La Merlina is one of the oldest wineries bottling wine from estate-grown grapes in Gavi (it is enrolled as bottle n. 10 in the district’s archives). The estate dates back to the second half of the XIX century, and the vineyard has been run by the same Gemme family ever since. The Merlina vineyard was last replanted in the mid-’50s with spurred Cordon training system. It lies in the prized ‘Rovereto’ site, regarded as the appellation’s finest thanks to a combination of high altitude, south-east exposure, and steep soils affording high drainage potential and elevated concentration of iron and quartz, the vineyards extend to 27 acres. Nowadays, Fausto Gemme keeps growing Cortese grapes for his Gavi di Gavi DoCG per a few simple principles of non-intrusive, low-impact viticulture (no systemic treatments, no use of chemical pesticides).
Fausto is still very much involved in every step of the winemaking process, trusting his palate and going for traditional white wine fermentation in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature (plus a short stay on the lees in stainless steel vats before bottling).