To wander through the caves at Giuseppe Contratto's masterpiece of a winery in Canelli is to shake the living hand of almost 150 years of tradition of Italian sparkling wine. The very first bottles of Italian method champenoise were made here, as was the very first vintage dated Italian method champenoise-- Metodo Classico Extra Brut in 1919. The underground cellars, dug out manually when the winery was founded in 1867, took ten years to complete, and are more than 100 feet underground. They are far more impressive than anything in Italy, and rival the most spectacular in Champagne. They are, in fact, slated to become a UNESCO World Heritage site in the summer of 2012. At one time, wine was leaving from these cellars to destinations all over the world. Contratto was supplier not only to the Vatican, but also to the House of Savoy (the Italian Royal Family), as well as to the British monarchy. Contratto was shipped across the world as the beverage of choice for the ambassadors and colonial governors of the British Empire. Within Italy, the name Contratto itself is inextricable from the history of "bollicine"--the estate was for a long time the number one producer, predating the arrival of Franciacorta by 90 years.
In 1993, after 126 years in the hands of the Contratto family and somewhat in decline, the winery was sold to the Bocchino family, who own a local grappa distillery in Canelli. Carlo Bocchino and his family undertook an extensive restoration of the property, but found it difficult to manage both the distillery and the "bollicine" business. In 2007 he sought help. Carlo Petrini, president and founder of the Slow Food movement suggested that Bocchino meet Giorgio Rivetti, a long-time lover of sparkling wines and importer to Italy of some of the finest Champagnes (many of which Michael Skurnik Wines also carries: Aubry, Gaston-Chiquet, Egly-Ouriet). Giorgio came on as a secret consultant, but became so enamored with the project that in 2009 he and his brothers decided to buy Contratto from the Bocchino family. Negotiations finished in 2011 and as the new owner of the Contratto winery, Giorgio is now launching the first wines he made in the 2007 vintage.
Contrary to most other sparkling wines in Italy, the focus at Contratto is on Pinot Noir. All wines are a minimum of 80% Pinot Noir with the balance as Chardonnay. The grapes come from the Oltrepo Pavese in Lombardia on the border with Piedmont. Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have a long history here: they have been cultivated in this area for over 100 years. Though Contratto does not own the vineyards, they work closely with their growers to ensure the best quality. The vines are approximately 40 years old, and are at the high elevation of 400-500 meters above sea level along the spine of the Apennine mountains. In the long term, Spinetta is planning on investing in their own vineyards in the Alta Langa area of Piedmont to prove that Northern Italy has the soil and climate to make "bollicine" to rival the best made in the world. The labels are the original design of Leonetto Cappiello, considered one of the fathers of belle époque poster-advertisements.
Searched for: brand: contratto
- 1 bottle
- $59.94 / ea
Do you agree?
When shopping for grocery items, we want to make sure you know that Empire Wine & Spirits, LLC dba Empire Wine & Liquor and Empire Edibles, LLC (dba Empire Too) are separate businesses.
Wine & Liquor are sold through Empire Wine & Liquor and Grocery items and Beer are sold through Empire Too.
In order to accept a transaction containing items from both businesses, there will be a separate charge originating from each respective business.
One delivery will be made and only charge a single delivery fee. Final rates will be calculated in the shopping cart. Gift cards sold by Empire Wine & Liquor CAN NOT be used on items sold by Empire Too.
Each coupon only applies to the above specified qualifying item.
How to redeem the coupon:
- Add the coupon to your shopping cart by clicking the apply coupon checkbox. Each coupon is only valid for a limited time or while stocks last. Once you have applied a coupon, the date by which you must redeem it (the "Expiry Date") will be displayed on the coupon. You will usually have until 11:59pm on the expiration date to redeem the coupon. Quantities are limited and collected coupon may expire before the expiration date.
- Add a Qualifying Item to your shopping cart by clicking the "Add to Cart" button.
- When you're done shopping, click the "Proceed to Checkout" button and place your order for the Qualifying Item.
- The coupon discount will be automatically applied at checkout, reducing the price of the Qualifying Item accordingly. If the discount has been applied successfully, it will appear on the final Checkout page.
Terms and Conditions:
- Empire Wine & Liquor, LLC reserves the right to modify or cancel any coupon at any time.
- Each coupon may only be used at www.empirewine.com for the purchase of Qualifying Items.
- Each coupon collected can only be used once. Customers may be able to collect some coupons more than once, however, customers may not collect and use a coupon more than 10 times and may not use more than one of the same coupon in a single order.If you return any Qualifying Item(s) purchased with a coupon, the coupon discount or value will be subtracted from the refund you receive.
- Offers valid in each case while stocks last.
- Coupons have no cash redemption value and are not transferable or assignable.
- Coupons must not be used in conjunction with any other promotional discounts.