Italy, Piedmont

Established 1904

In 1904, in the council chambers of the community of Serralunga, and in the presence of notary Giacomo Oddero and the young witness Alfred Prunotto, the co-operative winery known as "Ai Vini delle Langhe" ("Of the wines of Langhe") was founded. Amongst those who participated in the drawing up of the constitutional acts, there were individuals who left their mark on the story of Alba and the nearby communities of Langa and many small producers of the surrounding area. The first harvest took place in 1905. This was followed by several difficult years which suffered from the instability in the economy, aggravated by the first world war. In 1922, when it was time to renew the co-operative winery, many members decided not to contribute their grapes anymore. Thus, although it was an exceptional year, the vintage was not very abundant. The winery started having serious economic problems and was liquidated. During this crisis, the young Alfredo Prunotto met and then married Luigina, with whom he decided to take over the co-operative winery "Ai Vini delle Langhe", bestowing on it his name. Thanks to the passionate persistence of the newlyweds, the winery became famous very quickly and began to export wines throughout the world: first to South America and then to the United States, whose markets opened up during those years. Prunotto is one of the few companies that believed in the economic prospects of the new world. In 1956, Alfredo Prunotto decided to retire from the business, giving the company over to his friend and wine expert Beppe Colla, aided by Carlo Filiberti and a bit later by his brother Tino Colla. In 1961, the Prunotto Cellars began to identify specific production zones noted for growing top-quality grapes appropriate for the separate vinification of individual crus, such as the Barolo Bussia and Barbera d'Alba Pian Romualdo. In 1972, Ugo della Piana, an architect of langarol origins designed the new wine cellar, which was to be built near Alba, where the company's head offices are today. In 1989, the Marchesi Antinori family began its collaboration with the Prunotto Company, at first handling distribution and later, in 1994, when the Colla brothers retired, getting directly involved in the production process, maintaining the excellent level of quality which Alfredo Prunotto had always insisted upon. One of the most important objectives set by the Antinori family together with the Colla brothers, is to produce wines from personally-owned vineyards and therefore to maintain more control over the final product right from birth. This project was realized in 1990, when Albiera Antinori, Marchese Piero Antinori's oldest daughter, further delineated the character of the winery, paying special attention to the acquisition of vineyards, which include: The Costamiole Vineyard in Agliano, for the production of Barbera d'Asti; the vineyard in the Bussia cru, one of the most well-known in the in the Barolo zone; and land in Calliano, for the study and analysis of the new varietals, i.e. Albarossa and Syrah. In 1996, a vineyard of 5 hectares in size, called "Bric Turot", was acquired in the Barbaresco region; and a 5-hectare vineyard was purchased in the Treiso zone for the production of Moscato.