Ceretto, a Tale of Piedmont


Ceretto, a Tale of Piedmont

15 March 2024

Ceretto's tale is as diverse as it gets: a narrative with many layers - wine, naturally, followed by food (the three-starred Piazza Duomo with chef Enrico Crippa and the Piola, alongside the revival of nougat and hazelnut cultivation with the Relanghe company), hospitality, but also architecture and art.

Three generations have been tirelessly working to showcase an extraordinary territory and its gastronomic treasures worldwide; a profound expertise in winemaking, with an unwavering focus on quality as their guiding principle, and an equally remarkable ability to convey not just a product but the philosophy behind it. Ceretto's story is one of passions, beginning almost 90 years ago with Riccardo Ceretto, who, from the small hamlet of Valdivilla, moved to Alba in 1937. Wine beckoned him, but it was a complex era, where the Langhe seemed like a borderland, and quality remained a distant concept.

The winemaking landscape in Piedmont was a blank canvas awaiting its narrative. It was Riccardo's sons, Bruno and Marcello, who, in the 1960s, had a revelation and, observing the winemaking phenomenon among their French neighbors, recognized the potential of local grapes. They began acquiring plots in the most renowned and historically best-producing areas and pioneering the concept of cru. Gradually, the first successes emerged, and Barolo and Barbaresco stepped out of obscurity and began to conquer the market, validating the vision of the two brothers.

They opted to only use grapes produced in their own vineyards, now numbering over 180 acquired over the years, with 25 in the finest Barolo and Barbaresco crus; they established 4 specific cellars for the main productions, to facilitate vinification while respecting the place of origin (Barolo at Bricco Rocche, Barbaresco at Bricco Asili, Moscato at I Vignaioli di Santo Stefano, and the main headquarters in Alba at the centuries-old Tenuta Monsordo Bernardina).

Once quality was assured, they decided to infuse it with Italian creativity, involving renowned designers from the early 1980s to create unique labels for their wines; today, these bottles are true icons of Made in Italy.

The 1980s also marked their boldest challenge - Blangè. It was in 1985 when this white wine, an Arneis, was first introduced in a land known for its reds. Blangè immediately made its mark, and its resounding success propelled the entire Roero territory.

From this point, they began to embrace culture, pairing writers and journalists with each new vintage. In 1999 - by chance, as many beautiful things often happen - a passion for contemporary art was born, with David Tremlett and Sol LeWitt involved at the Brunate chapel, now known as the Barolo chapel. Over the years, following this thread, projects have developed, culminating in highly valuable exhibitions, bringing international artists to perform in a town off the beaten path like Alba: important figures in the contemporary art scene (Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, Kiki Smith, Marina Abramovic...), with whom the family has managed to forge genuine friendships that make them the best ambassadors of our region.

Unconditional love for their homeland and a desire to share it: one of the central themes of Ceretto's story, an inheritance worth passing on.

The years that began with the new millennium were intense, with the third generation (Alessandro, Federico, Lisa, and Roberta) joining the company in 1999. Projects related to the territory and its promotion, the preservation of local traditions and culture, have developed more and more. From being producers of great Piedmont wines, new horizons emerged quickly: the complete supply chain for Piedmont Hazelnuts P.G.I. and Relanghe products; then catering with Piola and Piazza Duomo, two successful ventures that, thanks to Enrico Crippa's three Michelin stars, bring prestige to the entire region, and also the importation of foreign wines with Terroirs, allowing for expanded contacts and dialogue with foreign wineries.

Today, it's impossible to think of Ceretto solely as a wine producer: Ceretto is also haute cusine, a beacon of excellence in hazelnut production, a patron and promoter of culture in the region.

A brilliant and constant flow of energy, awareness, and the ability to captivate customers or enthusiasts in what is, above all, a family approach to viewing work as responsibility, commitment, but also as an expression of a joy of living that must engage all the senses until it becomes a complete experience, indeed, of life.