David has been surrounded by vines since a kid, helping his father make wine. He amusingly tells me he first got the bug to be a winemaker when his path crossed with Warren Randall, a still hugely influential man in the South Australian wine business whilst admiring the car he was driving and thought that being a winemaker must be a sweet gig..
After stints in Australia David Fletcher flew in 2007 to Piedmont to work his first vintage at the world famous Cerrato estate and to this day is the winemaker there. After falling in love with Nebbiolo and the region he moved his family and begun his dream of making his own wines and establish an estate in Barbaresco. What has to be said is that as an Australian living in the region he was very much the outsider. How dare an Australian make Barbaresco and label under his own name? Just a few of the speed bumps along the way.
Cerrato have been so supportive of David’s project and up the 2017 vintage all the wines are vinified by David at Cerrato. However this was only the beginning. The Fletcher’s decided a few years ago to begin the search for a location for their own winery. This search ended when they signed the purchase of the retired Barbaresco train station. The 2018 vintage saw 100% of their wines being made on site. In 2021 the top floor of the old Barbaresco train station which was earmarked to be their family home has now been finished allowing them to move in and host guests once the region opens up again.
The majority of the grapes are sourced from growers, which has meant hours and hours of relationship building from David, convincing the natives to sell their grapes to an outsider. But he’s had some great success and has really gained some momentum in recent years, including recently being able to source fruit from the Staderi Cru.
David also started planting his own vines in plots close to the winery the first of which was harvested in 2020. 0.33 hectares of Chardonnay across 3 different burgundy clones North facing cooler site good for white. In addition he’s planted 1 hectare of Nebbiolo across three differing sites in Barbaresco:
2 leased plots and one of their own:
0.1 hectare – At the top of the hill planted alongside some 10 year old olive trees. This is plot is classified as Montestefano Cru, DSouth facing. He won’t start production for another three years under the Barbaresco DOCP but will be bottled as Langhe Nebbiolo.
0.5 hectares – In the Roncaglia Cru, South West Exposition. Low elevation, but David mentions its a cool site so this isn’t a bad thing considering the climate change happening
Last plot is solely owned by the Fletcher’s. Was formerly a hazelnut plot inside the Staderi Cru. South facing. Will be owned by Fletcher in 3 years once approved by the Barbaresco consortium.