Fabio Gea makes wines from grapes from small plots in and around Barbaresco. He inherited the orchards from his grandfather Pòtu (diminutive for Giuseppe in dialect). At the time of his grandfather, the vineyards were still in a polyculture, and Gea's grandfather was an expert in grape varieties and a fanatic of planting different, obscure varieties, which once resulted in more than 200 grape varieties on his land. were standing.
The care and maintenance of the vineyards skipped a generation and most of the plots the grandfather worked were abandoned. Fabio, after his PhD and several years working as a successful geologist for companies, decided to leave this world and to pick up the family tradition again by bringing the vineyards back into shape. The whole venture consists of a few lines of Nebbiolo inside and outside the Barbaresco designation, as well as small patches of Dolcetto and Barbera – 0.9 hectares in total. All vineyard work is done by hand, with minimal treatments of only copper and sulphur. In the cellar, apart from experiments in 'toilet' (Gea has made his own porcelain amphorae), he uses old barrels of 440 liters and 500 liters, glass and stainless steel.
The total production is about 5000 bottles per year, spread over six or seven different cuvées. Some wines are traditional, others absolutely out-of-the-box and a little absurd, but nevertheless very pure and energetic. His Barbaresco's are examples of how Barbaresco should be (and how Barbaresco can have so much finesse even when relatively young), but a wine like DNAss shows that Gea can make absurdly fine wines with absurd techniques. Did we mention that DNAss undergoes semi-carbonic maceration in home-built oval, sandstone barrels floating in a swimming pool?