The region of Boca is a jewel in the cap of the Alto Piedmonte, a region that is quickly gaining in popularity throughout the world for high-quality, age-worthy wines. The soils are completely unique because of the combination of glacial and volcanic elements. Surrounded by forest at high elevation, the vineyards are within the UNESCO Geopark - Sesia Val Grande - and cultivated organically.
The DOC is represented by less than 15 hectares of vines, a fraction of its former glory leading up to the depression and industrialization following World War II. In the first half of the 20th century there were an estimated 4,000 hectares (over 10,000 acres) under vine around the region of Boca. By the year 1995, there was less than 10 hectares (25 acres). The blend for Boca requires a majority of at least 70% Nebbiolo with the remainder being comprised of Vespolina and Uva Rara. The Duella family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Boca region for four generations. Like many people in the region during the last half of the 20th century, Renzo’s father, Guido, sold off much of the family’s land. In 2008, Renzo decided to use the remaining family vineyards and start Poderi Garona.
The name ‘Wine of Popes’ refers to the affection Pope Giuseppe Sarto had for these wines after discovering them in 1900, just before he was elected Pope in 1903. The secret is out about these dynamic wines being produced from Boca and other Alto Piedmonte regions. It is only recently that these wines have been made available to the American wine-lover. It’s a great time to be drinking wine!
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