Established by the visionary winemaker Luigi Oddero, descendant of one of Italy’s great winemaking families, the Figli Luigi Oddero estate today reigns over 80 acres of vineyards spread over some of the mostly highly praised “crus” of Barolo. Here, the Piedmont region’s flagship variety – Nebbiolo- reigns supreme, occupying just over half the estate vineyards.
Harvested from the priceless parcels of Santa Maria di La Morra, Serralunga d’Alba and Castiglione Falletto, this magnificent grape produces its most dynamite expressions through wines that exude an ethereal bouquet of freshly picked wild berries, violet, underbrush and camphor on the nose. From the elegant iodate touches of “Specola” to the cherries, rose petals and oak spice of the “Vigna Rionda” bottling, these are wines that form part of the rich heritage of Italian winemaking, the perfect choices for gifting or to open with a special meal.
The Oddero family boasts a winemaking legacy in the Piedmont region that dates back to the late 18th century. Indeed, they were one of the first producer families to commercialize wines from this region and have contributed significantly to the reputation that these wines enjoy around the world today. Through a series of strategic acquisitions, the family amassed a holding of 173 acres, out of which 50 were dedicated to the region’s flagship grape variety, Nebbiolo. Indeed, it is an impressive feat to have maintained an estate of this size throughout the economic challenges of the early 20th century, a feat that demonstrates the family’s devotion to their land and unwavering belief in its potential. Nevertheless, in 2006, after nearly 50 years of co-managing the estate, Luigi Oddero and his brother Giacomo split the estate roughly equally between them. While Giacomo kept the historic cellar, Luigi moved his operations to the former winery of Luigi Para in Santa Maria di La Morra, barely one kilometer away.
A cultured country gentleman with a practical approach and long-term vision for his family estate, Luigi Oddero turned his attention to technological innovation, leading the Oddero estate into the modern age without ever losing sight of his family’s traditions. Following his death in 2010, his wife Lena and children Maria and Giovanni have taken over the management of the winery. In 2012, Lena hired Dante Scaglioni, a local winemaker with 25 years of experience at the legendary Bruno Giacosa estate. Dante is currently in the process of passing the torch to a promising young winemaker by the name of Francesco Versio. Together, they have converted the vineyard to organic practices, eschewing the use of chemical treatments since 2014.
The Figli Luigi Oddero estate is situated in the Langhe region of Piedmont, in northwestern Italy. Today, the estate spans 80 acres of vineyards, of which 45 are dedicated to Nebbiolo, in the prestigious appellations on Barolo and Barbaresco. The vineyards are managed with “reasoned winegrowing” methods, with sustainability at the core. Harmful chemical treatments are replaced by more environmentally friendly solutions, such as sexual confusion of pests with pheromones.
The estate’s Nebbiolo parcels are distributed over three towns of the Langhe region. In the Santa Maria di La Morra subregion of the prestigious Barolo appellation, we find the “Rive” cru, which takes the shape of a natural amphitheater. Here the grapes are planted at an average altitude of 250 meters above sea level and enjoy southeast exposure. The terroir of the La Morra subregion is characterized by sandier soils, producing wines that are softer on the palate, and exquisitely perfumed on the nose. While these wines can age nicely, they are also quite approachable in their youth.
In the Serralunga d’Alba subregion of the Barolo DOCG, the estate’s “Vigna Rionda” vineyard is considered to be one of the very best crus of Barolo. Here, the soils is rich in minerals with a high clay content, producing deep, complex wines with remarkable aging potential. The vines are planted at around 350 meters above sea level with southern exposure.
On the eastern side of Barolo, in the Castiglione Falletto is the “Rocche dei Rivera” vineyard, with southeast exposure and an average altitude of 300 meters above sea level. The Rocche Rivera vineyard, with its calcareous soils with little sand, produces a Barolo more similar in style to those of Serralunga, with a robust palate and great potential for age.
The Figli Luigi Oddero estate also produces a Barbaresco wine from Nebbiolo grown in the vineyards of Treiso, where the vines are planted at an average altitude of 350 meters above sea level with southeast exposure.
Finally, the team also cultivates Dolcetto, Barbera and Freisa in both Serralunga d’Alba and La Morra, along with grapes for a Moscato d’Asti in their vineyards in Cascina Fiori.
The Figli Luigi Oddero winery is situated near Santa Maria di La Morra and was formerly owned by a gentleman by the name of Luigi Para, who became a legendary figure in the region because of his innovative and cost-effective methods.
The winemaking is traditional in the practical sense of the word. Following a manual harvest with sorting in the vineyard, the fruit is destemmed and pressed. Fermentation is then allowed to proceed spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in cement or stainless steel vats, with maceration ranging from 15 to 25 days based on the unique characteristics of the vintage and the specific bottling. The wines are matured in a wide range of oak barrels and botti, with the Barolo cru wines spending 36 months in medium-sized French oak barrels, followed by 24 months of bottle-aging before release.
Today, the Figli Luigi Oddero portfolio includes twelve wines in total: three single-vineyard (or “cru”) Barolo DOCG wines, a blended DOCG Barolo, a cru Barbaresco DOCG, a blended Barbaresco DOCG, a Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, a Langhe Freisa DOC, a Barbera d’Alba DOC, a Dolcetto d’Alba DOC, a white Langhe Bianco DOC and a white Moscato d’Asti DOCG.
The Figli Luigi Oddero Barolo DOCG is a beautiful expression of Nebbiolo, with fruit taken from the finest parcels around the appellation. In the glass, this wine displays a garnet color with subtle orange reflections around the rim. The nose exudes a very pleasant bouquet of soft fruit, sweet spices, hay and licorice, while the palate is velvety smooth with great structure. This wine will age beautifully in the cellar, pairing effortlessly with game meats, as well as with both fresh and aged cheeses.
The estate’s Specola DOCG is from the Rive cru of the Barolo appellation, characterized by clayey-calcareous marl soils. This wine is truly meant for long-term aging, with a style that leans towards softness and elegance, characteristic of La Morra. On the nose, it reveals intense aromas of macerated strawberries, along with certain iodine nuances. It will pair nicely with roasted meat dishes. Meanwhile, the Barolo Vigna Rionda DOCG from Serralunga d’Alba offers a truly profound tasting experience: an ethereal bouquet of cherries, spices, licorice, wilted rose petals and undergrowth. The palate of this wonderful Barolo wine is smooth and silky, with tremendous structure and a finish that lingers long after the wine is swallowed. Pair it with your favorite mushroom-based dishes, a roasted lamb shank or your favorite aged cheeses.