Pio Cesare » Founding Members

Pio Cesare

Ufficio Via Cesare Balbo, 6 Alba (CN) 12051 Italia Telefono ufficio: 0173 440386 Fax ufficio: 0173 363680 Sito web: http://www.piocesare.it


Foto di Pio Cesare

In the cellars which Cesare Pio founded in Alba in 1881 time seems to have stood still. Even if the cellars have been renovated and restructured to bring out all of their historic and architectural importance, it is there, in the sole cellars which have remained in the center of Alba, that for five generations the family of the founder ferments and ages the grapes of the Langhe. To tell the truth, time has not at all stopped: on the contrary, the current proprietor, Pio Boffa, has not hesitated to change what he no longer thought useful, even if he inherited the firm from his great-great-grandmother on his mother’s side. Cesare Pio did not own vineyards: he purchased grapes from growers and fermented them. When he became part of the firm 25 years ago, Pio Boffa realized that it was indispensable to own, and cultivate under his own direction, proprietary vineyards: young cultivators, attracted by factory work, were abandoning the Langhe hills and moving to the city. He had a decisive role in convincing his father to acquire the Bricco estate in Treiso (in the Barbaresco appellation) and the Ornato vineyards at Serralunga d’Alba in the Barolo zone. Purchased, respectively, in 1974 and 1979 from former growers who conferred their grapes to the house, they are two authentic crus. Since then Pio Boffa has permanently revolutionized the work of the house, but it was a revolution imposed with the maximum discretion. The most traumatic decision was taken in 1985 when he selected the finest grapes of Serralunga d’Alba and fermented them on their own. For over a century Pio Cesare had blended the grapes of different vineyards for its Barolo in order to use some lots for body, others for fragrance, still others for color: this was the first time that the century old house produced, not a Barolo, but a Barolo Ornato, a Barolo cru. That there was some worry that this decision might disturb a part of the clientele is something Pio Boffa does not deny, but Ornato was one of the firm’s greatest successes. Accordingly, in another great vintage, 1990, the Barbaresco Bricco made its debut, produced from the grapes of the vineyards of the estate in Treiso, and yet another cru.

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