Empson USA Conterno Fantino

Fact Sheet

[CON-TAIR-NO FAH-TEE-NO]

Location: Monforte d’Alba, Cuneo. Piedmont, Italy.

This classic Langhe winery, founded in 1982, testifies to the talent and vision of Claudio Conterno, vineyard manager and co-proprietor, and his friend and partner, Guido Fantino, who styles the wines. Conterno Fantino’s initial nucleus is the cru Ginestra: a historical one for Barolo, documented as far back as the 1800s. Today, the property comprises 64 acres under vine.

Points of Differentiation

  • 100% family owned and run.
  • The initial winery property in the Ginestra Cru dates to the 1800s
  • A Benchmark Barolo Producer
  • Environmentally conscious winemaking using solar panels, geothermal systems, and wastewater purification
  • Organically cultivated vineyards

The History

Like Claudio and Guido themselves, tradition and innovation are close friends at Conterno Fantino. French oak barriques and new wood marry Piedmont’s own, blockbuster structure, opulent, tightly knit texture, magnificent tannins and rich, layered flavors.

In 1989, Guido and Claudio acquired terrain and built a state-of-the-art new winery which was inaugurated in 1994. This location is scenically set, dominating the most ancient section of Monforte and overlooking the majestic sweep of the Alps. The subsequent years continued in the same vein: cru by cru, creating the fullest, most honest expression of individual terroirs.

The Conterno Fantino winery styles its wines with the primary goal of reflecting their own identity: from painstaking manual selection of fruit to harvest by hand using small crates; from preserving the aromas of the vineyard with spontaneous fermentation from indigenous yeasts (no commercial yeast is used here); from the careful use of wood for the ageing of the wines to the minimal use of sulfites, right up to the bottle ageing.

The newest generation has joined the winery in the form of Guido’s children. Fabio Fantino, an enologist, works side by side with his father styling the wines while Elisa handles PR and marketing.

The Terroir

Conterno Fantino’s initial nucleus is the cru Ginestra: a historical one for Barolo, documented as far back as the 1800s. In 1989, Guido and Claudio acquired terrain from the nearby area of Bricco Bastia, within the commune of Monforte d’Alba.

In 2008, Conterno Fantino renovated the winery with the goal of reducing their environmental impact. Conterno Fantino focused their efforts on making structural and technical improvements to the winery that help to conserve energy. They installed solar panels, a geothermal system and utilize a wetland specifically set up for wastewater purification.

These efforts to create environmental sustainability, preserve biodiversity, and respect for the land are the guiding principles in Conterno Fantino’s vineyards, which are organically cultivated (as certified by CCPB).