioErbaluce
% Alcohol by volume0.145
Grams of Residual Sugar170 grams per liter
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/ name(s) and locationsLa Torrazza vineyard in the town of Borgomasino
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth/Southwest Hill
Soil Types(s)Morainic soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)35 years old
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)1,800 plants per hectare
Approximate harvest date(s)In the second half of September
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %Grapes are not destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeFermentation in barriques
Duration of contact with lees6 months
Select or indigenous yeast?Cultured yeasts
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationGrapes are harvested around mid-September and placed in small crates, so that the bunches are next to one another. In early March, after drying for approximately five months, the grapes are selected and slowly crushed. The resulting must ferments in barriques. Wine is aged for four years, at least two of them in barriques..
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)In barriques for at least two years, then either in steel vats or in bottles for a minimum total of 4 years.
Duration of elevageAt least 4 years
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketAt least 12 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeLight filtration before bottling
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes, sulphites are added during the vinification process. The final content does not exceed 120 milligrams per liter. Yellow with distinctive gold tints. The bouquet includes notes of ripe fruit, honey, jam, apricot and sweet flowers; lingering notes with toasted aromas. Soft and balanced flavor, with a good structure, with vanilla and toasted fruit finish.
Wine #5
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationErbaluce di Caluso. La Torrazza
Cepage/UvaggioErbaluce
% Alcohol by volume12.5
# of bottles produced20000
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/ name(s) and locationsLa Torrazza vineyard in the town of Borgomasino
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth/Southwest Hill
Soil Types(s)Morainic soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)35 years old
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)1,800 plants per hectare
Approximate harvest date(s)In the second half of September. 2015 was a very warm year and in August the vines suffered some drought. The final quality was good.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %Destalked
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeFermentation in steel vats
Duration of contact with lees15 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Cultured yeasts
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationGrapes are destalked, the must is fined and left to ferment in steel vats at controlled temperatures. Wine is not filtered until the bottling phase. There is no malolactic fermentation.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Approximately six months in steel vats.
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market12 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeBefore bottling, wine is filtered with narrow filters. Yes, sulphites are added during the vinification process.
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?The final content does not exceed 100 milligrams per liter. Bright, straw-yellow color. The bouquet includes light floral notes and white flower aromas. Fresh flavor characterized by mineral salts and a good level of acidity.

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