Terre del Barolo is a unique community of winegrowers who have tended to their plots, with the same passion and expertise, for generations. Together, they produce a traditional expression of Barolo, grounded in tradition and using two powerful tools: a deep knowledge of the local terroirs and of Nebbiolo; a collective commitment to wine and its history in the region. While representing growers and vineyards from all of Barolo’s 11 communes, the range produced by the cooperative is plural in nature and speaks of the many voices that echo through the region’s hills – complex wines made from the diversity and hard work of Terre del Barolo’s members.
If the uniqueness and value of Barolo’s viticultural landscape is widely recognised today, the same was not true 50 years ago, when many plots were simply being abandoned and farmers thought better opportunities elsewhere.
It was thanks to the determination and vision of a man, Arnaldo Rivera, that an important energy of belief and renewal started to emerge. Rivera, elementary school teacher and mayor at Castiglione Falletto for more than 30 years, firmly believed in the potential of Barolo and, more importantly, in the importance of making sure that farmers could get rightful profit for their work on the land. He thus founded a cooperative winery – Terre del Barolo – to which growers could sell their grapes at fair price.
The project was much more than a mere winery though. Rivera’s vision was one of an ‘assembly of growers’ in which all members could be an active part of a shared dream: the production of a characterful wine that could be a symbol of the uniqueness of Barolo and the hard work of its people. Rivera’s pioneering spirit changed many lives and laid the foundations for what Barolo is today – from hopelessness he created a world of possibility.
Rivera’s vision is as alive today as when the project first started. Terre del Barolo’s strength and success rests upon 300 member families and the 600 hectares of vineyards they manage. More than 80% of members are second and third generation small holders, who remain committed to their family legacy, and keep an ancestral legacy of craftsmanship and knowledge well alive. These are families whose identity is inextricably linked to the hills of Barolo, embodying both the deepest memories and the future possibilities of this land.
Guardians of the land
Ultimately, the members of Terre del Barolo are guardians of a singular yet fragile viticultural ecosystem that needs people to keep it alive, biodiversity to keep it healthy, and stories to give it meaning.
The mission of Terre del Barolo is not only to make wines of quality and character – produced exclusively with grapes grown locally by the cooperative’s members – but also to ensure the preservation of a valuable, Unesco protected, landscape.
Aware of the incredible privilege of working these hills, the members of Terre del Barolo know they are simply guarding this heritage for future generations – and that each vine is also a member of their unique wine family.