Produttori di Carema is a producer of top quality Nebbiolo in Torino, located in the utmost northwestern region of Piedmont. Created in 1960, they are a small cooperative divided amongst 45 growers in this small, remote region. Each grower rarely owns more than 1 hectare, most having only ½ hectare. The D.O.C. Carema, established in 1967, sits on an incredibly mountainous swath of land bordering the Valle d’Aosta. The climate is cold and quite windy here, resulting in grapes that are slow to ripen, and wines that are light garnet in color.
The vines are planted on steep stone terraces that reflect the sun and maintain the heat of the day during the night. The vines are trained on pergola-like cross beams locally named topie, onto which the vines are tied down firmly to keep them from being broken by the strong winds. These topie also allow for maximum exposure to the sun, helping to draw out the harvest for as long as possible, thereby taming the grapes’ high acids that would otherwise overwhelm the palate. The wines are 100% Nebbiolo from the local clones nebbiolo spanna, picutener, meaning “tender stem” and pugnet, meaning “fist-like,” a reference to the compact shape of the bunches. The minimum aging requirement for these wines is 4 years, of which two years have to pass in large oak or chestnut botti.
Carema is a wine valued for its perfume and elegance, but it also has the structure and acidity to age for decades. Compared to their brethren further south and east in Barolo, the wines do not have the same power and density, but more than make up for it with their aromatic fireworks that only Nebbiolo grown in this unique terroir can show (tar, leather, damp leaves, roses).