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Contratto was founded by Giuseppe Contratto in 1867 in Canelli, a commune in the province of Asti in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. The house is known as the oldest producer of sparkling wine in Italy. Giuseppe began producing Moscato wines from grapes from the Monferrato wine area by the Metodo Classico [Traditional Method], with the second fermentation in bottle; one of the very first producers to vinify Italian wines in this way. In about 1910, he began to export his wines, which became so well-known for their quality that he became the official wine supplier to the Vatican, the royal household of Belgium and, in 1913, the royal family of Savoy. In 1919 Giuseppe made the first vintage sparkling wine ever produced in Italy aiming to highlight the characteristics of a single vintage. The business remained in the family until 1993, when the Bocchino family took over. Giorgio Rivetti was a great lover of champagne and, recognising the potential of the historic Contratto house, began to collaborate with the Bocchinos, eventually acquiring the business in 2011. Now Rivetti has three vineyard sites which are all farmed organically, and all located in the highest part of the Langhe region near the town of Bossolasco. The Ave Vineyard has 12 hectares planted with 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay on calcareous marl soils, strongly characterized by calcium carbonate, silt and white sand. The average age of the vines is 8 years and the wines from here have intense fragrance and mineral notes. The Moncurto Vineyard has 12.5 hectares planted with 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay on varied soils, the upper part of the vineyard is sandy and calcareous, rich in silt and silicon, whilst the
lower part is marly and calcareous. The average age of the vines is again 8 years, and the wines from here have harmonious elegance and freshness. Finally, the Porea Vineyard has 5.5 hectares planted with 100% Pinot Noir on calcareous marl and light clay with a good mineral component, particularly silicon. Here the average age of the vines is 10 years and the wines from this plot have incredible longevity and structure combined with rich mineral aromas. The wines are produced in the original cellars built by Giuseppe Contratto which were finished at the beginning of the 20th century; they are known as the “Wine Cathedral” and in 2014 were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The charming label on Contratto bottles is a design by the famous Italian poster designer, Leonetto Cappiello, who is known as “the father of modern advertising”; he had created a publicity campaign for Contratto that ran from 1922 to 1925. Contratto is an historic producer and their wines have a unique identity – and for wines of this quality represent outstanding value for money!