Ca' is short for "Casa": home. In fact, you wouldn't take Romano Marengo's for a winery at first. From the road, the house seems to exude a quiet air of comfort and family life. It is right at the top of a Langhe hill, surrounded by an endless vista of gently sloping country; a beautiful, restful home to grow children in, or to grow old in.
Then you walk up to the villa, turn the corner to its southern façade, and you see them. Terraced Nebbiolo vines, beautifully kept. The cool, clean air around you tingles with that brisk, zesty smell of must and oak you find wherever great wines are made: the Langhe hill we stand on is called Rabajà, Barbaresco's historical cru!
Here, after three decades of selecting fine wines, Romano set up a winery of his own in 1980, styling the range himself, and taking production to a yearly average of 2,500 cases.
The vineyards' total surface is now a little over 12 acres, partly located at Barbaresco, partly at Serralunga d'Alba, in Barolo territory. In spite of the winery's steady increase in size and importance, when you speak to Signor Marengo and his family (notably son Giuseppe, an oenology graduate, and daughter Paola, in charge of p.r. and marketing), you will find that first impression of Ca' Rome' - its quiet, country-home air, made for leisure and family life - had some truth in it, after all... You feel Romano grew his children and his wines with the same sterling discipline, the same sense of excellence and impeccable standards.
Ca' Rome' is a home: home to classic red wine-making, and to the very finest quality, in life as in wines.
Learn More About Barbera
Versatility of Italy Barbara is one of those varieties of the old world that often appears on the label - Barbara d'Alba, Barbara d'Asti for example. Native to Piedmont, Barbara is a hardy grape that grows well in the chalky soils of the area. Though popular as a single varietal, Barbera also excels as a blending partner in both Italy and California.
Notable Facts Barbara is a versatile grape, once frequently used for blending because it can throw structure into a lighter wine and yet give softness to one that was overly tannic. It is now lauded as a sole variety for the same versatility. Pure Barbara wines from the Piedmont are rustic, as many Italian wines can be, but demonstrate round fruit flavors and zesty acidity that make it easy drinking upon release. The wine occasionally sees oak, and Barbara from a strong vintage and good winemaker can gain character with a few years of ageing. That said, most Barbara-based wines are ready upon release to show their bright fruit flavors, smooth tannins and structured acidity.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Northern Italy, Other Italy, Some California
Common Descriptors: black and red cherry, blackberry, spice, chocolate
Learn More About Piedmont, Italy
Piedmont is located in the Northwest area of Italy, hugging the Mediterranean coast. The regional capital, Turin, is situated smack in the middle of the province. Being close to the alps, the area enjoys a high altitude, with the best vineyards benefiting from the hills and elevation. Known for its famous sub-districts, Piedmont delivers some of the most distinctive, high-quality, ageable wine of Italy. Most popular are the DOCG districts Barolo and Barbaresco, producing Nebbiolo-based wine of the same name. Two other DOCGs of note are Gattinara and Gheme – both make wine from Nebbiolo and are typically earlier to drink but more rustic than their Barolo and Barberesco partners. City-districts in the DOC category include Alba and Asti, where wine like Dolcetto d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti is made, putting the grape name before the town.
Not just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.