The cantina sociale has been a critical lifeline to small grape growers since the inception of modern winemaking throughout Italy. In particular, Cantina Sociale di Gattinara, founded in 1908, has offered families from the zone of Gattinara a steady path to continued independence and stewardship of the land. Forty families care for their own tiny plots, which total 15 hectares of vines rooted in the zone’s pure volcanic soils. Descending into the cantina’s historic cellar with its cement tanks and botti tucked beneath the centuries-old city center of Gattinara is like traveling back in time. Today, the cantina produces approximately 2,000 cases of wine annually. The resulting wines display a simple elegance and purity as well as a palpable connection to over 100 years of production.