A rustic backdrop of Roero couldn’t be more idyllic.
The two brothers of Cascina Pace, Dino and Pietro Negro, are proudly waiting for us in their natural amphitheater; a remote valley surrounded by vineyards and hugged by beautifully rounded hills, with a small pebble road that leads us to their home and winery.
Easy going, smiling, proud of their land, Dino is driving the tractor and shows us the picturesque village behind his back and starts sharing the story of Cascina Pace.
As is the case for many farming families in the area, agriculture is the main way to make a living, and the Negro family knows this very well. In 1934, Bernardino, their grandfather, bought the property. Then their father, Giovanni, kept that wonderful land alive and most recently, in 1996, Dino and Pietro took over with the desire to increase the estate production and growth.
These two brothers decided to make their own wine, focusing on the best vineyards, using just natural components, and working with mainly native varietals: Nebbiolo, Arneis, Barbera and Favorita. Today, the family winery is comprised of 22 hectares that tell a very genuine story of Roero.
We visit the vineyards, and find Dino among daffodils, green grass, and long vines, as he picks up the soil and smells the land. We now know what he is talking about: passion, strength, and hard work. Each day is a constant and definite commitment that starts in the vineyards.
It’s almost lunch time and we are starving!
Did you know that Carne Cruda di Fassona Battuta al Coltello (raw meat tartare) is specifically from these areas? It’s an exquisite symbol of Piedmont and it’s a very traditional way to open the meal. It’s a raw meat of Fassona (local beef), cut with a knife and seasoned with salt, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and lemon. A glass full of Barbera d’Alba, a few grissini, and we’re in paradise.
Arneis, Nebbiolo, Nebbiolo Rosato and Roero follow, glasses full, conversation and laughs cannot stop, and we feel very lucky to be included for a day in this family portrait. Dino, Pietro, his son Matteo, Lisa and nonna Maria.
A very welcoming postcard from the beautifully natural paradise of western Piedmont.