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Cascina Fontana

Cascina Fontana Barolo vineyards, winter sunset
Photograph © copyright Luisa Fontana 2005

A message to Vino from Mario

The wines of Cascina Fontana

Our primary wine partnership is based on a long-established and warm personal relationship with winemakers Mario and Luisa Fontana. Their estate, Cascina Fontana, is in Perno di Monforte, a small hamlet in the prestigious Barolo wine zone in Italy’s northwest region of Piedmont. Mario and Luisa quite simply produce a range of wines that is at once truly outstanding as well as very pure and genuine, wine made as we believe it should be, with a philosophy of minimal intervention in both vineyard and cellar.

Mario and Luisa in Topsham

We have known Mario and Luisa for many years. Marc has written extensively about their wines, as well as organised trips to the wine estate, and wine dinners and other events centred on the wines of Cascina Fontana. Mario and Luisa have visited Topsham and Exeter many times, initially to supply Nello’s Ristorante. Subsequently they have come over for numerous Ride for Life occasions and events, notably in support of the Nello Century Cycle Challenge. So many here in Topsham have already met Mario and Luisa: reintroducing their wines is therefore like reintroducing old and much-loved friends. If you haven’t yet discovered the wines of Cascina Fontana, then we assure you that you are in for a real treat!

Cascina Fontana is located in the Barolo hills of Le Langhe, south of Alba, which is itself one of the great little wine towns of the world. This is an area of rare majestic beauty, with vine-covered hills and castle-topped communities looking across to each other over steep, plunging valleys. Because in summer the risk of hail is considerable, winegrowers here have traditionally spread the risks by having patches of vineyards in various locations. This is how Mario works, with separate vineyards planted with the classic grapes of the Langhe: Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo.

We intend to represent the full list of Cascina Fontana wines on a regular on-going basis. These are wines that we ourselves never tire of drinking and we hope that you will come to love them as much as we do, indeed come to consider them as your own house wines. From easy-to-drink, fruit-driven Dolcetto, through the more well structured Barbera to the elegant and beautiful Nebbiolo d’Alba, and of course the powerful and aristocratic Barolo, this truly is a range of wines for all seasons and occasions. And as an added treat, we have a tiny amount of Mario’s delightfully fresh and grapy Moscato, low in alcohol, deliciously fragrant, a rare treat.

Save driving over and getting the wine yourself, this is as direct a link between producer and consumer as you can ever get. Mario and Luisa plan to come over regularly to host wine dinners and tastings. We furthermore envisage Vino wine tours to Alba and the Langhe (perhaps during the vendemmia – harvest – or at the time of the internationally renowned Fiera di Tartufo truffle festival.

Recently Mario has been advising Geoff about vineyard management and grape growing with the aim of helping him to improve and develop Pebblebed Vineyard. Mario and Luisa have two young sons, Edoardo and Vasco (coincidentally almost the exact same age as Geoff and Anna’s Martha and Jessie). Our exchange — of friendship, wines, travel, ideas, mutual help and the sharing of cultures — is central to our vision of what Vino is all about.

The Barolo wine zone of the Langhe is a truly wonderful area, rich in every way, and our special Vino relationship with Mario and Luisa will allow us all to get to know it far better, not just the wines, but the people, foods, and culture.

The wines of Cascina Fontana


Copyright Marc Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved
Images copyright Kim Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved

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