They are based in Alto Piedmont, which is further north than famous areas such as Barolo and Barbaresco, and higher in altitude. If you picture classic pretty Italian villages, high up on mountainous hills, covered in terraces of vines, with a few odd buildings, and of course a trattoria, then this is the Alto Piedmont!
This region is all about the Nebbiolo grape. This is a grape variety which can be quite tough, and hard to penetrate. But in the right hands, for example the Vallana family, the wines made are wonderfully floral, fruit laden and elegant. They are also much better value than some of the more famous names in this region, and can equal the quality, and are wines which will certainly age gracefully over ten plus years.
It's great having a wine called Spanna! This is the wine which tempts you in, it is firm, but the tannins are soft and fruit is juicy, it isn't over powered by oak. This part of the world is one of the most historic for Nebbiolo grapes, and in this region it is known as Spanna.
Boca, which we also have from Vallana, is like a Champions League version of Spanna. It is considered to be the best vineyard area in this part of the world. The wine is aged longer in oak, it is pale garnet in colour and has violet and rose petal aromas, with red fruits and a savoury quality. The wine has plenty of grip, but is also fresh and lively. It's a classy wine indeed.
These are traditional wines made with love, there are no fanfares or big bright lights, just quiet honesty and quality.