History of the vineyards and the wines of Barbaresco
The village of Barbaresco in the Langhe region is the home of Azienda Agricola Musso with it’s vineyards and winery.
This small village was founded many years ago, thanks to the work of an historical family of the place, particularly tied to the life of the countryside since 1698, when the mayor was Giacomo Filippo Musso, followed, seventy years later by one of his descendants, Giuseppe Musso.
In this village dedicated to wine, the Musso winery has developed its own history, whose features are often coincided with broader events that have marked the path of the entire society .
The Musso winery was founded in 1929 and coincides with one of the most critical moments of the Italian economy and the world, the year of the “Great Depression”, that brought down myths and structures that seemed invincible. In those years it was difficult just to manage everyday life and to pool resources for survival.
Yet, Sebastiano Musso, born in 1906, did not lose heart. Even with being left alone at a young age from the untimely death of his father, he found the strength to fight back and establish a small winery in Barbaresco .
He didn’t have a lot of ground, only “3 giornata piemontese” (a little more than one hectare, 2.62 giornata equal 1 hectare) one in the locality of Cavanna and one on the hillside of Ronchi . It was small, but enough to start . While he continued the work of the family, cultivating the vineyards, he started producing his own wine.
Seguirono anni difficili, quelli della seconda guerra mondiale e dell’immediato dopoguerra.
The following years were very difficult, those of World War II and after the war. Yet he managed to survive making wine and selling it, overcoming the difficulties and distances. Year after year , the markets were enlarged. In the early sixties he understood that it would take more grapes and help in the vineyards and winery to cultivate and produce. The light of progress began to show it’s reflections in the distance.
It was in the sixties that his son Augusto, who left some time before to Turin to seek a life in the city in the mechanical sector, thought of his decision and he knew it was time to return home. He didn’t miss the city lights and knew there was a family and a winery waiting for him in Barbaresco. His future was there to look after and follow the family business.
It was the beginning of 1968, the era of big bets in agriculture, especially in viticulture and oenology: Italy had passed its wine law of origin only a few years ago and this would give more
certainty to those who produced and those who consumed, enhancing the quality of the wines.
It was in 1966 that Barbaresco, the wine to which his father Sebastiano had dedicated his life, had become a DOC wine and this recognition had created great interest for the wine.
With his return to the winery, Augusto brought the enthusiasm of youth. The winery benefited and in the following years, Sebastian and Augusto expanded their vineyards with the purchase of a plot on the hill of Pora and an entire farm in Rio Sordo.
Today, the stars are still the men and their generations . They do not contradict each other, but are in total synergy, highlighting the best capabilities of each.
First is Valter Musso, a young winemaker who joined the family winery in the mid-eighties, today is a mature man and head of the winery, overseeing the responsibilities in the vineyard and the winery to produce quality wine.
But he is not alone, there is also the next generation, his son Emanuele, who supports him with marketing the wine and his grandson, Luca Accornero, who takes care of the work in the vineyards.
At the entrance of Barbaresco, Via Domitius Cavazza 5, is still the home of the Musso Winery. Here is the cellar where the grapes are vinified, aged and when ready put in the bottle for final aging. Again here, the bottle assumes the final look, the elegant label that will accompany the wine its the way to the market .
Each step is performed in a dedicated environment, using the most appropriate containers to give the best quality to each wine: the steel tanks for vinification, wooden casks of various sizes, dedicated space in the cellar the maturation of the wine and the aging in the bottle before release.
Even the vineyards, about 10 hectares in all, are mainly in the hills of Barbaresco and planted with traditional varieties (Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and Freisa) along with the universal Chardonnay. Musso ‘s vineyards are located in four of the most prestigious crus of Barbaresco: Pora, Rio Sordo, Ronchi and Cavanna.
There remains another varietal, Arneis, cultivated in the Roero beyond the river Tanaro, in Santo Stefano Roero. The winery cultivates the vineyard in collaboration with a winemaker in the Roero.
The main star of the winery is the Nebbiolo grape with about 50% of their total vineyard area. The remainder is divided among five other varieties.
The results of the work in the vineyard and in the cellar are about 80,000 bottles of wine per year on average. Barbaresco makes up 40%, a grand red wine with structure and long aging. Three types of Barbaresco are produced: a blend from the union of grapes from different vineyards and two single crus: Pora and Rio Sordo.
Along with the Barbaresco there are four other reds and two whites: Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, a fragrant red wine that can be drunk younger.
Then, Barbera d’ Alba DOC, Dolcetto d’Alba DOC and Langhe Freisa DOC. Finally, the two white wines, Langhe Chardonnay DOC and Roero Arneis DOCG.
It’s been more than eighty years since 1929 when Sebastiano Musso decided to dedicate his life to this winery. It was not in vain. Today, the winery is solid, the vineyards space has increased in size, the winery is equipped and efficient along with a dynamic and international market and an image of quality and prestige.