Born and raised in the Hamlet of Albesani, very close to the iconic town of Barbaresco, Francesco Versio completed his viticulture studies at the local Umberto 1 Wine School in Alba in 2005 and then graduated from the University of Turin with his complete qualifications in 2009. On completion of his studies, he spent a brief period of time working for a large local co- operative before landing a highly sought after role at the famed Bruno Giacosa in Neive. Initially under the watchful eye of Dante Scaglione, he was soon elevated chief oenologist, a position he still holds. Showing uncanny foresight, before Francesco was born, his family purchased two tiny plots of old vines in the southern part of the commune of Neive – one is the vineyard of San Cristoforo which was planted back in 1969. The other being the vineyard of Curra which is a little older and lies just below San Cristoforo. Both of these Crus have classic south-west exposure, ideal for the temperamental Nebbiolo grapes to flourish. Although both Crus are joined, San Cristoforo has more limestone, giving freshness and perfume, while Curra has more textbook sandy alluvial soils imparting a warm softness to the wine. From his time with Bruno Giacosa, Francesco has learnt to handle his wines in a similar fashion, paying respect to the more traditional methods.
As Francesco had his hands full for some time, until recently the family had sold the fruit to other vignerons. In 2012, this all changed with the release of the inaugural Francesco Versio 2013 Barbaresco early in 2016 and as the vineyards are so small, only 200 dozen bottles were made. All grapes are fermented and macerated in stainless steel, then racked off into the fashionable Austrian ‘Stockinger’ Botti. Outside the fact that Francesco is one of the up and coming young stars in the region due to his winemaking abilities, he’s also a terrific bloke to spend some time with!