The Langhe wine producer has always had one obsession: making great wines, which are remembered
for their extreme agreeableness
What we are about to tell is the story of an emotion that has traveled over the centuries, presenting itself
each time with a new courage and a new flavor. A bit of a secret ritual, a bit of a nursery rhyme, its rhythm
is the style of time, which nature pampers and brings to the right maturation. The timbre of Parusso’s wines
is similar to the voice of a mother who, sweet, never ceases to protect. This is the story of a land and its
vines, of a company that these roots never stop nourishing.
The beginning of this story coincides with the beginning of a century in which some trace the redefinition of humanity. And it was in 1901 that what today is the great Parusso company was born.
Talking with Marco Parusso, owner of the company, was feeling a little small in the face of his wisdom and
total dedication to every meticulous detail of his plants. We can certainly say that it was that same emotion
that screwed up the company’s first plant, the leitmotif of this chat.
A frenetic ticking of rain and autumn beats on the windows of the So Wine So Food editorial office, while
we wait to be able to speak with Marco Parusso.
The interview begins and right from the start we feel immersed in a territory that Parusso strongly wanted
to investigate, protect, love and respect. Only in this way has he managed over time to build his own style,
his signature. Because Parusso is first and foremost a style of life, of vine and wine.
The history of Parusso is defended and protected by the ancient plants of its vineyard. Can you tell us about
the Parusso crus?
We have always been farmers, but the company is relatively young: my father only started making wine in
1971. My grandfather had a small plot of vineyard. I started with my sister in 1986 even though my dad
didn’t agree. We started with our Mariondino cru in Castiglione Falletto purchased by my grandfather in
1901: two hectares of vineyards in a colder area thanks to the valley that opens towards Alba, normally
later in the day, which gives more spicy Barolos but with an impressive longevity. .
The first vintage vinified by me was in 1986. In 1989 I bought a Bussia Vigna Munie vineyard: we are in the heart of Barolo, sheltered by the hills, the earth is calcareous and therefore in the glass there is finesse, elegance, sweet tannins, wines that go towards an important silkiness. This southern, southwestern cru gives a richer, fatter Barolo;
to the southeast, instead, we have the cru Bussia Vigna Rocche, a very white earth, a more delicate and
The other cru purchased in 2016 is the Mosconi cru, a darker earth and the glass is more masculine with notes of tobacco and earth. Two hectares of super selection that we dispose of in 4000 bottles a year.
Everything that goes wrong with these productions goes to a Barolo dedicated to my father, Barolo Perarmando, founder of the company.
The assembly of the prestigious grapes from the Mariondino, Mosconi and Bussia Crus give a broad nose and a soft and harmonious palate. Inevitable to ask, what is sustainability for you?
It is trying to have a company in balance, it means taking care of the earth, protecting it, stimulating it so
that the plants want to do and give and that they go in search of news in depth; it is respect for those who
work the vineyard, it is having strong plants that react to fungal attacks by limiting the use of synthetic
products that we use only in extreme necessity.
Sustainability is these values put together. It is taking care of the vineyard and the cellar in equal parts, it is spending sleepless nights to develop real personalized diets for the plants, or rather daily actions capable of satisfying the shortcomings and reducing the excesses. We certainly have to find compromises: being pragmatic and objective is the first.
Even in the cellar we work on management and controls to save energy. We have eliminated the plastic from the
cartonage which is completely recycled. There is a lot of work to create quality.
A modus vivendi that in the cellar means the use of an ancient practice, the technique of resting the grapes.
Yes, it is a very ancient technique that was already in vogue in Roman times, but has been lost in modern
times. After harvesting, it involves storing the baskets in a special room in the cellar with controlled
temperature, ventilation and humidity, for a short period of “grape relaxation” (about 3/4 days).
The healthiness of the air is very important and is in fact guaranteed by an ionization system of negative ions
and the diffusion of natural propolis which acts as a natural antibacterial and antifungal.
This operation is necessary because after the harvest the grapes are always very stressed: cutting the bunch from the vine is in a certain sense like cutting an umbilical cord.
In fact, as soon as it is cut, the skin of the berries is hard and the stalk is green and rich in vegetable water, the tannins are acidic, green and devoid of antioxidant power. In the 3/4 days in which the grapes rest, the skin relaxes, the vegetable water of the stalk evaporates and leaves room for a good amount of oxygen. This oxygen will be essential later to start the natural fermentation.
The oxygen also helps to activate the tannin making it more mature, round, elegant
and rich in antioxidant power. This ancient and precious technique is accompanied by cutting-edge
technology to enhance and best preserve the qualities of the raw material.
After the 3/4 days of rest, the grapes remain for about a week in the rotofermenter for cold maceration,
without adding sulfur dioxide (which is added in small quantities only before bottling). A very important
phase for the extraction of color and fruity aromas, as well as for obtaining fine tannins. After cold
maceration, the temperature is brought to around 30 ° C for 1-2 days.
At this point a tumultuous fermentation begins which is controlled by lowering and controlling the
temperature at 21-23 ° C (around 16 ° C for white wines). In this way, a high production of heat is avoided
(due to the development of carbon dioxide and alcohol which would cause loss of perfumes and too
aggressive alcohol production).
This fermentation / maceration lasts about 15/20 days in the rotofermenters, always with accurate temperature control.
The ripe stalks are used in this process because they help to regulate and stabilize the must thanks to the oxygen they had stored, developing an antioxidant function.
This allows to obtain fine wines. The use of stalks (on average 70%) also allows us to develop longer macerations over 50 days. After maceration, the “racking” takes place, the wine will be
transferred with its natural yeasts inside small barrels.
All this requires time, and a large investment: we are the only ones who apply this technique. My concept is to create a wine, food and a dynamic product.
December is the month of bubbles par excellence. Can you tell us about your Classic Method?
The first year of production of our Classic Method sparkling wine dates back to 2010, this project born
partly as a challenge and partly to rediscover old traditions, over the years has distinguished itself for its
unique qualities, giving us great satisfaction.
Alongside the “white label” version of our classic method, we now come to present in a limited edition the
first release of the 2010 Extra Brut Classic Method Spumante “100 Months” “Black label”. This is a special
selection that is aged for 100 months on the lees, where the soul of Nebbiolo, the grape with which it is
produced, as it evolves, amazes more and more, giving the palate new nuances.
The elegance of this sparkling wine is perceived even before tasting it, in the glass a very fine bubble creates an incessant perlage in a bed of roses that tend to amber. The nose reveals aromas of roses and candied fruit, in the
mouth notes of ripe fruit, raisins and honey are mixed.
Marco Parusso certainly marks the noble part of Barolo, with his feeling of Nebbiolo in a very special way.