Alfredo Currado, one of Piedmont's most beloved and respected winemakers, has died aged 78.
Currado died of pneumonia last week in Cannes, where his family owns a second home.
The renowned Barolo winemaker had battled Parkinson’s disease for 12 years.
Currado began making wine at the Vietti winery in 1960, following the death of his father-in-law Mario Vietti.
Today Vietti is the only estate to own vineyards in all 11 of the Barolo-producing townships.
In 1961, with his release of Barolo Rocche and Barolo Masseria, Currado became the first Piedmontese winemaker to bottle Nebbiolo with a single-vineyard designation — now a common practice among the region’s top winemakers.
For decades, the winery’s Barolo Rocche, Barolo Villero, and Barolo Lazzarito have been considered benchmark expressions of the appellation on both sides of the Atlantic.
Often hailed as ‘the father of Arneis’, Currado is also widely credited with reviving the once forgotten white grape of the Langhe hills.
His historic 1967 bottling of Arneis as a monovarietal wine paved the way for countless producers of this now hugely popular grape variety.
In the 1970s, Currado launched a series of artist labels that helped to redefine Barolo as a world-class appellation.
Contributors to the series have included filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini and painter Mino Maccari, as well as celebrated American painters Janet Fish and Wayne Thiebaud.
In a tribute to Currado, Italian wine writer Franco Ziliani called him one of the ‘great elders’ of Barolo, who viewed winemaking as cultural expression’.
Written by Jeremy Parzen