It might look like a space ship hovering over the vines, but it is actually the rather novel way of feeling as though you are part of the vineyard as you taste wine at Ceretto Wines in Alba. Ahead of next week’s Nebbiolo Day tasting in London we talk to owner Alessandro Ceretto, part of the third generation of the family that is looking to make wines true to the region. Which for Alessandro means not just a heavy focus on Nebbiolo, but a dedication to biodynamic winemaking as well.
You don’t need to travel to Alba to taste Alessandro Cerreto’s wines, as he will be one of the many producers taking part in Nebbiolo Day on March 5. Here’s what to expect.
Tell us something about the history of the winery and when it was set up and has grown?
The winery began in 1935 with Riccardo Ceretto who passed it on to his two sons, Marcello and Bruno Ceretto, who continue to run it with their children today. The winery currently has 160ha where there is 11ha of Barolo and 8ha in Barbaresco divided amongst some of the best crus in the region.
Why do you grow Nebbiolo and what sort of styles of wine do you hope to make from it?
It is the dominant variety of the region in which our wineries are located. Our style is one that focused on expressing the terroir and in turn we operate all our vineyards biodynamically, and we strive for elegance in the winemaking process.
Have the styles of Nebbiolo changed over the years and if so how and why?
On a whole for the region, it has changed several times but the general trend now is to do what they did in the past i.e. Botte grande (no new oak), medium to long maceration, natural fermentation etc…
What Nebbiolo wines do you export to the UK?
Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo D’Alba.
Why do you think they are suitable for the UK market ?
Luckily the UK market is one that is very multicultural, and with such a diverse range of food styles there is always something that will match with Nebbiolo and not just in the numerous Italian restaurants.
Do you have a UK importer?
Yes we are with Mentzendorff.
What are the price points for your wines and which channels of the market are you looking to sell into?
Our price points range from £30 right up to £800 and we leave the decision of what channels they should be sold in to our importer.
What other grapes do you grow?
Arneis, Riesling, Dolcetto, Barbera, Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot.
What are your other major export markets and why?
The US and Asia.
How do you see 2019? What are your big opportunities and where are the challenges?
Our opportunities are related to our challenges, we are obviously interested in climate change and we are progressing with planting Nebbiolo in cooler positions and looking heavily into cropping, pruning, canopy and general cultivation techniques to ensue the longevity of Nebbiolo. One of the other major challenges we face is with our organic production and in particular the recent drop in the allowable quantities of copper in European vineyards.
Why should a buyer or sommelier come and taste your wines at the Nebbiolo tasting next week?
Because the wines speak for themselves and if they don’t they will never know!
- The Nebbiolo Day tasting takes place on March 5 at the Lindley Hall, Elverton St, London SW1P 2PB including more than 90 winemakers and 500 Nebbiolo wines. It will include in-depth seminars and master classes by Walter Speller ( ) and the guru of Italian wine maps Alessandro Masnaghetti ( ). You can also test your knowledge of the many styles and guess the origin of more than 90 wines on the Nebbiolo Trail. To register go to http://huntandspeller.com