The Pio Cesare family have been producing traditional Piedmontese wines in their ancient cellars in the centre of Alba for five generations. Ancient, because although the winemaking equipment is completely up to date, and the underground cellars fairly recently extended, the thick Roman walls are a clearly visible part. Founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio, the company is now led by his great grandson, Pio Boffa, assisted by his nephew Cesare Benvenuto.
Pio Cesare own more than 65 hectares of vineyards located in the most highly rated and better exposed areas. Within Barolo, they have Ornato and Colombaro in Serralunga, Gustava in Grinzane Cavour, Roncaglie in La Morra and Ravera in Barolo-Novello. Within Barbaresco they own Il Bricco and San Stefanetto in Treiso. In addition to their own vineyards Pio Cesare has long-standing relationships with growers managing all aspects of viticulture in these vineyards, whose grapes represent about 10 per cent of Pio Cesare’s production.
The style of Barolo is traditional. Their flagship Barolo of which they make about 7,500 dozen a year is a blend from vineyards in four areas. 50% comes from Ornato in Serralunga and 50% from Grinzane Cavour, La Morra and Novello. After skin contact for 20 days it spends three years in French oak, 70% in 20 to 50hl botte and 30% in barrique. The single-vineyard Ornato, made from the ripest grapes picked two weeks later, spends three years 70% in new barriques and 30% in 25hl casks. It is a wine with great staying power. Indeed the oldest wine in the family’s library collection is 1890.