Tenuta Carretta has been around for over 550 years and is located in the south of Piemonte, in Piobesi d’Alba, in Roero. It is a winery with a rich story, one of the most historic Italian wineries where past, present and future are integrated in the best way.
But Tenuta Carretta is above all a winery of people working together to achieve one common goal: to produce high-quality and important wines that are pleasant and enjoyable to drink.
Not so long ago, the name “Carretta” was thought to have been derived from the Celtic word “Car”, meaning “stone”. This would refer to a large chalk bench that still stands a short distance from the entrance to the estate. However, recent research in the medieval archives of the historian Baldassare Molino has revealed the existence of an Albese noblewoman (the “domina Careta”), who owned land in the municipality of Piobesi. Her surname (Constanzi) appears in a deed of sale of land in Piobesi d’Alba in 1353, found in the archives of the Counts of Roero di Guarene. In law, she is named as the daughter of an Albese nobleman, Ruffino Capre, and the nobleman’s widow, Manuele Constanzi, from whom she kept her surname. Another deed, written two decades earlier in 1334, quotes some ‘heirs of Careta Constanzi’, presumably the grandmother of ‘domina’ Carretta.
From these and other documented references, it seems clear that the estate took its name from the noblewoman who was its first owner.
It is little more than a contract drawn up on November 28, 1467 by the notary Giorgio di Monteacuto (today’s Monteu Roero) to be considered the true starting point of the history of the estate. In it, the then owner, Andrea Damiano, lord of Piobesi, gave permission to the Porrini brothers – Corrado, Giacomino and Pietrino – to work and cultivate (and harvest) his land of “cassina Careta” for nine years.
It is a document of extraordinary value because of its wealth of detail. It even includes the obligations the farmers have entered into for the cultivation; as for the vines, they had to diligently “putare” (prune), “agonzare” (repair), “et scarzorare” (prune), in short, do whatever was necessary and appropriate according to custom. However, the grapes from the vines of the Podio hills were still owned by the lord, without any hindrance (salvo et reservato vites Podi Serre, de quibus sen nil impedire teneantur et debeant”).
The act concludes with a closing statement: while all the harvested grapes are split in two, those of the vines on the hill of Podio (Podium Serrae) are reserved for the lord, without any hindrance on the part of anyone (“salvo et reservato vites Podi Serrae, de quibus sen nil impedire teneatur et debeant”), it is a certificate of “ante litertam.” Unique in the history of Piedmont, and arguably Italy, from the quality of the vineyard that to this day dominates the vineyards of other wineries.
In 1811, after 350 years, the property passed from the Marquis Damiano to the Count of Roero, who cultivated it for 120 years. In 1932 he donated the estate to the Veglia family from Turin. In 1985 the property finally passed to the Miroglio family from Alba, founders and owners of the textile group of the same name.
All of the vineyards of Tenuta Carretta are part of the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato wine region, an area declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 and today covers approximately 70 hectares. Tenuta Carretta is located in Piobesi d’Alba, Roero, a hilly area north of the city of Alba and on the left bank of the Tanaro River. This is where the headquarters is located, surrounded by just under 35 hectares of vineyards. South of the river are the hills of the Langhe, where the remaining 35 hectares of vineyards are located, a total of 70 hectares.