Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ceretto Moscato d' Asti ~ Warm Season Favorite

In Alba in the late 1930s, Riccardo Ceretto founded the Casa Vinicola Ceretto, which formed the nucleus of the present Aziende Agricole Ceretto. In the 1960s, his sons, Bruno and Marcello, took over the company's commercial and technical direction, respectively, dedicating themselves to a careful expansion of family holdings.Since then, the enterprise's mission has been to acquire and consolidate various high-quality winemaking properties around the Langa region; make them autonomous from a production point of view; and foster synergy between the company's technical and sales staffs. The result has been the selection of land offering ideal exposure, altimetry, and chemical-physical composition, and on this land the family has planted or replanted vineyards. In its wines, the family uses grapes that come either directly from its own vineyards or indirectly from nearby producers who maintain the same high quality standards as the Cerettos and with whom the Cerettos have exclusive contracts.Of primary importance remains the vines' cultivation, at once traditional and-thanks to collaboration with the University of Turin's Faculty of Agriculture-evolutionary. With this sound foundation, work in the cellar has been reduced to a series of measures that complement and complete, rather than modify, nature's product.
In the 1960s, the Cerettos sampled grapes from many regional properties, to determine which were the best Barolo and Barbaresco crus. Then the family began purchasing vineyards, acquiring its first, Bricco Asili (in the Barbaresco region), in 1970. In 1973, the Cerettos built their first winery, the Azienda Agricola Bricco Asili, which comprised two of the area's best crus, Asili (1,2 Ha.) and Faset (1,6 Ha.) and purchased the Bernardot vineyard (in the Treiso district), in 1997. After Barbaresco, the Cerettos assembled-in a series of purchases of small plots over twenty years-a patchwork of Nebbiolo vineyards for the production of Barolo wine: Prapò (2,4 Ha.), in Serralunga d'Alba; Brunate (5,6 Ha.), in La Morra; and Bricco Rocche (1,5 Ha.), in Castiglione Falletto. Between 1977 and 1982, the family constructed an ultra-modern winery, the Azienda Agricola Bricco Rocche, in Castiglione Falletto on the top of the hill Rocche. In 2002, we purchased just under 1 acre on the top (the "Bricco") of the famous Cannubi vineyard, which will soon produce a very exclusive Barolo.
In 1974, the Distillery was built-the first in the Langhe region to produce single-variety grappas from property vineyards. In 1985, a new seat became operative at La Morra (in the Brunate district), where four varieties of grappa are distilled: Nebbiolo,Moscato, Dolcetto and more grapes .
Although the world has always known Piedmont for its great red wines, the Cerettos have never ignored white varieties. In 1977, several small producers of Moscato d'Asti in Santo Stefano Belbo founded the Azienda I Vignaioli di Santo Stefano Belbo, under the Cerettos' technical and commercial direction. 40 Ha. of the Tenuta San Maurizio, rented for 30 years from the Conti Incisa Beccaria, were added to the first 15 Ha. in the 1995. The total production of this estate is 150.000 bottles of Moscato d'Asti, 10.000 of Asti Spumante and 4.000 of Moscato Passito.
In the 1980s, the Arneis-Piedmont's only indigenous white grape-began receiving well-deserved attention, and in 1985, the Azienda Agricola Blangè 35 Ha. after the acquisition of Tenuta San Carlo)was set up, to produce a high-quality, Arneis-based wine.
The headquarters of the Ceretto Aziende Vitivinicole, were transferred, in 1989, from Alba to a completely restored site near the Bernardina estate. Situated in the hills surrounding Alba, it is one of the largest aziende agricole in the area. La Bernardina is also the seat of the Azienda Agricola Monsordo-Bernardina, which produces a Spumante Brut Classic Method, a sparkling wine crafted from Chardonnay and Pinot Nero grapes.
With the 1997 harvest and the bottling of the first Monsordo red, the winery realized its longtime dream of creating a great, "international" red wine, blended-in different proportions each year-from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Nebbiolo.In 1995, a plot of land extending into the communes of Sinio and Albaretto Torre was acquired in the Upper Langa region (at an altitude of 600 meters). The Rhine Riesling was identified as the ideal grape for this terrain, and its first harvest, in 1997, gave rise to the Azienda Agricola Arbarei.


Travel Italy said...

One of my favorite producers! Great wines with great traditions!

Tracie P. said...

i LOVE that moscato! tell fede that the texana says hi :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Alfonso

Who's that guy holding his son, in the picture taken in 1977? He looks familiar.

Good pictures, good work and words.

I say hi, too, and to everyone.

Anonymous said...

love muscato - great article
just discovered your blog

why can't we get those fabulous muscato grapes (to eat!) here ???

Alfonso Cevola said...

thanks -

i think you could find these grapes in specialty markets somewhere - i saw something at whole foods the other day... this is the season...AC

Anonymous said...

What other wines do they have in their range?

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