In 2019, Michele Marsiaj, a Torinese entrepreneur and producer of Gavi and Barbera del Monferrato, purchased the historic Colombaro estate in the heart of the Nizza DOCG. He renamed it Amistà (ah-mee-STAH) after an ancient Italian word for “friendship.”
That same year, he hired the legendary enologist Luca D’Attoma, known for his top-scoring Tuscan wines (Tua Rita, Le Macchiole, Le Pupille, etc.), to launch organic and biodynamic conversion of the vineyards and to take over winemaking duties.
The farm lies on the Bricco di Nizza, a narrow strip of land that runs from the village of Nizza Monferrato toward the west. Its limestone, clay, and marl subsoils are identical to those found in La Morra commune in the Barolo DOCG. Thanks to these soils and the area’s ideal growing conditions, Nizza and the surrounding villages have always been recognized as the top area for the production of Barbera.
The Nizza DOCG was created in 2014 to recognize and celebrate the extremely high quality of the wines produced there. All agree that what Barolo is to the Nebbiolo grape, Nizza is to the Barbera grape — its greatest expression.
In April 2023, Amistà and Luca were personally invited by Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson to present the wines at a Nizza summit organized at Vinitaly. On that occasion, Luca explained how labor-intensive practices in the vineyard, meticulously calibrated picking times, and extended maceration (30+ days) are what makes it possible to obtain the tannic structure for these long-aging, world-class wines.
The estate currently has roughly 11 hectares planted to vine. It produces a classic Nizza, made from a blend of different vineyards with limestone and clay soils, and a Nizza Riserva, made exclusively with fruit grown in limestone soils. Luca has managed the vineyards since 2019, the same year he vinified his first vintage for the winery.
The estate also produces a red (not white) wine vermouth using the same organically farmed wine it bottles as Nizza DOCG. It’s one of the few vermouths produced today that uses high-quality wine for its base wine.
The farm is also home to the Amistà Country House, a bed & breakfast villa with pool.