Barolo, 6 April. FAMILIES | VINEYARDS | BAROLO. These are the three words that identify and summarizes the identity and values of Deditus: the association that brings together the experience and unconditional devotion to Barolo of the historical families operating in the denomination. At present, they are nine: Azelia, Cordero di Montezemolo, Luciano Sandrone, Michele Chiarlo, Pio Cesare, Poderi Gianni Gagliardo, Poderi Luigi Einaudi, Prunotto and Vietti.
Nine families of winemakers united by the sense of awareness that the identity of being the «King of wines» is fruit of a historical legacy that turned into a tradition. A legacy of small family-run wineries that, from generation to generation, have dedicated their lives to the cultivation of vineyards located in an area recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the president of the association, Gianni Gagliardo, points out: « Deditus is fruit of the commitment and passion of some of the most well-known producers of Barolo who have dedicated their lives to wine and the promotion of the denomination and its most prestigious MGAs ».
From the Latin word dēdo, which signifies «to give or dedicate oneself» but, sometimes, it may also mean «to sacrifice oneself» for something one firmly believes in or wants to defend. Having found such definition appropriate, the name has been decided to be Deditus, which expresses the unbreakable bond that these families have with their homeland: the work exerted in cultivating it, the patience shown in understanding it, the intuition needed to respect it, the courage required in holding quality as a fundamental value. And the production of iconic labels, known all over the globe and at the top of the denomination.
Deditus honours the centrality of the vineyard in the production of Barolo. The members must have property vineyards which they directly cultivate, all while fully respecting the environment and ensuring agricultural sustainability. Each member strives to promote and enhance the Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive (MGA), or those vineyards officially recognized by the disciplinary which, being vinified in purity, represent the numerous and surprising souls of Barolo within the same denomination.
Each of us works in order to bring the distinctive characteristic of our vineyards into the glass, with respect and devotion, continues Gianni Gagliardo, Deditus is a brand that identifies a certain way of “being” Barolo: tradition, family and property vineyards.
The men and women of Barolo have always cultivated within themselves a sense of redemption, a desire to make great and well-known a wine that is fruit of immeasurable sacrifices and achievements. This common feeling unites the members of Deditus, wineries of international fame that can demonstrate their commitment to the development of the territory by showing a constant enhancement of their wines, obtained through sustainable agricultural practices that are respectful of the land and of the people who cultivate it.
The first group of Deditus was formed in the late ’90s in order to deal with the management of the Barolo Wine Auction which, in 1998, was held for the very first time at the Poderi Gianni Gagliardo winery, located in La Morra. The Auction is a one of a kind event: it aspires to promote the Barolo denomination by selling prestigious lots selected among the best labels of a handful of winemakers, who, for the occasion, have decided to come together in an informal association.
For more than ten years, the Barolo Wine Auction have taken place in Gianni Gagliardo’s winery. And then, due to its growing success, it has been transferred to the Barolo Castle. The choice has not been made randomly. In those same rooms, in 1820, Juliette Colbert and her husband Tancredi Falletti, with the help of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, started a wine revolution: for the very first time, they made a dry Barolo, exceptionally rich and harmonious, which would soon conquer the Savoy tables and, later on, become the ambassador of Piedmont wine in the world.
In the presence of collectors, enthusiasts and operators of the sector, about fifty lots containing bottles made by the participating producers are beaten at auction. The Auction has live connections to New York, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore, where some of the most famous restaurants also participate. The proceeds are then donated to charity.
In 2011, the producers participating in the Barolo Wine Auction decided to launch the Barolo Academy. It is one of the first forms of private association among the producers for strictly educational purposes, and its purpose is to « spread the knowledge and culture of Barolo and promote its territory in the world » through a series of important initiatives promoted at an international level: courses and tastings dedicated to the press and sector operators, conferences, seminars, workshops and incomings.
Deditus, the brand of identity
In 2019, the Barolo Academy underwent some changes. From being an organization devoted to spreading the culture of Barolo, it has become a collective brand, an expression of the rigour and quality that the participating producers want to convey through their work as winemakers. The members have a statute with precise and strict rules, in order to communicate their work in a more direct and effective manner; a document that establishes as a fundamental requirement to be a strictly family-run business, owner of directly managed vineyards and adopting sustainable practices.