'You say Langhe and you immediately think of that magical landscape in the heart of the greenest Piedmont that UNESCO had decreed to be a World Heritage Site. It's no coincidence that the Langhe constitute an exceptional living testimony of historical tradition of wine cultivation, of winemaking processes, of a social, rural context, and of an economic fabric based on the culture of wine.
The stories of many winemakers who have been able to transform these hills in a richness that is measured not only by the current cost of the vineyard (almost 4 millions euros for one hectare in one of the most prestigious crus of Barolo, like a luxury apartment in the heart of Manhattan), but also the wisdom and ability of the cultural redemption that the people of these hills have been able to transmit. until the early 1950s, in fact, poverty and hunger historically dominated the daily life in these lands.
Many winemakers weren't aware of the 'treasure' they had in their hands. Its true at that time wine was considered more a food than a pleasure and the consumer's request favored quantity rather than quality. so the wine was sold mostly in bulk, only few producers thought about the labelling bottles with their own brand. Most of the winemakers that now have good visibility in the international oenological limelight began by selling bulk wine: even Gaja, which is perhaps the best known of these.
Even the story of Ettore Germano, a farm located in Serralunga d'Alba, in the heart of Barolo, begins like this and develops by the passion and the commitment of 4 generation of winemakers who have been able to make strong 4 hectares of vineyards a reality today of 10 hectares in Serralunga and 9 in Cigliè, in Alta Langa. It was the great-grandfather Francesco and the grandfather Alberto who started the business. at the beginning they cultivated vines and sold grapes: the few bottles were reserved for friends and family consumption. In the 50s and 60s of the last century the turning point.
Ettore Germano, the father of the current owner who was a skilled grafter, decides to plant vines to produce quality wines and to focus decisively on wine production: so he bought some neighboring vineyards, including the Barolo cru in Prapò area on the Cerretta hill which in 2009 would have obtained an additional geographic mention (MGA in Italian) for its unique characteristics.
In 1975 was established the Ettore Germano's winery: vilification and bottling became more consistent and the first small trade of few hectoliters sold to private costumers and friend began. his son Sergio, an oenologist who gained experiences in local wineries, gave impetus and developed the new business. It's to him that we owe the company's transition between winegrower to winemaker and bottler. In 1988 the first 5 thousand bottles of Barolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and (a little) Chardonnay are placed on the market and in 1993 all the production is vinificated and bottled in the cellar.
Business Is going well and Ettore Germano expanded with the purchase, in 1995, in 2 hectares of Cerretta in Serralunga d'Alba and the planting of Chardonnay and Rhine Riesling vineyards in Cigliè. Other hectares in Prapò, Cerretta, Lazzarito, Pradone and Vignarionda areas become part of the company in more recent years and allow it to present itself on the market today with an articulated range of whites and reds, including the three Alta Langa Docg sparkling wine in Extra Brut, Pas Dosé and Rosé version. They range from Langhe Doc Chardonnay to Rhine Riesling passing through the whites Binel and Nascetta, to arrive at two Barbera (one of these is called 'Superiore') and a red Langhe Nebbiolo.
the flagship of Ettore Germano, however, are the Barolo: five because each cru must be appreciated in its entirely. The Barolo produced in the village of Serralunga d'Alba, for example, is reminiscent of strawberry, cherry and pomegranate, the Prapò has an intense taste of dried fruit and hints of vanilla, the Cerretta, which is aged in cask for up to 24 months, smells of ripe fruit and vanilla, while the Vignarionda is full, rich, dense, and the Lazzarito, obtained from 90-year-old vineyard, balances power and finesse.
The secret of our success? ''Commit ourselves with tenacity and respect the environment and vineyards - says Sergio Germano, the boss, assisted today by his wife Elena and His Children Elia and Maria. -Precisely out of respect for our predecessors, we continue to have an approach to our work based on the primary needs of the vineyards and their biological cycles, without forcing and persistence.'' And passion, tradition and evolution are the three keywords of Sergio's path aware that new technologies and professional skills help to improve the life of the farmer and the quality of the final product, but the laws of the nature that remain unchanged overtime and they must be obeyed.'