The grape used to produce the Pinot Nero Langhe DOC G.D. Vajra is extremely delicate: pick it one day early and the grapes will not be ripe enough, one day later it could already be too late. Therefore, Vajra must determine the perfect moment to harvest. There is the same need for precision during fermentation when the wine can go from being sweet to overly bitter in a heartbeat. Fermentation lasts 25 days, followed by spontaneous malolactic fermentation before the wine is transferred to oak barrels to establish its colour and soften the tannins.
The Pinot Noir grapes for this wine are grown on Bricco di Vergne, the highest vineyard on the hill that rises through the village of Barolo, its altitude making it unsuitable for Nebbiolo. Vajra has created this Piemontese tribute to one of his favourite grape varieties, Pinot Noir, which he feels is a point of reference for many producers and lovers of Nebbiolo. The vineyard was planted in 1999, covers 1.2 hectares at an altitude of 497 metres above sea level on sandy marine soils, with ancient fossilised deposits. The vineyard faces south and is planted at a density of 4,800 vines per hectare with natural turfing between the rows. The vines are mixed guyot trained.
Aldo Vaira’s wines are characterised by pristine flavours and clearly defined perfumes. These characters are attributable to the position of his vineyards at about 400 metres above sea level in the village of Vergne in the commune of Barolo. G.D. Vajra was established in 1972 and named after Aldo’s father, Giuseppe Domenico Vajra. Aldo has been gradually increasing the area under vine to 60 hectares, of which 10 are Nebbiolo for Barolo, located in such strategic spots as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. A traditionalist, Aldo adheres to old-style winemaking methods, though blends these with new techniques, such as temperature-controlled fermentation, to produce such superbly elegant wines.