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Over a Century in The Langhe
Cantina Sociale “Ai Vini delle Langhe”, a winemaking co-op, was incorporated in 1904 in the city council room of Serralunga’s Town Hall presided by Mr. Giacomo Oddero, a notary public and a youthful Alfredo Prunotto as a witness. Among those present at the ceremony were prominent citizens who made important contributions to the history of Alba and the surrounding communities, as well as many small local producers. The first harvest took place in 1905.
Unfortunately the following years were burdened by an uncertain economic trend worsened by the effects of the First World War. On the deadline for renewal of the Cantina Social’s by-laws in 1922, many of its members changed their minds and no longer delivered their grapes to the co-op. The vintage was exceptional but was not abundant. The winery began to have serious financial difficulties and was put into liquidation.
In the middle of this predicament, Alfredo Prunotto met and married Luigina. Together they decided to take over the “Ai Vini delle Langhe” co-op and gave it their name. Their dedication and passion soon made the winery famous and it began exporting Barolo and Barbaresco all over the globe: first to South America and then to The United States, two markets that had recently opened to foreign trade. Prunotto was one of the few companies that believed in this commercial strategy.
In 1956, Alfredo Prunotto decided to retire and he sold the company to wine technician and friend Beppe Colla who was assisted by Carlo Filiberti and later by his brother Tino Colla. As early as 1961, the owners of Prunotto began to identify specific production areas, well-know vineyards of excellence, and began single vineyard vinification to produce the very best crus such as Barolo Bussia and Barbera d’Alba Pian Romualdo. In 1972, a new winery was designed by architect Ugo della Piana, a native of this northern area of Piedmont. The winery was built near the city of Alba where Prunotto’s main offices are still located today.
The Antinori family first became involved with the Prunotto winery in 1989 initially handling distribution and then in 1994, when the Colla brothers decided to retire, they took over production upholding the excellent quality standards that Alfredo Prunotto successfully achieved. The winery’s production philosophy, always extremely attentive to details and deeply passionate about wine, brought Prunotto and the Antinori family together to face a new challenge: to explore and develop the potential of this new terroir where both local and international varieties can express the area’s remarkable territorial identity.
In 1990 this project took shape when Albiera Antinori, Marchese Piero Antinori’s eldest daughter, further defined the winery’s personality by concentrating on the vineyards: the first was the Bussia vineyard, one of the most prestigious in the Barolo area followed by Costamiòle in Agliano to produce Nizza, and land in Calliano for research and development for introducing vines new to this area such as Albarossa and Syrah.
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