Celebrating 550 years of passion for fine wine in Piedmont, Italy
Tenuta Carretta can be found at Piobesi d’Alba, in the hilly Roero region of Piedmont on the left bank of the Tanaro river. The soil is largely sandstone. This is land that was formed after the neighbouring Langhe, from the ancient seas of the Po region in the Pliocene phase of the Tertiary era.
The interaction of soils, microclimate and different grape varieties, combined with limited yields, make for wines with unique characteristics. Sandy soils produce the most elegant and fragrant wines; and where the sand mixes with a more chalky base the wines become more austere.
For Tenuta Carretta, recorded winemaking history dates back to 1467, making it the oldest winery in Piedmont. The Carretta name comes from its noble lady owner, from Alba, “domina Careta Constanzi”, who lived in the mid-14th century. Nevertheless, it’s the sharecropping contract drawn up by lawyer Giorgio di Monteacuto on 28 November 1467 that provides the start of the estate’s winemaking history and provides this year’s 550th Anniversary. The contract is drawn up between the Lord of Piobesi, Andrea Damiano, and brothers Corrado, Giacomino and Pietrino Porrino, who are given permission to work the land (and pick the crops) of “cassina Careta” for nine years.
This contract is a particularly valuable source of information, because of its very precise instructions. Most telling is the stipulation that when it comes to grapes, the harvest is to be divided 50/50 between sharecroppers and owner, except for grapes coming from the Podio hill vineyard ( Podium Serrae), which are reserved for the Lord of Piobesi, absolutely, (“salvo et reservato vites Podi Serrae, de quibus se nil impedire teneantur et debeant”). This is a prototype of quality differentiation that is unique in Piedmontese history and survives today in the status of exactly the same vineyard as the source of the estate’s finest wines. Tenuta Carretta has belonged to the textile-manufacturing Miroglio family from Alba since 1985.
Tenuta Carretta has 65ha vineyards. The principal 35-hectare section lies around the winery in an arc from south to north-west. Here the grapes and wines are mostly Arneis, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Favorita (the local name for Vermentino).
The company also owns 2.6ha in the prestigious Cannubi cru site of Barolo, where they make Barolo Cannubi and Barolo Cannubi Riserva .
Other vineyards (Cascina Bordino, and Garassino) provide Nebbiolo to make Barbaresco , while Vigna Tavoleto in Alba makes Nebbiolo d’Alba .
Sustainability in the environment is a key factor in Tenuta Carretta’s production philosophy.
The winery at Tenuta Carretta is part of a sophisticated wine tourism offer that includes: • Guided tours of vineyards and winery, • A Michelin-starred restaurant, Ristorante 21.9, with chef Flavio Costa at the winery, • A restaurant and Locanda guest-house (Albergo de Charme) on the Cannubi hill in Barolo, • A welcoming Wine Shop.