The name Ceretto recalls immediately an important chapter in the history of wine. The Ceretto family has always based its values to the tradition of its founder, Riccardo Ceretto; Bruno and Marcello have been able to modernise the old tradition and spread it all over the world, promoting, at the same time, their brand on the local territory, the Langhe, officially recognised part of the UNESCO heritage in 2014.
In search of the “cru”, the power of intuition
The two brothers, Bruno and Marcello, wanted to find the vineyards with the most important historical position. This idea, they had during a trip in Bourgogne, confirm their intuition and made the Barolo and Barbaresco some of the most appreciated wines in the world. It was a great revolution, at the time, for a territory where the concept of the cru was totally unknown, but it was above all a brilliant idea.
The real struggle for the two brothers was convincing their father Riccardo, who had always bought grapes to make wine. “You are undertaking a very difficult path, the soil has never enriched anyone”, sustained Riccardo, but Bruno and Marcello were stubborn and they had no doubts: “We trust in the soil 100%, the winery is important, but a great wine borns from great grapes”. So they started dreaming about wine labels with the name and a picture of the vineyard: “In this way who drinks that wine will see also the vineyard where it comes from. The vineyard is history, the name of the hills last with the passing of the years, they did not change and it make the quality of wine stronger and reliable. A vineyard is something you can search, find, visit and touch. Always.”. In 1986 “The wine Spectator”, maybe the most influent American magazine about wine, put a picture of the two Ceretto brother on the cover, naming them “Barolo Brothers”. Bruno and Marcello were young (under 50), but they have been able to not be overwhelmed by international and important consecration, to which all aspire, but few can obtain. Today they are still true to themselves, they are still dreaming and fighting for their goals. Meantime the Langa has grown and along with it, who, as they did, place the name of the soil where they were born before their name.
Roberta and Federico, Lisa and Alessandro, the new generations, brought new motivation and enhanced the brilliant ideas of their parents, starting from their patronage.
At the end of the ‘90s the company has passed into the hands of the new generations: Lisa and Alessandro (sons of Marcello), Roberta and Federico (sons of Bruno). Meanwhile it has already begun a process of diversification, which gave the life to the “Relanghe”(1993) project, with the aim of enhance the IGP Piedmont hazelnut and one of its symbols: the nougat. A few years later followed the restoration of the “Barolo chapel” realised by the artists David Tremlett and Sol LeWitt, located in the “Brunante” vineyard in La Morra. This was the first initiative of the family in support of the contemporary art. Their passion for pop-art and culture encouraged the meeting with international artists as Marina Abramovič, and more recently with the singer Patty Smith and the photographer Lynn Davis, who made an exhibition in Alba, the city of 100 towers. The pop icon of the family remains the “Blangé”, produced for the first time in 1985. “It is a wine”, underlines Bruno Ceretto, “urged by the market itself, a white Langhe nectar that had never existed before. During a natural walk in the Roero I discovered that a group of winegrowers had started to cultivate the Arneis, a particular grapevine, which produces a unique wine: fresh and perfumed. In that moment I decided to start the the Ceretto project, buying some vineyards to produce this wine. Persuade the little and local producers to sell vineyards was not so easy, we spent a lot of energy…just think that to obtain the current 75-80 hectares we had to stipulate more than 100 notarial deeds! Today we own over 10% of the Arneis total vineyards, and with this unique kind of wine, we create our products (over than 500.000 bottle/per year and it is still our “cash-cow”, ndr), which has been innovated in the “packaging”: white bottle for white wine with a label designed in ‘80s by the famous designer Silvio Coppola”.
And then run into the world of the excellence
“We spent about 40 years to buy the vineyards from their previous owners, because no one sells the wide vineyards; the problem was the huge splitting up and, then, the vineyards are considered historical heritage, inalienable, they are hardly sold. At the beginning of ‘60s we had already chosen our destiny, following the veronelliana idea of the cru we were looking for the most important vineyards on the territory: not being allowed to buy them, we bought the grapes showing our interest to the winemakers. We had vinified over 10, maybe 15 years not using our grapes, then, a vineyard at time, with the passing of the years, owners became old and we bought their property”. Those vineyards, 160 hectares, 11 hectares in the Barolo DOGC, 8 hectares in the Barbaresco DOCG and 80 hectares in the 4 vineyards of the Blangé. Today we face with a new revolution: the biological and biodynamic agriculture. In 2010 the company has begun to follow the biological approach on the whole area (160 hectares in total), gaining the certificate of excellence for the harvest in 2015. Contemporary, in 2010, they tried also the biodynamic model in Barolo and Barbaresco: today all the “cru” (20 hectares) and the Tenuta Monsordo Bernardina vineyards are cultivated with this method, for a total of 30 hectares. Seen the positive results of this choice, the next goal for the future is will be certainly to cultivate with the biodynamic system the entire vineyards area.
Welcome to visit: the great value of the outsourcing
Create tangible and intangible openings for the widespread community. In this field Ceretto is a real landmark, thanks also to Roberta, who is always ready to join new architectural activities or artistic projects: “Art, as design and architecture, is very important for us; our passion comes from the love for our territory, which we want to enhance and improve though the local artists. We are not able to imagine these two arts divided from the wine production, starting from the labels up to our innovative wineries and so the collection of work of arts”. This is a kind of art which influences also the food world as in the case of “La piola”, a unique dish created by Donald Baechler, Robert Indiana, Terry Winters, Philip Taaffe, Kiki Smith, Lynn Davis, John Baldessari, Thomas Nozkowski. And then there is “Piazza Duomo”, the kingdom of Enrico Crippa, where Francesco Clemente painted the dome of the main hall in 2007; the same place conserves also a work of art by Anselm Kiefer. What else? Just the words of Federico Ceretto: “Our job is first of all entertainment. The method invented by my father is a certainty: involve the costumers in our culture and let them enjoy the beauty of our territory, the Langhe”.