Chiara Boschis

E. PIRA & FIGLI Chiara Boschis


“It was a very exciting time when I started.  This group of friends and I, the “Barolo Boys” as they are called now, were always exchanging suggestions and ideas.  We wanted to make the best Barolo we could, to put Barolo in heaven.  We put all of our life into that,” recounts Chiara Boschis, owner of the E.Pira & Figli winery in Barolo. 

Chiara Boschis is widely recognized as one of the pioneer women winemakers in Barolo, though her family has a long (nine generations) history of winemaking.  In 1980, the Boschis family (of Giacomo Borgogno e Figli) acquired the E.Pira & Figli estate, thus procuring some of the most prestigious land in Barolo.  After graduating with a degree in Economics, Chiara became involved full-time in the family business, following her own great passion for the world of wine.  She officially took the reins in 1990, quickly affirming her position as the “Barolo Girl.”  Her unique combination of dedication, charm, patience and determination was key in raising the quality and the image of the E. Pira & Figli winery to that which it enjoys today.

Chiara says, “I’m the generation after 1968.  I really took advantage of all the battles of the women who came before me for liberation, the opportunity to choose what I wanted to do in complete freedom.  When you have total freedom, that’s when you appreciate  most what you have.”

Chiara Boschis is an artisan grower, whose philosophy is to craft wines that combine the extraordinary power of Barolo with approachability, balance, intense aromatics and elegance.  When talking about the unique territory of Barolo she says, “We are very gifted by Nature.  The soil here is particular; it is poor, but also very rich in minerals.  The wines have a strong personality with important tannins, structure, body and acidity.  These are wines that pair perfectly with food and age very, very well.”

The balance characteristic of E. Pira wines is achieved through strict vineyward management (all work is carried out manually), careful selction, organic (since 2010) farming practices and meticulous vinification techniques thta favor a gentle touch, allowing the grapes to express the true character.  Chiara is tru to the vineyard first.  She then unites the best of traditional and modern winemaking techniques in a continous endeavor to consistently produce high quality wines representative of their heritage.  A true artisan winemaker, Chiara has never been afraid to experiment, implementing practices like green harvest (a drastic reduction of bunches left on the vines) and vinification in barriques of her Cru Barolo wines, in an endeavor to consistently achieve high quality wines that truly represent their heritage.  

“I remember in 1994 Giorgio (Rivetti) and I went around at night to green harvest, so that the neighbors wouldn’t see how many bunches we were cutting.  When my father saw the result the next day, he said I was throwing away money.  He was traditional and didn’t understand.  But you know, I think, when you want to do something completely different, you have to do it you own way.”

Production is very limited, a miniscule 5,000 cases per year and wines are made exclusively from the 11 hectares (27 acres) of propriety vineyards in the very best Crus of Barolo in the villages of Barolo, Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba.  To highlight the particular organoleptic characteristics of two of the most important vineyards in the Barolo region, Barolo Cannubi and Barolo Mosconi are produced as single-vineyard (Cru) wines.  In homage to tradition, however, the Via Nuovo Barolo is vinified using grapes from seven Barolo vineyards.  Chiara also produces three traditional Piedmont reds:  Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba and Nebbiolo d’Alba.

Each vineyard benefits from an extraordinary exposure, micro-climate and soil composition, creating the ideal growin conditions to produce the traditional Piedmonts grapes.  Chiara’s meticulous, hand-on approach in the vineyard and absolute respect for the soil and environment has led her to become part of the The Green Experience, a network of Piedmont producers who practice a green, more sustainable viticulture.  Vinification and aging are carried out at the historical cellar in the the center of Barolo and the wines are bottled without filtration or clarification, as evidenced by the natural sediment found in her wines.

In true revolutionary character, Chiara continues to be at the forefront of innovation, championing efforts to bring sustainability to winemaking, particulary in the Langa.  She says, “Having successfully achieved the “pink” revolution, I believe the time has come to tackle the “green” one, working together for a cleaner and more sustainable agriculture.  I began the process for organic certification of my wine in 2010 and today, concentrating on biodiversity, I am more at peace as a wome of wine.  I understand what my path is:  I want to make wines that are clean, pure expressions of the territory.  Most of all I want my efforts to be experienced and felt in each bottle.”



Dolcetto D’Alba DOC

The modest tannins and elegant structure typical of this grape variety make Dolcetto d’Alba an ideal “everyday wine,” enjoyable without being overwhelming. Ruby red in color with bright violet reflections, this wine is bursting with fresh fruit like Marasca cherries, wild strawberries and small red fruit on the nose. It’s particularly enjoyable slightly chilled on a warm summer day.

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Barbera D’Alba DOC

Of Piedmont’s three principal red grape varieties, Barbera is the most representative of the region, producing a medium-bodied wine that is enjoyable young, but can also age quite well for a few years. This Barbera d’Alba spends more than a year in oak barrels, granting it the “Superiore” designation and making for a more expressive wine. An intense ruby red with violet reflections, red fruits with a hint of spice come through on the nose. A full, round palate is supported by the marked acidity typical of this variety, imparting freshness and a harmonious finish.

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Langhe Nebbiolo DOC

This wine is a youthful expression of Nebbiolo, the same grape variety that makes up the region’s most famous wine, Barolo. Some of the younger vines from the Ravera vineyard in Monforte d’Alba are used to produce this Nebbiolo d’Alba.  The unique characteristics of this particular parcel of vineyard and terroir are best expressed when the wine is aged in small oak barrels, resulting in a kinder, more delicate wine – a perfect balance between elegance and structure.  Elegant perfumes of red fruit on the nose give way to dry, velvety tannins on the palate.

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Barolo Cannubi DOCG

The soil composition (a perfectly amalgamated mix of Tortonian and Helvetian soils, particularly rich in sand) and an ideal southern-facing vineyard exposition allow Chiara to produce an extraordinarily harmonious wine from Cannubi, the most famous Cru vineyard in all of Barolo. This is a regal wine whose nose expresses a myriad of sweet perfumes of spice and ripe fruit accompanied by the typical balsamic (mint and eucalyptus) notes characteristic of this unique vineyard. On the palate, an impressive structure and decisive tannins are complimented by a long, elegant finish.

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Barolo Mosconi DOCG

The most recently acquired parcel, the famous Mosconi Cru in Monforte d’Alba was purchased in 2009. The vineyard’s particular heavy clay soil (in some areas calcium carbonate and iron give the soil a reddish-gray color) lends considerable structure to this wine, making it a Barolo ideal for aging. A garnet red color is complimented by open perfumes of flowers and mature fruit with some spicy notes. This is a long-lasting wine of power and concentration with firm, velvety tannins.

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Barolo Via Nuova DOCG

Via Nuova (New Road) was the name of a small vineyard on the edge of the historical center of Barolo, the name coming from its proximity to the road (new at that time!) connecting Barolo to Novello. All that remains today of the road is a small walking path through the vineyards. The wine was produced as a single-vineyard Barolo for many years until, in 2010, this small Cru was incorporated into the larger Terlo subzone. And so, as a sort of homage to tradition, Barolo Via Nuova is now produced as a blend of 6 different vineyards: Terlo and Liste in Barolo, Ravera e Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba and Gabutti and Baudana in Serralunga d’Alba. This classic Barolo blend combines structure with elegance and complexity, emphasizing the particularities of each vineyard site. Though a bit timid when first opened, some time in the glass (or decanter) will reveal Via Nuova’s alluring ethereal floral and fruit perfumes.

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