When the cellar in the center of Barolo became too small to accommodate barrels and equipment, the Germano family decided to transfer the production to La Morra. Perhaps following the heart (the future wife of Gian Angelo, Jose, was from La Morra) perhaps looking for the best possible panorama (today core areas of the territory entered in the UNESCO heritage) Gian Angelo bought in the seventies from the bishop's curia of Alba, the farmhouse so-called "of the bishop" which stands in the San Martino area. This is why the labels have the shape of the bishop's miter.
The Germano Angelo winery is composed for one third of the seventeenth-century farmhouse and for the other two thirds of the new construction where the grapes are processed and the wines are produced and where the family lives.
The new part was built in the eighties by the architect Cosmi who, at the express request of Gian Angelo, concentrated the planning on the respect of the landscape, ordering for example only antique tiles for the more than 2.000 square meters of roof. The vaults of the cellar are all made of wood and the glance of the wine-making room with its large truss is really impressive.
The aging rooms are located in the oldest part of the building where the walls are over 60 cm thick maintaining the ideal environment for storing wines.
During the renovation, specialized technicians in ancient buildings were consulted and the particular method with which the farmhouse was built was discovered.
The house is practically without foundations, the stability is given by the thickness and weight of the walls in which there is at least 70% of large stones. To build it a small hill of earth was raised about 10 meters high, leaning against it were gradually placed stones, bricks and cement (lime and sand) up to the desired height, then the walls were attached to the roof structure.
Consequently, it was fundamental not to redo the roof in a traditional way, that is to say, by uncovering the house because otherwise the walls would have collapsed, but keeping the main beams and gradually replacing the rest.
The bricks were then made on site by building a furnace, proof of this is the composition of the earth, the very irregular cooking and the hand and foot prints still visible on the bricks.
The cellar has a magnificent view over most of the Barolo area. Here in fact, during the summer, wine tastings are organized accompanied by typical products during which you can enjoy the view.
The Germano winery is located right in the bishop's house dedicated to San Martino of Mercenasco and this has characterized the shape of the labels that distinguish wines with grapes from single vineyards (cru) in fact it wants to remember the bishop's miter.
The first church of La Morra was named after this holy friar and was erected for the purposes of Mercenasco or the hamlet where the Germano Angelo winery resides. It is difficult to calculate the years of the foundation: it is certain, however, that the parish church of San Martino of Mercenasco existed at the end of the 12th century. And around it were planted the first vineyards. The present church of the Annunziata district was built next to the chapel of which the apse and a delicate fresco are still preserved. Later, when the village of Murra was built on the top of the hill, the new parish church was still dedicated to San Martino and was erected where the church of San Sebastiano is currently located.
La Morra could not have chosen a better patron saint than Martino. Why? In the dark years of the early Middle Ages the cultivation of the vine survived by virtue of the fact that the wine entered the rite of the Mass: for which abbots and bishops worked so that this product would never lack. Thus the wine chronicles narrate that when Brother Martino became Bishop of Tours in 371 he brought the vine to that region which is now so famous for the wines of the Loire. In fact, he is even credited with having reintroduced the pruning technique transmitted by the Romans and then lost during the fall of the empire. Zealous biographers and some bunglers attribute to Martino what had already been attributed to the ancient Greeks: to have learned pruning by observing a donkey graze the branches.