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The Ceretto winery was founded in the 1930s: Riccardo Ceretto, who did not own any vineyards, produced wine from grapes he purchased. The turning point came when his sons Bruno and Marcello joined the business, with their innovative thinking for the time: the importance of the land. Though this seems obvious today, memories of the poverty of rural life in the Langhe region - described so well by Beppe Fenoglio in his novel “La Malora” (“Ruin”) - were still fresh, and Riccardo was reluctant to invest in purchasing land.
Moving away from invasive cellar techniques, the concept that “wine is made in the vineyard” has now become established. Of course, but how are the vineyards tended? A healthy vine can only grow in healthy soil: just like us, the vine is what it breathes and what it feeds on.
According to Steiner’s philosophy, which guides our work on the soil, we must find a balance by drawing inspiration from nature: a mountain meadow is home to an infinite variety of different flowers, and a passing thunderstorm will not erode the soil. Although vineyards involve human intervention, we can still strive to achieve biodiversity in the methods used to cultivate them: in the last twenty years we have eliminated the use of insecticides and fertilizers, learning to nourish the soil by cover cropping, i.e., planting crops between the rows of vines to provide green manure.
This is a process, not the addition of an ingredient: we never think of our work in the vineyards or wine cellars as a recipe.
In everything we do, our approach respects the long life of our wines for ageing: the results of an experiment in the vineyard will only be seen in the bottle seven and a half years after the grape harvest. It therefore takes at least fifteen years before we can confirm the result of our tests, and answer the questions we ask the wine and the terroir.
Also for this reason, our objective - rather than a return to tradition - is not to allow the latest trends in oenology to guide our choices: the secret ingredient in any passing fad (from time to time: barrique, strength, sweetness, etc.) dilutes the wine’s identity for the sake of frantically pursuing an elusive market.
We have chosen a different programmatic approach: this is guided by our respect for the ecosystem and the quest for maximum vine yield and health, to obtain wines that express the personality of each terroir: our role is to accompany the wine, without dragging it in a predetermined direction, offering it the conditions in which it can best express its character, without ever forgetting that a vine can live longer than a man.