Ciabot Berton

The Oberto family have been in the Barolo region for many generations, with family roots that can be followed back to 1200 in the village of La Morra. Until the late 1950s the family were grape growers, selling their produce to winemakers at the market in Alba. At that point Giovenale Oberto and his son Luigi decided to build a small winery of their own and in 1961 produced their first bottles of Barolo. In time, and with the success of the burgeoning business, the family expanded their vineyard holdings to the 12 hectares they farm today, including some in the prized Roggeri vineyard inherited by Luigi's wife Maria Beatrice.

Now oenologist Marco Oberto and his sister Paola, an agronomist, have enhanced the Oberto reputation still further for making full, well-balanced Barolo of lovely quality with the structure to last. They make a blend from their three vineyard holdings in Roggeri, San Biagio and Rive, but their single vineyard Roggeri has greater depth of flavour, class and keeping quality. Roggeri is, in our view, Ciabot Berton's best wine, combining power and finesse, made from grapes grown at 400 metres altitude. Grapes are hand picked parcel by parcel and the wine is aged for two years in Slavonian oak.

The name Ciabot Berton comes from a ruined building on their land in sight of the winery. This ciabot (a Piedmont dialect word for small building) was owned by a firework-maker by the name of Berton and the ruin has no roof for entirely predictable reasons. In honour of the somewhat hapless Berton, the Obertos have named their barbera d'Alba fisetta, or firework.

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