The Belbo Valley, in particular the village of Cossano Belbo, is home to Toso Winery. Here the Langhe hills begin to rise and Muscat becomes the most beloved and representative grape.
In 1910, Vincenzo Toso moved his company from Barbera-dominated Asti to Muscat-dominated Santo Stefano Belbo.
Vincenzo began a family tradition, which was carried on by his son Pietro and then his grandsons Luigi and Vincenzo. Today the winery is highly focused on Moscato d’ Asti and Asti Spumante and is run by brothers Pietro & Gianfranco Toso and their cousin Massimo Toso.
This one century old winery is now 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 the vinification, the bottling and storing areas.
More than a hundred years have passed since 1910, when Vincenzo Toso, great-grandfather of the company’s present owners, moved the company from the Asti area to Santo Stefano Belbo. This way, the Toso cellars passed from a world of hills where Barbera grapes were dominating to another hilly area where the Muscat prevailed. Here, they put long-lasting roots. Vincenzo was succeeded by his son Pietro and then his two sons, Luigi and Vincenzo, continuing a family route that every time was enriched with new and qualified insights.
Little by little, Moscato d’Asti and Asti Spumante have become the protagonists of Toso house. Facilities and equipment have improved, in line with the needs of a production inspired to quality. In 1993, the transfer to Cossano Belbo was the decisive step to build a company rooted in tradition, but looking to the future.
Toso is now led by the two brothers Pietro and Gianfranco and their cousin Massimo, each of them engaged in specific responsibilities.
In a great wine land such as Piedmont, Toso house has been able to share the characteristics of the land, the hill,az the cold and temperate climate and the native vines such as Muscat. All situations that give an original contribution to the production, essential to produce quality and pleasant wines, in step with the times. Wine needs, however, also other contributions: technology, experience, innovation, pragmatism, the desire to grow. First of all, sparkling wines need technology, that set of machinery and equipment that allows to fully accomplish the production decisions.
Always one goal in mind - to make faster and better what in the past was understood to be essential for the quality of the final products. Then, innovation is always useful: a bet on research and experimentation in order not to leave anything to chance or to spontaneous evolution, but to find new paths and rational proceedings aimed to improve working conditions and to ensure flawless final results.
An endless web of hills and valleys is the substance and the form of this special area of Langhe. Here, the vine and the wine have been at home from immemorial time.
Inside the hill there is a solid but cozy ground, the “white earth”, made of calcareous marl and sometimes subtle infiltration of sand.
A lean soil, with the contained fertility, suitable for the cultivation of the vineyard, to produce fragrant wines.
Over the hill, the vine has selected the best spaces, those where the effect of climate alternation between the beautiful and the perturbed weather better know how to regulate the behavior of plants from January to December each year and from sunrise to sunset each day.
The vine here has well-known and prestigious names: it is called Moscato or Barbera, Dolcetto or Cortese, Favorita and Chardonnay, Freisa, or naturally, Nebbiolo. They are all vines trained to make wines of pleasant, fruity characters, able to withstand time and to show up every year with new and unrepeatable colours, scents and flavors.
Harvest and winemaking
An early picking insures a 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 completely any fermentation. This enables the producers to draw batches of fresh must 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 (standardly 7%) to residual sugar ( 3-5% ). The wine is then filtered, bottled and immediately shipped to ensure the freshest product possible.