Grignolino, the story of a fallen noble waiting for redemption

In the past, it was one of the three “great nobles” from Piedmont, together with Barolo and Barbaresco. Then, from the end of the XIX° century, Grignolino saw a slow decline bringing it to be what it is today: a niche wine, little known out of its origin area and loved by a limited circle of aficionados.

Grignolino has an interesting story, which deserves to be told. Today it is considered just a bit more than a rosé, because of its light red colour leaning towards the bricks colour but also because, in some cases, it’s not very full-bodied. These features come from the modern wine-making, marked by a short maceration on the skins.

As we were saying, in the past things were different. After long maceration on the skins – up to 20 days – Grignolino acquired a colour and a body we have lost today. In order to “polish” the “grouchy” taste coming from the big quantity of tannin, they proceeded with a long refining into big french oak barrels, even a four years aging. The result was an elegant and velvety wine, completely different from the Grignolino we know today. Actually a “great noble” from Piedmont.

Some years ago, a small group of Monferrato wine producer, among which Maurizio Vellano, decided to fall back to produce Grignolino following the original recipe, giving new life to the so-called “Historic Grignolino”.

Today Cantina Pierino Vellano has this prestigious red wine from Monferrato in its catalog with the name “Osiri”. A name reminding the ancient Egyptian God Osiris. How can a God united to Nile and Pyramids deal with Monferrato hills? Apparently nothing. Actually, it deals with a mysterious statue found, at the beginning of the XXI° century, where the cozy Cà San Sebastiano Inn now lays. A statue with an unbelievable story, reminding Indiana Jones adventures.

A story we tell every Sunday morning, dutring the guided tours at our cellars, together with many others: where does the name Grignolino come from? Why does it well matches with “bagna caoda”?

Whoever is fond, will find answers to satisfy his own curiosity.