Roagna, an icon of Barbaresco

Luca Roagna is one of the most loyal ambassadors of his region, Piedmont. The finesse and freshness of his wines, as well as his aversion to overly oaked maturation, have made this estate at once unmissable and very hard to come by… Welcome to the “Burgundy” of Italian wines!

The finesse of Barolo and Barbaresco

Split between the production of Barbarescos and Barolos, the Langhe region produces the “Burgundian wine” of Italy. The wines crafted here possess a remarkable delicacy and great ageing potential. In this striking landscape of undulating hills, on which lies a patchwork of microterroirs, Nebbiolo is king.

The Roagna family is in charge of this historic estate located in the village of Barbaresco (Piedmont) which has been producing dry wine since 1880, when the region was home to liquor makers of the north of Italy. Thanks to an extension in 1989, the property produces Barbarescos as well as Barolos in the town of Alba, known for its wine fairs and white truffles.

After having studied oenology, Luca Roagna took over the running of the estate from his father Alfredo in the early 2000s, becoming the fidth generation of the family to do so. He vinified his first vintage in 2001. The domain’s ‘manifesto’ eloquently expresses this young winemaker’s philosophy, who is intimately connected to his land and now known as a true ‘signore’ in the Langhe region.

Roagna vines

Roagna’s manifesto

#01 Old vines located in historic vineyards

#02 Massale Selection – No Clones – Single Vineyard Wines

#03 Biodiversity: No herbicides, no pesticides, no fertilizers

#04 Harvest the grapes when they’re ripe

#05 Wild yeast fermentation and starter

#06 Long ageing in large oak casks

#07 Bottling using a little sulphur and no filtration

#08 Long maceration using a submerged cap

#09 An artisan approach

#10 Purity on the palate with hints of the terroir

Vats in Roagna's cellar

The work of Luca Roagna

Here is thus a man who is searching for the authenticity of his terroir. He farms his vines organically without, however, trying to gain certification. Roagna’s vines contrast sharply with neighbouring vineyards: grass growing between rows is actively encouraged and almost anarchic, there is the price for the natural balance that Luca seeks to retain in his vineyard. Nebbiolo finds its best expression here, with its great acidity and ageing potential.

Today, the domain is spread over 15 hectares and produces around 60,000 bottles… which are then sent directly for export to the USA, the UK, Scandinavia… It should be said that Luca Roagna has made a name for himself which has contributed to the prestige of his wines. Finesse and delicacy are a recurring theme in his wines that undergo long maceration and maturation in wooden vats for a minimum of 4 to 5 years and up to 10 years for the Rivervas and the Crichët Pajé. The wines are only bottled when they “reveal the soul of their terroir”, in the words of Luca Roagna.

Roagna in the vineyards

Wines from domain Roagna currently for sale

The reds

Barbaresco Riserva Crichët Pajé

This prestigious cuvée’s name comes from Piedmontese dialect, in which “Crichet” means “the top of the little hill”. The youngest vines in the parcel are 60 years old, and the wine is matured in oak barrels for as many as ten years. Luca Roagna’s efforts are rewarded: the terroir lends a lovely velvety texture to this Barbaresco, with floral aromas and great aromatic length.

Barbaresco DOCG Pajé Vecchie Viti (old vines)

This Barbaresco made from old vines comes from a unique terroir of only 1.83 hectares. The vines are a minimum of 50 years old, and production is limited to a few thousand bottles per vintage. Each wine is numbered; an exceptional wine.

Barbaresco DOCG Pajé

This parcel is rich in limestone and has a microclimate thanks to its proximity to the Tanaro river which tempers the harsh winters and hot summers. Luca Roagna selects the grapes by hand, in order to preserve the purity of the fruit, and the wine is then matured for 5 years in oak barrels.

Barolo Roagna DOCG La Pira Vecchie Viti (old vines)

The La Pira vineyard is located in the village of Castiglione Falletto and was once owned by local nobility, who owned a private road which connected their vines to their château. For this cuvée, the grapes macerate for two months, allowing for very gentle extraction.

Barbaresco Asili DOCG Vecchie Viti (old vines)

The Asili parcel (0.22 hectares) is characterised by its sandy soils, on which old Nebbiolo plants grow, lending structure and character to the Barbaresco. The wine is matured for 4 to 6 years in French and Slovenian barrels, but the original aroma and delicacy of Nebbiolo is retained.

Barolo DOCG La Pira Riserva: From the historic Castiglione Falletto vineyard, this wine is aged for a particularly long time, around a decade, before being released.

Barolo DOCG Albesani: Crafted from vineyards in Neive, Albesani hold historical significance in the region. The family has been working in this vineyard since 2014.

Dolcetto d’Alba DOC: From old Dolcetto vines that are more than 50 years old, this wine is a a delicious introduction into the world of Roagna.

Barbera d’Alba DOC: From old Barbera vines (some of which date back to 1930), this wine ages for around five years in wooden and cement vats.

The whites

Langhe Bianco DOC: A blend mainly made from Chardonnay (planted in the 1980s), rounded off with some Nebbiolo. A small number of bottles are made each year – between 5000 to 6000.

Langhe DOC Solea: A superb Langhe aged in oak barrels for two years.

Vino de Tavola Montemarzino: This white wine is produced using the local grape variety of Timorasso and has exellent ageing potenial.

See Roagna wines for sale on iDealwine