Poderi Colla

The history of the Colla family is closely intertwined with that of vine growing and winemaking.
The first written records date back to 1703 and mention a Carlo Colla, producer and seller of “barrels of rosé, casks of red wine and gallons of Moscatello” in Santo Stefano Belbo.

In 1778 Pietro, Carlo’s grandson, purchased a vineyard at Castiglion Tinella, near Arzignano (now called San Giorgio), and on marrying Antonia, daughter of Giovan Battista Negro, joined his new father-in-law in the management of his estates, and in particular in the growing and sale of Moscatello wine and grapes.
The subsequent generations stayed on in Castiglion Tinella and continued in the winemaking business of their forebears.

More recently, in 1909, then fifteen-year-old Pietro (Beppe and Tino’s father, Federica’s grandfather) began work at Gancia, where he learned the difficult art of the Méthode Champenoise straight from the man who had first imported it from Champagne decades earlier. There, Pietro worked alongside the fathers of modern winemaking: oenologists of the calibre of Arnaldo Strucchi and Carlo Mensio, and the experience he acquired at Gancia led to him being courted by many major firms of the day, such as Martinazzi of Turin and Fratelli Ferrero of Trofarello, for which he worked as head of sparkling wine production.

Meanwhile, Pietro had bought an estate at Moncucco di Santo Stefano Belbo – one of the “historical crus” in the heart of the Moscato country, where he put his technical know-how to good use by producing wine (80% of which was Moscato) from his own vineyards and selling it both in Italy and abroad (in Switzerland, Argentina and Abyssinia) .Pietro married Luigina Albertino and had four children: Celestina, Beppe, Maria Rosa and Tino, although only the sons entered the winemaking business directly. Giuseppe, “Beppe” for short, was born in 1930 and qualified at the Alba Winemaking School in 1949. His first job was with Bonardi of Alba, at the time a major estate, where he worked on reds, dry and sweet sparkling wines, fortified wines and vermouth. Beppe purchased Alfredo Prunotto’s firm in 1956, keeping its old name, and this is where he began developing his passionate views on Alba reds, in the constant pursuit of quality that was to turn the estate into one of the finest in the Alba area, and in Italy as a whole. This was the approach that, in 1961, made him the first to begin selecting and vinifying the grapes from the great Langhe vineyards separately, naming them on the labels. Thus were the “cru” wines born.

Beppe’s commitment to promoting Alba wines extended beyond his private business: from 1960 to 1970 he was instrumental in the demarcation of the Alba DOC production areas and the drafting of the production regulations; he was also one of the founder-members, in 1967, of the Ordine dei Cavalieri dei Vini e del Tartufo di Alba (Order of the Knights of the Wine and Truffles of Alba), the first voluntary association working to revive and promote the Alba area’s oenological and culinary culture, holding the post of the Order’s Gran Maestro from March 1994 to December 2000. He chaired the Barolo, Barbaresco and Alba Wine Consortium for three years, from 1986, and the Wine & Spirits Division of the Cuneo Province’s Union of Industrialists from 1980 to 1992.

Ernesto, “Tino” for short, Pietro’s youngest son, was born in 1949. He, too, qualified at the Alba Winemaking School, in 1969, then acquired initial experience at Beaune, in Burgundy, under Jean Siegrist. He subsequently worked as a technical expert for various Piedmontese estates, working on grappa distillation and red and white wines. In time, he also acquired experience in business administration and entered into partnership with a small cellar in Gavi. He flanked his brother, Beppe, at Prunotto as sales manager from 1986 to 1994.

Beppe and Tino’s children are the latest Colla generation. Federica was born to Beppe and wife Lidia, née Veglio, in 1965. After taking a degree in Political Science at Milan’s Catholic University, she chose to follow in her father’s footsteps and enter the world of fine wine. In 1990, she completed an advanced course in wine and spirits management, marketing and business administration run by the O.I.V. in Paris; she then worked in wine publishing, contributing to Arcigola Slow Food, and acquired a wealth of experience on several foreign markets.

Tino is married to Bruna, Née Marchiaro, and has two children: Francesco, who was born in 1983 and has made his career in music, and Pietro, born in 1980, who has carried on the family tradition as an oenologist, thus writing a further chapter in the family’s winemaking saga

Barbera Alba Costa Bruna 2009
Nebbiolo Alba 2009
Barbaresco Roncaglie 2008
Barolo Bussia Le Rose 2007

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