Barbacan

Some of our team got to visit this incredible cliffside estate just before harvest last fall and we've been anticipating the arrival of their newest vintage ever since.  

Angelo Sega and his sons Luca & Matteo work this tiny winery in the heart of the Italian Alps. The steep terrain, with its vertigo inducing inclines is one of the most awe-inspiring we’ve seen. Their process is entirely manual as is required by the terroir and is what we in the wine world like to call HEROIC VITICULTURE.  

Producing nimble Nebbiolos, or ‘Chiavennasca’ as it's called in the local dialect, the Sega brothers are dedicated to carrying on their father’s vision of making incredible wines that honor their terroir. 

After spending the day practically off roading through the vineyards and climbing between the midieval retainer walls know as their namesake “Barbacan,” we sat down to a traditional Valtelline dinner with the Sega brothers.  

A difficult to reach area for much of history, the appellation’s cuisine, wine included, is unique from other areas in Italy. Known for rich cow’s-milk cheeses, bresolo, and a buckwheat pasta dish called “Pizzocheri,” their vivacious reds were a perfect pairing to the meal. 

The restaurant, perched on the side of the mountain, was as old school as it gets. Light yellow walls and wooden trim accompained a pristinely set dining room, and the bowtied waiter approached us with a reverent-to-the-art-of-dining formality. We had just sat down when Matteo arrived, wearing neon sunglasses and a bright tee shirt with the words “Fucking Tanani” scrawled across it. Matteo, greeting the waiter warmly, explained that this was without a doubt the best place to experience the local cuisine. In regards to the shirt he laughed, telling us about a cousin who upon returning from the United States melded our slang with theirs; the expression now commonly heard in the vineyards, especially during the stressful harvest season. 

As we tasted through their wines, the conversation turned to Barbacan’s unusual labels. Inspired by their immediate world, the brothers told us the labels featured prehistoric drawings from a nearby cave. Recording the movements of the sun and moon, the two thought these intuitive sketches perfectly captured Barbacan’s wine.  

The night ended with talk of ‘Dukes of Hazard’ and ‘American Gigiolo.’ “This is how we learned English,” they said. A common vein in their philosophy, you have to make it fun. 

SHOP BARBACAN