The Langhe like the old West: mysterious, sun-blessed moorland, and hills which are still wild and untamable despite the Cartesian logic of their division into rows of vines. An El Dorado. A frontier land with its own gold rushes, pioneers, family sagas, gambles that paid off and hard-earned fortunes, and blood ties that develop into deep roots.
The history of the Ceretto brand has all of this: three generations whose mission for more than seventy years has been excellence in wine, ambassador of Piedmont and Italy throughout the world. It was Riccardo, the founder, who decided to harness the creative energy of a unique region by planting the first vineyards and setting up the original nucleus of the family firm in Alba.
The turning-point in terms of future development came in the Sixties however, with the arrival on the scene of his sons: Bruno, at the helm of the commercial side of the business, and Marcello, as Technical Director. As unlike yet united and complementary as only certain close relatives can be, the Barolo Brothers (as they are known abroad, in an epithet worthy of Sergio Leone) set out to gradually improve the quality of their product. They achieved this by basing their ethos on the concept of terroir, pursuing the very foundations of taste and selecting the finest crus of Barolo and Barbaresco.
In little more than thirty years, the Ceretto brothers created a network of small independent estates in the Langhe and Roero, purchasing over 120 hectares (300 acres) of land to form a constellation of cellars producing outstanding labels such as the Bricco Rocche Barolos, the Bricco Asili Barbarescos, Blangé Arneis, Moscato from Vignaioli di Santo Stefano, Dolcetto, Barbera, Langhe Monsordo and grappas.
While precision and clarity may be the common threads running through their entrepreneurial strategy, flair and imagination are the distinguishing features of the company’s collateral projects: wineries that bear the stamp of famous designers and architects, labels that are works of graphic art, and book prizes and musical events, because wine is above-all culture.
Meanwhile, in 1999 - with almost symbolic timing given that the new millennium was about to begin - the next generation joined the family business: Marcello’s heirs, Lisa and Alessandro, in finance & administration and production respectively; and Roberta, Bruno’s firstborn, working in public relations and the promotion of parallel ventures, while her brother, Federico, took on responsibility for the export markets.
Drawing on the craft and temperament, and the aptitude and skills of their fathers, the new generation of Cerettos is demonstrating that tradition also means transition, looking to the future whilst continuing along the twin tracks laid down by their parents.