“If you like wine, buy a vineyard” recites an old adage. Valentino Migliorini, who in 1974 was a restaurateur in Caorso with a Michelin star but driven by a passion for Barolo, purchased on old 18th century estate on a hill in Monforte d’Alba in a zone called Manzoni Soprani, surrounded by a vineyard in an excellent position. That vineyard changed his life. He and his wife Iolanda soon moved to Monforte and there created an estate with 125 acres of proprietary vineyards, planted with densities of 4,500 vines per hectare, a state of the art cellar with advanced technology, traditional casks, and thousands of barriques. The potential production capacity of Podere Rocche dei Manzoni is 250,000 bottles annually, but the pride of the house is not in the cellar equipment but in the five crus from which Migliorini obtains, solely in better vintages, the grapes for his prestigious Barolo selections: Vigna d’la Roul, located around the cellars, the historic cru Cappella di Santo Stefano at Perno, Madonna Assunta La Villa in Castelletto, Ciabot d’August in the Ginestra sub-zone of Monforte, and Pianpolvere Soprano. The fact that all of the vineyards are situated in the same township of Monforte d’Alba is a deeply pondered, and by no means casual, choice: profoundly convinced of the infinite possibilities of this part of Barolo, Migliorini has always wanted his wines to be the maximum expression of their point of origin. In addition to Barolo, Migliorini limited himself, in his early years, to the production of the other traditional wines of the Langhe zone, Dolcetto and Barbera d’Alba, but he, with an innovative spirit, soon began an era of experimentation: the first Nebbiolo-Barbera blend of the zone was his Bricco Manzoni, first produced in 1976. In 1978 appeared the Valentino Brut Riserva Elena, a sparkling wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, while, at the same time, the first barriques began to appear in the cellars, a decision which was eventually to mark the wines of the estate, all aged in small oak barrels since the 1982 vintage. The personality which Chardonnay and Pinot Nero express at Monforte d’Alba was shown in 1988 with Angelica and in 1989 with Pinònero, and the character of a blend of Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir was discovered in 1996 with first bottles of Quatr Nas. In 1993 it was even demonstrated that it was possible to produce in the Langhe area a dessert wine with noble rot from Sauvignon and Sémillon. Short pruning, crop-thinning, and low yields (little more than two tons per acre) are a guarantee of quality.