Cristiano Garella – digging up Alto Piemonte crus

Cristiano Garella left with Giacomo Colombera

Alto Piemonte may be experiencing some serious hype among New York sommeliers, but is little known in the UK. And no wonder: it is a largely forgotten cluster of tiny denominations on the brink of extinction situated in the very north of Piemonte, literally at the feet of the Alps (hence the Alto) near the town of Novara 100 km north east of Barolo and Barbaresco. They share their main protagonist, the mighty Nebbiolo, yet its wines are totally different. That, and a couple of natural catastrophes, got Alto Piemonte into some serious trouble. 

Until the end of the 19th...