The Langhe hills of Piedmont constitute that area of northern Italy where the wide and flat Pò river valley suddenly disappears and gives way on all sides to hulking and precipitous slopes. The Langhe hills are more than hills. They are ancient and rugged earth. Their narrow peaks are topped by castles, and they are thick to the horizon with grapevines. The Langhe hills are home to a small group of farmers and winemakers who, together, have succeeded in creating some of the planet’s finest expressions of place.
The Ceretto family is among that fortunate group. For three generations members of the Ceretto family have transformed the fruit of the Langhe’s vineyards into wines that speak of the regions identity. The famed Italian gastronome and intellectual Luigi Veronelli wrote, "The land, the land, the land, the land, always, the land." This philosophy is central to the Ceretto family. Reverence for this land has passed from Riccardo, who blended fruit from the region’s best vineyards, to Bruno and Marcello, who purchased Langhe vineyards and began bottling single crus, and finally to Alessandro, who is taking the winery into the 21st century by using natural methods to foster vines that are stronger, healthier, and more in balance with their environment. The Ceretto family has always been committed to producing the most expressive and authentic wines their land can yield.
Location of Vineyard
The Ceretto family has become one of the largest vineyard proprietors in Piedmont with more than 400 acres of estate-owned vineyards, located primarily in the Langhe and Roero region. This includes the prestigious DOCG areas of Barolo and Barbaresco. The family name is synonymous with estate-grown; carefully produced wines that express true varietal character with purity and elegance.
In 2012, under the leadership of Alessandro Ceretto, the Ceretto family began the lengthy process of obtaining Organic certification for all of their vineyard holdings. The Ceretto family does not apply herbicides in the vineyards and fertilizes with manure only. Green cover crops are planted between the rows of vines to reinforce soil fertility and structure. And in the single vineyards, natural sprays are applied to vines to boost plant vitality and photosynthetic capacity. All this is aimed at developing a sensitive and healthy vineyard system capable of maintaining its own natural resources over time.
The family owns four wine estates in the Langhe, each devoted to the production of specific wines and each named for its geographic location:
- Bricco Rocche in the village of Castiglione Falletto, where single-vineyard Barolo wines are produced
- Bricco Asili in the village of Barbaresco, home to the single-vineyard Barbaresco wines
- Monsordo Bernardina in Alba, dedicated to the production of wines from the Langhe and Roero areas
- I Vignaioli Santo Stefano, in the village of Santo Stefano Belbo dedicated entirely to the production of Moscato wines
The Ceretto family is wholly committed to their home in Piedmont’s Langhe—its wine, its gastronomy, and its arts. The family supports numerous art projects, a tradition that began in 1982 when they commissioned the Italian designer Silvio Coppola to design elegant and unmistakable packaging for their entry level wines. Modern architecture blends into the green hillsides at Ceretto’s world-class wineries and the family provides residency to visiting artists at their Casa dell’Artista. Furthermore, the Ceretto family invites the world to celebrate the bounty of the Langhe at the two restaurants they operate in Alba: La Piola and its big brother, Piazza Duomo, which has been awarded three Michelin stars.
However, primary consideration is always placed on the vineyards and on the wine. Under the current leadership of Alessandro Ceretto, winemaking practices have evolved to emphasize terroir above all else. Both small and large oak barrels can be found in Ceretto’s cellars but the use of large, traditional botti has increased, as these big barrels do not overwhelm the wines’ nuances with oak flavor. Wild yeasts are used to ferment Ceretto’s Barolo and Barbaresco wines and harvest is conducted by hand and followed by rigorous sorting to deliver only the best raw materials to the winery.
"Whoever drinks [our] wines can see the vineyards from which they originated. The vineyard is history, the names of the hills remain, unchanged over time, enhancing the quality and credibility of the wines produced here. You can search for, visit and physically touch a vineyard… always."