A place that is balanced and harmonic in all of its elements. La Raia is a Demeter certified biodynamic farm. It is located in the heart of hills of Gavi, an area with a long wine history due to its unique microclimate, which favours the maturation of the grapes.
The estate extends over 180 hectares, including 45 of vineyards, 60 of fields and the remaining are pastures, chestnut, elderflower and acacia woodlands protecting numerous species of wild animals. The Rossi Cairo family bought it in 2003, with the aim of recovering and enhancing the original ecosystem through a broad intervention project, inspired by the biodynamic principles.
The first change was the conversion of the vine cultivations: green manure among the rows, dynamized horn manure to fertilize the marly soil deeply, intense aeration, absence of pesticides, moderate quantities of cave sulphur and copper sprayed during specific periods of the year. Pruning happens during a descending moon.
Crop rotation was reintroduced with the recovery of ancient cultivations such as monococcum einkorn and rye. Finally, livestock pasture farming was reintroduced as well with cows of Fassona breed. The variety and richness of the vegetation within the estate make La Raia a true biodiversity oasis for bees and other pollinator insects: hence a copious production of acacia, multi-flower and woodland honey.
Today, La Raia produces three kinds of multi-awarded Gavi D.O.C.G. – Gavi, Gavi Riserva Vigna della Madonnina and Gavi Pisé – and two kinds of Piemonte D.O.C. Barbera. The cellar has been renovated with an ancient environmentally friendly construction technique called Pisé. This technique harmonises with Piedmont’s gentle hills that surround La Raia. For the realisation of the cellar we called the Austrian architect Martin Rauch, one of the most experts of this technique on an international scale.
Within the estate there are several farmsteads dating back to the XIX century. We recently completed the renovation of Borgo Merlassino, a small accommodation site immersed in the quietness of the woods, characterised by a breath taking view over the vineyards. In April 2017, Locanda La Raia has opened its doors: once a place where wayfarers could rest and get some food, Locanda offers a new idea of hospitality made of simplicity and relaxed pace, with discreet and dedicated service, all in a sophisticated space marked by the interaction with the beauty of the surrounding nature. La Raia estate also includes a kindergarten and a Waldorf elementary school. They were born from Caterina Rossi Cairo’s idea and are managed by the no profit association Intorno al Melo, active in the production, promotion and home delivery of organic fruit, vegetable and other edible goods. Four years ago Caterina’s husband Tom Dean, launched portaNatura, active in the production, promotion and home delivery of organic fruit, vegetable and other edible goods.
In June 2013 Fondazione La Raia – arte cultura territorio (La Raia Foundation – art culture territory) was born, founded by Giorgio Rossi Cairo and Irene Crocco, and directed by Ilaria Bonacossa.