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Crealto is the creation of Eleonora Costa and Luigi Armanino, two Genovese whose love of traditional Piedmontese varieties led them to purchase 4.5 hectares of vineyard land from Carlo Quarello, the “master of Grignolino” in the northern part of the Monferrato. (Carlo’s wine, the Crè Marcaleone, put the Grignolino grape on the map.) Eleonora and Luigi made their first vintage in 2008.
The estate is located outside the village of Alfiano Natta, in the far north of the Monferrato zone, where there is not a monoculture of vines, and only a few like-minded young producers. The vineyard sits at 350m in elevation, and consists of 2 hectares of 60-year-old Grignolino, as well as 3 hectares of Barbera and 1.5 hectare of Nebbiolo, both of which are 20 years old. The estate is certified organic (they are practicing biodynamic, but are not certified due to costs) and all harvesting is done by hand. Winemaker Luigi Armanino uses natural yeast and extended skin contact; the use of SO2 is kept to a minimum, with small amounts added after racking. Since 2013, Crealto has declassified their wines in order to avoid the appellation’s tasting panel from interfering in their process.