The Belbo Valley, in particular the village of Cossano Belbo, is home to Toso Winery. The area is characterized by its rising Langhe hills and the presence of the beloved Muscat grape.
In 1910, Vincenzo Toso moved his company from Barbera-dominated Asti to Muscat-dominated Santo Stefano Belbo (and then in 1933 to Cossano Belbo). Vincenzo began a family tradition of winemaking in the Belbo Valley, which was carried on by his son Pietro, then his grandsons Luigi and Vincenzo, and today his great-grandsons Pietro & Gianfranco Toso and their cousin Massimo Toso.
Even at over a century old, Toso Winery is one of the most modern facilities in Italy, combining tradition with modern vinification techniques. The property measures 38,000 square meters, of which 10,500 are dedicated to vinification, bottling and storage. Vines grown amongst a web of hills and valley, in fertile “white earth”, made of calcareous marl with occasional subtle sand deposits.
An early picking insures higher acidity and a more floral bouquet. The grapes are crushed immediately to avoid any oxidation which might detract from the wine's aromas. The grapes are gently crushed and the juice is settled, centrifuged and filtered. The purified musts are placed in stainless steel tanks and held at near freezing temperatures, which blocks any fermentation (and allows batches of fresh must to be drawn whenever they decide to bottle). The batch of must is then inoculated with special yeast and fermented in an autoclave to retain the naturally produced carbon dioxide. The fermentation is stopped by a rapid chilling when the wine reaches the desired ratio of alcohol (typically 7%) to residual sugar (3-5% ). The wine is then filtered, bottled and shipped immediately.