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Castello di Tassarolo, Piemonte, Italy

Castello di Tassarolo
Gavi, Piedmont

Massimiliana Spinola and Henry Finzi-Constantine are the proprietors of Castello di Tassarolo, situated in the commune of Tassarolo in the heart of Gavi in Piedmont. The estate consists of 20 hectares of vineyards. The Spinola family, who has inhabited the castle in Tassarolo since 250 AD, has been producing wine since 1367. In 2006 Henry and Massimiliana began using biodynamic methods. As the current stewards of these vineyards, Massimiliana and Henry are passionate followers of all things biodynamic, but it is only with their ardent vineyard and cellar team that their dreams have become a reality. 

While Massimiliana works closely with their enologist Vincenzo to make the wines, Henry, works the vineyards. Henry has been a passionate student of Rudolf Steiner’s philosophies for over 20 years and has developed a passion for working heavy horses in the vineyards. Henry currently holds courses in the use of heavy horses within the vineyards and is developing a nationally recognized certificate for the various fields of work suitable for heavy horses. One of the estate’s prime vineyards is worked by Henry and Titouan, Henry’s four-and-a-half-year-old Comtois breed geldin. Massimiliana and Henry believe horses and animals in general complete the cycle of life of the farm. 

Biodynamic Agriculture: The practice of biodynamic principles in agriculture were first developed on the estate by an introductory course held by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, following a request by the local farmers due to the deterioration of product quality and corrosion of the soil developing at the time. In 2006 the estate began developing biodynamic methods of viticulture which in practice is based on the development of humus and the health of the vines, using green manure, compost and the use of preparations such as the dynamization of cows’ manure and silica. Biodynamics emphasizes soil quality and the resulting nutrients and forces that the plants receive, through green manure, compost and dynamized compounds that imbue the soil with life forces and insect life. They believe the healthier the soil is, the stronger the vines will be and therefore produce the best possible quality fruits. All grapes are estate grown, hand harvested, fermented with their indigenous yeast and bottled with little to no Sulphur. Certified ORGANIC by Bios. 

Soil: marley, silty-clay, with good content of organic matter 

Altitude: 300 meters above sea level    Varietals: Cortese, Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon  

Spinola Gavi DOCG 

  • stainless steel 
  • slow temperature-controlled fermentation 
  • 3333 cs made 

Il Castello Gavi DOCG 

  • complex, intense nose, bigger structure due to a later harvest and longer fermentation 
  • 2500 cs made 

Alborina Gavi DOCG 

  • the oldest Vineyard, “Vigneto Alborina” 
  • oak aged, a 15 life 
  • 500 cs made 

Titouan Gavi DOCG 

  • no sulphites added 
  • farmed by Titouan, Henry’s horse 
  • 600 cs made 

Spinola Gavi DOCG 

  • no sulphites added, organic white wine 
  • 1,666 cs made 

Sparkling Spinola Gavi DOCG 

  • no sulphites added, organic white wine 
  • 1,083 cs made

Cuvée Monferrato DOC 

  • no sulphites added 
  • 80% Barbera, 20% Cab Sauv. 
  • 1000 cs made 

Titouan Barbera DOC 

  • no sulphites added 
  • farmed by Titouan, Henry’s horse 
  • 1,200cs made