OUR GUIDE TO VISITING THE RATTI WINERY IN PIEDMONT
Winemaker Pietro Ratti makes elegant wines from high-elevation vineyards in La Morra in the Barolo appellation, combining depth with distinct elegance. Complete your visit with a stay at the winery and a tasting with Pietro and his team
Ratti guests can stay at the newly restored Villa Pattono, an elegant building that has been in Pietro’s mother’s family for generations. Perched on top of a hill at Costigliole d’Asti, in the heart of the Barbera d’Asti between the Langhe, Monferrato and Roero, it is surrounded by vineyards and picturesque countryside.
Pietro’s great-grandmother, Vittoria Pattono Calissano, lived in Genoa but liked spending her summer holidays here, and would often use the villa to host friends with great food and wine. Ten years ago, Pietro began converting the villa into a 13-room boutique hotel with a spa, swimming pool, and a restaurant serving Piedmont cuisine and Ratti wines.
“It’s a unique place in the area, offering a quiet, relaxed place to stay with top service,” he says of the elegant building. “My plan is to continue my great-grandmother’s sense of hospitality here with top-level food and wine experiences.”
Pairing with Pietro
“We make wines that can be consumed with food, opened straight away or kept in the cellar. Barbera is one of the most food-friendly wines because of its natural acidity and fruit. It’s a good wine to drink young or a little aged to get more of the earthy aromas. It is versatile and works well with easy dishes such as pasta with tomato or meat sauce, any type of pizza, even chicken and meatballs,” says Pietro Ratti.
“Nebbiolo is the greatest grape — it has a very different personality to Barbera, with more aromatic complexity and good acidity in the mouth. The wines are also versatile with food, even working well with spicy Asian dishes, as it can handle the more complex spices. Barolo is, of course, the king of the table because of layers of personality and complexity. It’s never too much nor is it boring, and it gets better with age, becoming more and more exciting.”
The bottle labels come with their own unique story. Winery founder Renato Ratti initially used the name of the monastery to label his wines, feeling he needed some historical context to market the products. But because the Piedmont region has such deep familial connections, he soon rebranded under his own name. Two years ago, his son and the current owner Pietro simplified the name further to Ratti.
The winery logo comes from the crest of the family who originally lived here. The Latin translation is “If you try me, you will know me.” Renato worked with a military scholar knowledgeable in the uniforms of Piedmont’s Savoy soldiers in Napoleonic times to ensure the most authentic depiction. He also added information on the campaigns they were fighting, but Pietro discontinued that story line on the label.
THE INSIDER GUIDE: PIETRO’S TOUR OF “HIS” PIEDMONT
When to visit
In the fall because of the top cuisine — white truffles! Then in the winter Piedmont is great for skiing with the Alps only an hour away, in the spring the days are long and there are new wines ready to taste from cellars, and in the summer it’s hot and fun with great beaches only an hour’s drive away.
Where to eat
Here is the Mecca for food, even burgers are made from our veal (fassona) and are so tasty! There are around 20 restaurants with Michelin stars here, so you can eat well every day in different places.
The great outdoors
For skiing, Mondole is only an hour’s drive from Ratti, then over two hours brings you to the resorts of Champoluc, Monterosaski and to the top of western Alps. The local Piedmont Alps are also fantastic for summer hiking, while local hills are great for walking in the spring and fall.
In Alba you can find plenty of nice shops and boutiques since it’s isolated from other cities and has a wealthy community. It is almost like Capri — open all year.
Favourite Ratti vintage
It is always the last vintage, because of the vivid memory of the efforts, the feelings, the moments…
It’s season dependent: in the winter I’m into bubbles; in the summer I like a cocktail, spritz, gin and tonic, or a Negroni.
I read the newspaper on my iPad while having breakfast, then I try to walk on my treadmills to burn off last night’s big dinner!
WINE TRAILS OF THE LANGHE AND ROERO
Commencing our Italian road trip in the Langhe and Roero in Piedmont, where we visit the wineries and sample the cuisines that express this unique place
KING OF THE CROWN: SEE THE HALO WINES IN THE MAZE ROW COLLECTION
Maze Row has curated a collection of wines from unique producers, each with their own individual expression. Sommelier and Italian wine specialist John Irwin picks out the halos in the company portfolio
FROM HIGH ARCHITECTURE TO COLLECTIVES, HOW BUILDING DESIGN CAN ALTER OUR WINE EXPERIENCE
Can architecture fundamentally alter our wine experience? Some of the world’s finest wineries believe that building design can, as Jonathan Bell takes a tour
RATTI PUT BAROLO ON THE GLOBAL MAP AND CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR GREATNESS
His father Renato put Barolo on the map. Now Pietro Ratti is transforming the revered wine for new generations. Nargess Banks meets the vintner at his Piedmont vineyard