25 June 2023
Ceretto has been producing wine since 1930. Over the past twenty years, the winery embarked on a journey to make a more sustainable impact on the environment, leading the company to achieve organic certification in 2015. Together with chef Enrico Crippa, Ceretto opened Piazza Duomo, the only three Michelin-starred restaurant in Piedmont.
Yet, “simply” defining Ceretto as a winemaking company would not be appropriate. The company’s passion for the arts and the Piedmont region has driven the family to become patrons and entrepreneurs. A vocation that has also materialized in the production of Nocciola Piemonte PGI from the Langhe and torrone.
RICCARDO THE FOUNDER
The Ceretto family has been active in the Langhe region for three generations. It all began with Riccardo Ceretto in 1937: he, quite literally, fled from the misery of Valdivilla (a small hamlet in Santo Stefano Belbo) to seek his fortune in the city, precisely in Alba. Riccardo gave life to a business that has written a significant chapter in the history of the Langhe and Roero. Wine became the main driving force: fine wines produced on the same hills where outstanding Barolo and Barbaresco come from, but that’s not all. Activities soon crossed the Tanaro River to reach Roero, setting an example for the region with the creation of Blangè (now one of the most famous Langhe Arneis wines on the market), and explored the lands of Moscato.
BRUNO AND MARCELLO: PIONEERS OF EXCELLENT PIEDMONTESE WINEMAKING TRADITION
These were hard times during which the Langhe region seemed like a borderland. Wine has always been produced in this territory but using a different approach. In 1960, Bruno and Marcello had a revelation: while observing the winemaking experience of their French neighbors, they recognized the potential of local grape varieties. Piedmontese winemaking tradition appeared to be a blank slate, where everything could be written anew. This was their challenge: to bring the wines from our hills to the “same table” of the great labels from Burgundy. Thus began a new course, in which quality became the priority, starting from the vineyard. They selected, joined, and acquired parcels in the most suitable and historically renowned areas, and were among the first in the Langhe to focus on the concept of “cru”. At the same time, they traveled to open up new markets, establishing a network of loyal and passionate partners.
Perseverance, rigor, determination, and respect, together with an endless curiosity as well as the desire to constantly improve and grow are the characteristics that distinguish the Ceretto family. The winery exclusively vinifies grapes from property vineyards, now stretching for more than 170 hectares. At the turn of the new millennium, the company embarked on a new and radical path that led to an increasingly environmental-friendly approach to agriculture, which ultimately allowed the winery to become a certified organic company in 2015. Once quality has been guaranteed, it was time to wrap it with authentic Italian artistry: in the early 1980s, Ceretto collaborated with renowned designers to create unique wine labels that became true icons of Made in Italy.
The 1980s also saw the company’s most audacious undertaking: Blangè. The year was 1985 when a white Arneis was introduced in a land known for its reds. Blangè immediately stood out and its overwhelming success brought a resurgence to the entire territory of Roero, which had previously lost confidence in winemaking. The wine has undoubtedly opened doors for the Ceretto family, who gained access to new market segments.
THE THIRD GENERATION: TORRONE, ART AND CULTURE
This could have been the end of the story, but the burning passion led the family to explore new dimensions. Starting in 2000, the new generation – the third one represented by Alessandro and Lisa (Marcello’s children), and Federico and Roberta (Bruno’s children) – rapidly expanded the horizon: from being producers of great Piedmontese wines, they ventured into other endeavors. They delved into hazelnuts and established a complete supply chain for the Relanghe laboratory, which produces torrone and gianduja. They also entered the restaurant industry with “La Piola” and “Piazza Duomo”, teaming up with three Michelin-starred chef, Enrico Crippa. They began importing foreign wines with Terroirs and, from there, started exploring the realms of culture, art, and architecture. They collaborated with writers and journalists for each new vintage release and, in 1999, almost by chance, they developed an interest for contemporary art. The family called on artists David Tremlett and Sol LeWitt to work on the chapel of Brunate, now famously known as the “Barolo Chapel”.
Over the years, this journey also led to projects involving important exhibits featuring international artists and their works in a small city which was not familiar to them, such as Alba. Renowned contemporary artists – such as Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, Kiki Smith, Marina Abramovic and Patti Smith, just to name a few – have established sincere friendly relations with the family, who has undoubtedly become an important representative of our territory.
The unconditional love for the Langhe and the desire to make it known to the rest of the world are some of the principles that have guided the family: a legacy that has been passed down the generations. Culture, art, and architecture (some cellars being distinctly peculiar) have ultimately proven to be excellent means to convey the beauty and uniqueness of the family’s products and vineyards. The Ceretto family exudes a vibrant and constant flow of energy, awareness and ability to engage clients and enthusiasts in their philosophy: one that considers work as a responsibility and a commitment, but also the expression of a joyful way of living that involves all the senses, becoming a full experience of life.