The wines of Giuseppe Cortese are every Piedmont aficionado’s dream. Located in the heart of the famous Rabajà zone, this small, family-owned winery, known for producing exquisitely balanced wines from the Barbaresco zone, is run by those who possess an intimate knowledge of the Nebbiolo grape. With profound respect and knowledge of the Barbaresco terroir, and long-held family traditions, Giuseppe Cortese is able to craft some of Piedmont’s most exceptional wines.
A native of Barbaresco, Giuseppe Cortese began a lifelong passion for winemaking by working with his father Giacomo in the family business. After several years of experience, he realized the future of high-quality Barbaresco wines was in developing the potential of the terroir. With this in mind, Giuseppe began re-orienting the family’s wine business and remodeling the winery, improving vinification techniques, and purchasing new land among the famous Rabajà vineyards. Giuseppe’s son Piercarlo joined him in the 1990s, after graduating from the highly regarded Enological School of Alba. Today, Cortese is the typical small, family-run winery, with Giuseppe’s wife Rosella and daughter Tiziana playing active roles in commercial aspects and public relations.
Location of Vineyard
The Cortese winery is located in the hamlet of Rabajà, within the prestigious commune of Barbaresco. Just a mile from the ancient town of Barbaresco, along the Via Rabajà, the Cortese winery and family home sit atop the bowl that cradles the Rabajà cru vineyard, one of Barbaresco’s finest single vineyards. On the other side of Cortese’s 20 acres of vines, in the adjacent village of Trifolera, sits its beautiful, newly finished bed & breakfast, with idyllic views of row after row of Nebbiolo stretching below.
Attentive, rigorous care of the estate’s vineyards, strict selection of the best clusters, a traditional approach to vinification, and a gentle hand with modern techniques are the ingredients that define the unmistakable personality and unique flavors of Cortese’s wines. Before running his own winery, Giuseppe Cortese served as cellar master and vineyard manager for some of Piedmont’s most prestigious wineries. During this time, he gained invaluable knowledge of the Nebbiolo grape and how to maximize its potential in and around the Barbaresco zone.
The winery is located in an underground cellar nestled in the upper hillside of the Rabajà vineyard and houses various sizes of the larger traditional botti (large barrels) used for the vinification of Nebbiolo. Cortese believes that each lot needs to be treated individually and thus requires several different sizes of aging vessels. All this attention to detail yields wines of incredible depth and balance, with a finesse that rewards the patient consumer.