Former Vietti Owners Unveil New Project in Serralunga

By | 20 March 2024

Early in the previous year, Elena Penna and Luca Currado took advantage of a chance to acquire the historic Cascina Lazzarito, nestled atop of the Lazzarito cru at the gateway to the village of Serralunga d’Alba. The farmhouse, built in 1554 and originally named Santa Giulia, was previously under the ownership of Marchesi Falletti before being handed over to the Opera Pia Barolo, a philanthropic organization.

The location of Cascina Lazzarito offers panoramic views of the Barolo region. Penna refers to it as ‘A magical site where we can embark on our new family journey.’ Immediate restoration of the site was initiated in compliance with UNESCO’s strict regulations.

Regarding the vineyards, the family has managed to assemble around 20 hectares. The rental of 13 adjoining hectares in the San Sebastiano hamlet was made possible through a 20-year friendship with the previous owners of the estate. Although it is situated outside the Barolo zone, it is within the Monforte d’Alba township.

Penna characterizes its location as strategic, in particular in relation to climate change. The vineyards face the mountains and are moderated by cool breezes. The estate also features woodland areas and a small natural lake, which will come in handy in dry vintages when emergency watering is allowed. ‘This site holds everything we need for the future,’ she affirmed.

The initial wines to bear the Cascina Penna-Currado label are largely drawn from the 2023 vintage, due for release later this year. The range includes a Langhe Nebbiolo and Dolcetto d’Alba from the San Sebastiano property, as well as a Timorasso produced from a leased 2.5-hectare plot in the Colli Tortonesi.

The Barbera d’Alba and Nebbiolo d’Alba of 2023 vintages will be available in 2025, with the Barolos from the same vintage set for release in 2027. The latter has been made possible via several secured, long-term rental contracts spanning 20 to 25 years and covering a total of five hectares, by Penna and Currado.

‘Every aspect of the vineyard is within our control,’ stated Penna. The standout offering from the estate will be its ‘classic’ Barolo, which blends plots from the Verduno, Barolo and Monforte d’Alba villages. This will be complemented by two Barolo MGA bottlings. Not revealing specific details, Penna simply shared that they’re highly valued within the denomination. ‘We are immensely proud of the accomplishments achieved in a relatively short time,’ she said.

Post the sale of Vietti to American entrepreneur Kyle Krause in July 2016, the couple’s non-competition contract ended in 2019. Nonetheless, they managed the property until January 2023. The duo waited until their departure before commencing work on Cascina Penna-Currado.

At present, the total production is expected to reach around 70,000 bottles. Penna remarked, ‘We aimed for a project that we could oversee as a family.’

Despite the fact that Michele and Giulia, the couple’s children, are already participating, they are both still attending university. After they finish their respective studies and internships at different estates, they intend to join their parents on a full-time basis.

Penna emphasizes that this is a fresh venture with room for growth. ‘Considering we are in our mid-fifties, we still harbor a lot of ambition,’ she stated.

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