Rocche Costamagna

Piedmont, Italy

On May 15, 1841 the police office of the royal Military Command in Alba granted Luigi Costamagna, son of the estate's founder Francesco Antonio Costamagna, an official licence ?to retail the wine produced from his own vineyards? in La Morra.
In 1911, Francesco Costamagna and his son Riccardo were awarded a gold medal at the ?Gran Premio dell?Esposizione Internazionale di Torino? for fifty years of winemaking.

When Francesco died, his son Riccardo, an attorney, continued to manage the winery with the help of his wife Maddalena. When he died in the 1930s, Riccardo's wife decided to sell the vineyards located outside La Morra. Wine was produced only for the family's own consumption and some grapes were sold to other winemakers.

In the late 1960s, Maddalena's niece, Claudia Ferraresi, together with her husband Giorgio Locatelli, restarted the commercial winemaking activity, planted new vineyards and modernised the old winery.

Since the mid 1980s their son Alessandro Locatelli has been managing the winery with the help of agronomist Gian Piero Romana and enologist Giuseppe Caviola.

Alessandro has improved the vineyards and wine-making techniques, he has been developing customer sales all over the world, and so carrying on the family tradition with passion and drawing on the wealth of experience gathered by the family.

Located right at the centre of a geological zone called Bacino Terziario Piermontese, the Langhe hills still keep their original shape which was formed 35 million years ago.
During the Miocene period layers of sand, marls and clay made up a sediment in the sea, which was slowly but steadily sinking.

Some millions of years later, during the Pliocene, when the sea receded, those layers of land emerged and have been gradually shaped by climatic events since then.
The finest of those sediments formed the thick layers of bluish marls called ?tufi?, where fossils are still to be found today.
The sandy layers of silt were formed by undersea movements sucking back a mass of material from the coastline.

The soil is thus made up of a deep Miocene layer of calcareous marls. The percentages of clay, silt and sand vary from place to place, depending on the sedimentation which has taken place over time.

In La Morra the soil is made up of about 20-40% sand and about 35-55% silt.
Clay, which is the finest of the three, is usually about 20-25% throughout the whole area called Langhe. Given its origin, the pH of the soil is alkaline (usually over 8).