Tre Donne

Piedmont - Italy

The Winery

Much as he loved his daughters, back in the 1980s, winemaker Alessandro Lequio was hesitant to hand his family’s winemaking tradition over to women. “Just marry a good winemaker,” he would tell them. Just as stubborn as their father, however, Rosanna, Daniela and Antonella all staunchly refuted this notion, assuring him that they would one day earn his trust. In the end – and assuming they’d concede - he agreed to turn everything over if they could pass three years of rigorous enological tests, culminating in a single vintage which he, himself would judge. To everyone’s surprise, the sisters persisted. Moreover, they actually won more awards in their first year of production (1988) than Alessandro had in his entire career! Deeply impressed, and true to his word, Sandro handed the estate over to his daughters, even allowing them to initiate the “Tre Donne” brand.

While everyone in the family (yes, even the men) lend a hand with the wines, today this 15-hectare, soil-to-bottle estate continues to be run by women. Rosanna, the middle sister, manages all aspects of production (along with her husband, Piernicola, who’s often the social face of the estate); Daniela, the youngest sister, runs point in the cellar and is assisted by her two daughters, Alice and Elisa (ages 17 and 15), both of whom are studying enology in Alba; Antonella, the eldest sister, keeps everything ship-shape and oversees the company’s finances. Even Donna Bruna, their mother, is still going strong at 80 years – among other things, she still supervises the harvest!

To clarify, Tre Donne owns 15 hectares in Neive and have long-term contracts to lease a few additional hectares outside the Barbaresco zone, allowing them to also produce Barolo and Gavi di Gavi. Altitudes on their hill, Serragrilli, range from 190-300 meters, and they have a significant rotation of old vines. Their youngest Barbera vines are 30 years old, for example, and the Nebbiolo for their cru Barbaresco was planted in 1951! While non-certified, vines are cultivated organically, and the estate is officially part of Piedmont’s “Green Experience” program. (Certification requirements are similar to those for the EU’s “bio” label, and also include maintaining habitats for various birds and the protection of pollinators. For more information, you can visit this website: https://www.thegreenexperience.it.

Enologist
Gianfranco Cordero
Grapes Grown by Winery
Arneis, Barbera, Cortese, Dolcetto, Moscato, Nebbiolo, Pinot Nero
Vineyard Size
16.0 ha
Winemaker
Rosanna, Daniele, and Antonella Lequio
Winemaker Biography
For the past 30 years, this estate in the Barbaresco DOCG has been run by women: along with their loved ones, sisters Rosanna, Daniela and Antonella Lequio do everything themselves from soil to bottle. With some of their own daughters now studying enology, this may be the family's first generation of women winemakers, but certainly not the last!
Winemaker Generation
4th
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Barbera d’Alba DOC Donna Rossa

Made by sisters Rosanna, Daniela and Antonella Lequio, this Barbera from Neive is made from 30-48 year old vines grown on a windswept hill at 200-300 meters. Bright and clear-headed, the wine is primarily unoaked, with just 20% spending a year in French tonneaux before release. While this elevates the weight just a bit and helps ensure a smooth mid-palate, the style is nonetheless subalpine. Black cherry, juicy pomegranate, and earthy undertones complete the classic Piedmont experience!

Color
Deep ruby red
Nose
Mature black cherry
Palate
Black cherry and pomegranate with earthy undertones
Finish
Clean, balanced, and food-friendly
Vineyard Location
Barbera d’Alba DOC, Piedmont
Vineyard Size
15 ha
Varietals List
100% Barbera
Farming Practices
Certified members of The Green Experience in Piedmont (sustainable, eco-friendly practices with no chemical herbicides); grapes picked by hand
Elevation
200-280 m
Soils
Calcareous Clay
Maturation Summary
In 20% French allier 10HL Tonneaux barrels for 12 months, in Steel 80% for 12 months and bottled 6 months
In Steel
80% for 12 months
Alcohol
13.5 %
Acidity
5.79 g/liter
Residual Sugar
3.1 g/liter
Annual Production
35,000 bottles

Roero Arneis DOCG Donna Chiara

Crisp, clean, and possessing the "weight without wood" the varietal is well known for, Tre Donne's Roero Arneis lives up to every expectation. With roots diving deep into tufo clay, the 35-year-old vines yield a wide array of complex aromas and flavors - from its prominent stone fruit and piercing minerality to more subtle layers of quince, mushroom, and lemon verbena. Sisters Rosanna, Daniela, and Antonella Lequio continue to impress with their mastery of monovarietal classics from Piedmont!

Color
Pale golden yellow
Nose
Soft notes of orange blossom, honeysuckle, nectarine, and lemon verbena
Palate
Brilliant "bookend" minerality with layers of peach, pear, quince and green apple
Finish
Long; alternating between plump fruit and pitch-perfect acidity
Vineyard Location
Roero DOCG, Piedmont
Vineyard Size
2 ha
Varietals List
100% Roero Arneis
Farming Practices
Certified members of The Green Experience in Piedmont (sustainable, eco-friendly practices with no chemical herbicides); grapes picked by hand
Elevation
250-300 m
Soils
Calcareous clay
Maturation Summary
In Steel for 4 months and Bottled for 3 months
In Steel
4 months
Alcohol
13.0 %
Acidity
6 g/liter
Residual Sugar
3.2 g/liter
Annual Production
11,400 bottles

Langhe Nebbiolo DOC Donna Nera

Harvested at the end of October, this traditional-style Nebbiolo offers up layers of dark cherry, cranberry, and earthy forest floor. The naturally bold tannins are tamed in this instance by older vines and extremely low yields. Produced by three sisters - Rosanna, Daniela, and Antonella Lequio - this elegant big gun is single estate, picked by hand, and sustainably farmed to boot!

Color
Dark purple
Nose
Black cherry, tobacco leaf, and autumnal forest floor
Palate
Powerful, linear tannins, tempered by integrated fruit and elegant earthy notes
Finish
Slightly dry, with staying power
Vineyard Location
Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, Piedmont
Vineyard Size
15 ha
Varietals List
100% Nebbiolo
Farming Practices
Certified members of The Green Experience in Piedmont (sustainable, eco-friendly practices with no chemical herbicides); grapes picked by hand
Elevation
260 m
Soils
Calcareous clay
Maturation Summary
In 5HL French Oak barrels for 12 months and bottled for 6 months
Alcohol
14.0 %
Acidity
5.5 g/liter
Residual Sugar
2.3 g/liter