Francesco Versio is the son of a teacher from the Albesani hamlet just outside Neive village. He trained at Bruno Giacosa, becoming the winemaker there in his early 30’s, and has also made wine for Luigi Oddero. Francesco’s grandfather rented out his two small Neive plots until 2012, when Francesco began to make his own wine. The first bottling was just 20 hectoliters, which he sold to buy a steel tank and a Stockinger botte grande.
Both of the family plots face southwest, overlooking Barbaresco village. The plot in San Cristoforo cru (.45 hectare) was planted in 1969. Its elevation is higher than the .3 hectare plot in Currà, and its soil is more calcareous, making for a fresh wine with a powerful structure. The Currà plot contains more sand, leading to a softer elegance in the wine. In 2014, Francesco focused for a few years on San Cristoforo so that he could re-plant the Currà, using Nebbiolo clones Lampia (60%), Michet (30%), and Picotener (10%). In recent years, Francesco has introduced wine from a vineyard in Starderi, a calcareous zone in western Neive with warm sun modulated by the proximity of the river Tanaro.
In addition to Francesco’s classic and brilliant Barbaresco from these interesting and sought-after crus, he has also produced, since 2017, a terrifically fresh Dogliani. To Francesco, Dolcetto should be as fresh as possible, a wine that is easy to understand, in honor of the fruit and also the history of Dolcetto as a wine on the family table on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Latest wine scores in International Magazines:
2019 Dogliani - 90 Wine & Spirits
2017 Barbaresco - 95 Wine Enthusiast, 92 Wine & Spirits
Dolcetto Dogliani DOCG