AND CLIMATIC FRAMEWORK
Geological substrate: SANT’AGATA FOSSIL MARL; 9 million years old (TORTONIAN STAGE).
The vineyard is situated at the heart of the Sant’Agata Marl geological formation, which differs considerably here to its typical form: the layers are thinner and more lightly-coloured, and are more similar to the marl in the area around Dogliani, not far in fact from the Ravera cru.
Soil: WHITE, MARLY, CALCAREOUS, SHALLOW, YOUNG. As always, the soil inherits the properties of the underlying formations: here we have a very low percentage of sand, with silt predominating (over 50%) and a good quantity of clay also being present. The content of calcium carbonate is fairly high. The soil therefore tends to have a degree of compaction due to the lack of sand, and this contributes to limiting vigour. Ravera is marked by a typical white soil. It is therefore very similar to the base rock, as it is a young soil with little or no evolution. The content of organic substance is low, in keeping with its belonging to the white soils. All of these characteristics have a considerable influence on the plants, meaning that vigour is always limited. However, the high content of silt and clay allows the plants to overcome the water stress in summer, catering for regular development during the final stages of ripening of the grapes (August and September) which are so decisive for the characteristics of the wine. The relatively low fertility proves to be equally all-important, as it stimulates the plants to synthesize and accumulate the tannins in the fruit that contribute to making this cru unique. And it is precisely this which is one of Ravera’s main distinguishing traits: the large quantity of clay and fine silt generates softness in the tannins, which can evolve even under conditions of water stress thanks to constant, slow ripening.
Climate and topographical framework: SOUTHERLY aspect; 400 m a.s.l. (1312 ft a.s.l.); gradient of c.15%.
The vineyard is to be found in a location which is climatically well-defined with respect to the rest of the Barolo winegrowing area. Here the topographical conformation, the high hills enclosing the valley and the altitude make the climate markedly colder. Indeed, the phenological phases at Ravera are always around one week behind, and even 10 days later than, for example, Rocche di Castiglione. Its high position, however, softens the differences between maximum and minimum temperatures. The microclimate that is generated is therefore constantly cool, even during summer.
By Edmondo Bonelli, naturalist