The wines of Emilia, on the right bank of the Po, have regained a somewhat forgotten prestige within the immense production of Italy. Thanks to a handful of winegrowers driven by a taste for authenticity and naturalness - far from the dominant productivism - the traditions of old wine-growing areas, with their grape varieties and their methods of winemaking, are experiencing a new life: Alberto Carretti, in the hills of Parma where his Pradarolo estate is located, is one of the major craftsmen.
After having been a microbiologist, a specialist in Parmesan cheese and Emilian charcuterie – a good school in the way yeasts and bacteria work! –, Alberto Carretti turned to viticulture in the 1980s. On the clay-limestone slopes of his father's property, in Varano de' Melegari in the Ceno valley, south-west of Parma, he planted 6 hectares of local grape varieties: Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, Barbera, Croatina, with some forgotten grape varieties (Termarina, Malvasia di Parma Odorosissima). From then on, his approach is one of decisive choices and experimentation where science and intuition are intimately mixed. The estate is organically grown, and all the vinifications – “bianco antico” or red – involve very long macerations with the skins, where the aromas and color are concentrated. No filtration or stabilization, no added sulphur. The estate's signature: wines that combine a strong “earthly” character and elegant authenticity.