Where did you grow up?
I grew up in La Morra, near the winery, in the countryside.
What did you aspire to be when you grew up?
Both my parents gave me the open minded vision and always pushed me to travel and see the world. So at high school I spent a semester in Canada in an exchange student program.My first plan was to be an architect…but I studied wine school and became a winemaker!
How did you start your journey into the world of viticulture?
When my father passed away in 1988, at the age of 20 I entered the winery, trying to always keep in mind his vision and style. Unfortunately I’ve never had the chance to work with him, but gradually I discovered his talent and winemaking style through his cellar master. When I took over we had about 5 hectares of land, producing around 80.000 bottles of wine, purchasing around 70% of grapes. I then immediately decided to move into having more vineyards. In 1990 I convinced my brother – who is not involved in the winery – to invest all money our father left to us in investing in some good Barolo vineyards.
What has changed in terms of the Renato Ratti winery since you succeeded your father, Renato Ratti?
After the initial step of buying Barolo vineyardsI kept always investing moving the winery to the actual 40 hectares (including Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto vineyards) with a production of 350.000 bottles and a 30% grapes purchased. I saw an opportunity and persuaded into it, always keeping the highest level of quality possible in a suistainable way. That’s why in 2002 I decided to build a new facility gravity flow – the first in the region – and sustainable.Today it’s much more difficult to buy land. Prices of Barolo vineyards are stellar and there are too many outsider who want to invest in too limited vineyards. I see interesting to invest in the next door places, like Langhe Nebbiolo or Barbera d’Asti.
Can you tell us a bit about what makes the Barolo wines from Renato Rattiso special?
It’s the place of origin: La Morra terroir. Here Barolo tends to be very elegant and perfumed, more accessible, less tannic and tight. It’s a style which I love!
What interesting trends/themes are going on in the wine world?
Consumers are more looking to wines attached to places and native grapes. That’s why I see a tremendous increase of interest on Piemonte wines which perfectly deliver that sense. On top of that, due to a constant increase of price of Bordeaux/Burgundy wines, people – especially new collectors -are now attracted by Barolo for its class, quality, class and great longevity.
Find out more about the Renato Ratti winery here |www.renatoratti.com