wine producer

Paolo Conterno

Region: Piemonte


The Conterno family have been making wine in the Langhe hills of Barolo for four generations, since 1886. Great-grandfather Paolo first established the winery, which was then handed down to his son Carlo. Today, head of the family Paolo alongside children Marisa and Giorgio run the 11 Ha. estate. Giuseppe Caviola is external consultant.

It all started way back in 1886, when Paolo Conterno founded the Casa della Ginestra, dedicated to the production of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto wines. An indefatigable worker with a mind of great intuition, he devoted the most favourable parts of the Ginestra hillside to the growing of the grapes, subdividing them by type, exposure and terrain. Furthermore, he had the foresight to predict the existence of a market of connoisseurs of superior quality products, selling his own wine in wooden kegs and produced by himself in his own cellar. Paolo was succeeded by his son Carlo and his wife Giuseppina. The company was subsequently run by Paolo and Caterina Conterno and today the company is managed by their son Giorgio.

As in the past, each of them makes their own contribution, caring for the vineyards with scrupulous dedication, involving the successive generations. At one time, trust was placed in the few means available, and in perseverance and determination. Modern technology, with its labour-saving devices, spares us the exertions of those times and, in part thanks to the experience we have gained, enables us to operate in the best possible way and to reap great satisfaction and ever newer stimuli from our work.



Ten hectares or so of calcareous-clayey loam. However, as luck would have it, this land is favourably situated at an altitude of between 300 and 350 metres, arranged on slopes of up to 38%, prevalently exposed to the south and in part to the south east. The Conterno family has simply done justice to this land, which so readily lends itself to the production of Nebbiolo, producing marvellous wines. The Ginestra Cru is one of the most important vineyards of Barolo, the valley of the long-lived and full-bodied Barolos, a unique terroir the summits of which are favoured by climate monitoring and constant high luminosity, enabling the foliage to work with great precociousness, achieving an ideal level of phenolic maturation.

It is not easy to cultivate vineyards situated on slopes of up to 38%. It requires a special kind of experience that only those who have known these lands metre by metre since their childhood can have. Nor is it easy to thin out plants if you have not seen them grow. It is not easy if you don’t have clearly in your mind the idea of a task begun centuries before. It is for this reason that they take care of everything in person. This is why they are artisan producers of Barolo, having learnt to love and feel part of this great family tradition making it grow and respecting its essence with great care.


“In search of new opportunities for my work, one day I happened to visit a place I had never been to before between the hills of Asti and the Monferrato. That trip was very important for me. The appointment was at Relais “Sant’Uffizio” in Cioccaro di Penango. Formerly a Dominican monastery with over 500 years of history, it is set amidst greenery and peace and quiet, and surrounded on all sides by beautiful vineyards: a fairy tale location in an area celebrated for its white truffles, cuisine and refined wines.

During the meeting – somewhat by chance this time too – it turned out that the estate’s vineyards were still available for management by a third party. I couldn’t believe it. For some time I had been on the lookout for a place to produce wines like Barbera, Merlot and Chardonnay: and here before me was somewhere with a historical reputation for top quality production, great traditions and geographical conditions, and a perfect microclimate. So once the agreement had been finalised we began with the first vintage. It was 2015.”

- Giorgio Conterno