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The story of the winery begins in the sixties when Giuseppe Cortese, being the brilliant winegrower he was, with Barbaresco wine becoming increasingly popular worldwide and having overcome the difficulties of the postwar period, realized that he could do more and better: the winegrowing activity that the family has been committed to for generations could develop into an independent and family-owned business. As a matter of fact, the family lived on the top of a hill that had been giving top-quality grapes, RABAJA, for as long as he could remember!

The first challenge, that of producing Barbaresco wine from grapes grown in the Rabajà area, was successfully met in 1971, when the winery set up by Giuseppe with the help of his father Giacomo created the first RABAJA GIUSEPPE CORTESE wine. The goals that followed were achieved through the pragmatism and determination of Giuseppe and his wife Rosella: they purchased new vineyards in the Rabaja area and neighbouring Trifolera zone (ideal for the production of the other wines), expanded the production to include other typical Langa wines (Dolcetto and Barbera) and, above all, put their own, unmistakable and immutable mark on Barbaresco Rabajà wine.

The wine’s typicalness did not go unnoticed and, long before his son Pier Carlo stepped in as winemaker, Giuseppe Cortese wines were found at all major national and international wine fairs and were exported to several countries. In more recent years, the winery’s story revolves around the new Cortese generation: though Giuseppe and Rosella go on safeguarding the familys winegrowing tradition, Pier Carlo is now successfully in charge of the wine cellar, while his sister Tiziana takes good care of sales and customer service.

In the past few years, the winery, whose vineyards now spread over an area of 8 hectares, has been constantly developing and expanding its production range. In addition to the Barbaresco Rabajà, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto d’Alba and Barbera d’Alba wines, it produces Chardonnay (the only non-native grape variety, which gives however a highly mineral wine if grown in the Barbaresco area) in a more traditional version and one aged in small French oak barrels, a wood-aged version of Barbera d’Alba, and Pier Carlo’s pride and joy: the superb Rabajà Reserve. This is a truly unique wine, of matchless complexity. Produced only in the most classic vintages and by using carefully-selected grapes from the oldest Rabajà vineyard (about 55-60 years old), the wine ages for 40 months in wood barrels and for another 3 years in bottle (while wine law requires minimum ageing of 50 months) and is widely considered to be one of the best expressions of Nebbiolo grapes from Barbaresco.

The winery has also undergone major extension works to include larger winemaking rooms, an underground cellar whose temperature and humidity level is ideal for wine ageing and a lovely tasting area to welcome Giuseppe Cortese wine fans!
Gabriele, Tiziana’s husband, has recently joined the family and winery staff and today the company, confident of its worldwide popularity, looks ahead with the determination that runs in the family, while being aware that it ranks among the most passionate producers of one of the world’s greatest wines. 


©Giuseppe Cortese

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All our wines are born in the natural amphitheater set between the Rabajà hill, right beneath our winery, and the Trifolera hill. Most of our Nebbiolo vineyards are located in the Rabajà hill: calcareous soil, excellent exposure to sunlight and very old vineyards that give one of the greatest Barbaresco Nebbiolo Crus.

The Chardonnay, Dolcetto and Barbera vineyards grow on the other side, in the hill of Trifolera: this is where our most elegant and typical wines are born. The Chardonnay and Barbera vineyards with the best exposure to sunlight give the wood-aged version of the two wines.



Size: medium-big.
Height: about 260 to 315 meters.
Exposure to sunlight: basin above Martinenga mostly south-west, the remaining part south.
Google Earth Coordinates: 44° 42' 52.54''N; 8° 5'2.01''E.

Extending as far as the Trifolera hill, the Rabajà vineyard stretches over the top of the hill that extends from Asili to Trifolera. Contrary to what is looks like from a distance, the Rabajà hill is not homogeneous and can be divided into two areas. The first, bordering on Asili, coincides with the charming amphitheater dominating the Martinenga and is mostly exposed to south-west. The second one has a more linear appearance and is exposed to south, although there are some variations due to the hill’s undulating ground. In both cases, the wine’s style is definitely more full-bodied and firmer compared with Asili and Martinenga (although the second area tends, at times, to yield a stiffer and more mineral wine).




Height: about 200 to 320 meters.
Exposure to sunlight: the areas with best exposure west and south-west, the remaining part north and north-west.
GoogleEarth Coordinates: 44° 42' 38.15''N; 8° 5'8.92''E.

The first of three crests extending from Tre Stelle to Martinenga, the Trifolera vineyard mention has never been used to produce Barbaresco wine. Few are the levels of quality comparable to the top in this field, which explains why there is a higher number of Dolcetto and Barbera vineyards.


​©Giuseppe Cortese


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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Luca Gardini, Wine Writer (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Giuseppe Cortese . In a tasting of  31 wines 

Giodo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 / 100 points / A wine project of great substance behind a bottle of extraordinary intensity that benefits from a light maceration on the skins. Alcohol-infused marasca cherries and fresh bay leaf on the nose. The mouth is crunchy, dense with salty tannins. A balsamic note reappearing on the finish. 

1m 27d ago

 Jason Lee / Sommelier, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Giuseppe Cortese . In a tasting of  18 wines 

“Interesting tasting - we had around 20 wines from WS TOP 100 /2014 and the result were quite different than in the WS ranking -best for us was Fonseca Vintage Port 2011 : Deep, youthful , purple and bright colour. Youthful, refined, opulent and seductive on the nose. The taste is fragrant, focused, well-structured, good texture, concentrated and promising. Long, extensive, pure, a bit spicy and vibrant aftertaste. Well made and already impressive. Decanted over 4h and at best between 2030 and 2050. Costs about 100-200€ per bottle. 95 points”

5y 11m ago

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