100 years of Ferraris Agricola: an important milestone celebrating 20 years of Luca Ferraris leading the family winery

door | 29 apr 2021 | Internationaal

The story of a winery with three identities expressing one territory and representing Ruchè in the world

Ferraris Agricola was born thanks to Luca’s great-grandmother, Teresa, who bought the largest house in Castagnole Monferrato in 1921, where the first winery stood. Today, the historic cellars and the Ferraris Museum dedicated to Ruchè can still be found here.

Since then, for the next one hundred years, the bond between Ferraris’ genius loci and Castagnole Monferrato has never been broken. Since then, three generations have passed: from the small production sold to traders and private consumers, to the conferral of the grapes to the local Social Cooperative. And finally, in 2001, the arrival of the young and passionate Luca Ferraris who started the journey dedicated to the development of a denomination and the winery: a process that was founded on research and innovation while fully respecting the wine microcosm and its unique terroir.

«On April 27, 2001, I joined the company after spending two years gaining experience in other fields and fighting with my father who imagined a different future for me – says Luca Ferraris. He used to say that ‘Land has little value’ – thinking that it was not meant for me. Taking over Ferraris Agricola has been a personal achievement, but also a sort of generational takeover. After two decades I can now say that I am my father’s greatest pride, continues Luca. The last twenty years have been spent honing my skill and incrementing investments, but without ever losing the passion and drive that have remained the same as day one».

MILESTONES   By restarting to vinify the grapes from his own vineyards, Luca has marked a turning point for the winery but also for Ruchè: he was the first in the area to thin out the grapes to increase their quality, exclusively setting the fruits to make high-quality bottled wine. Production grew rapidly: from 5,000 bottles in 2000 to 60,000 in 2003. This has been possible thanks to the chance meeting with Randal Graham in 2002, a winemaker from California, founder of the Bonny Doon Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a successful wine blogger and a true lover of native vines waiting to be rediscovered.   This was followed by the acquisition of 7 hectares in 2008, when Ferraris Agricola purchased another winery and its lands that were all planted with Ruchè. This marked the transformation of Ferraris from being a commercial and agricultural reality to becoming strictly agricultural.   Then, a phone call in 2016 from Francesco Borgognone led to the acquisition of Vigna del Parroco, the only existing Ruchè cru. The passing of this legacy has forever changed the destiny of this vineyard and of Luca Ferraris.   These milestones have shaped the winery and its three identities, expressing one territory: Ferraris Agricola, Vigna del Parroco and Cà Mongròss. One winery that, in the past 100 years, has been nurturing, preserving and rewriting the fortunate history of a variety, the Ruchè grape that Luca Ferraris continues to promote and represent in the world.  
THE FUTURE   The future sees new and interesting projects with one common denominator: the territory of Asti. This is proven by the most recent acquisitions: the 6 hectares of Ca’ Mongròss in Montegrosso d’Asti, where Barbera comes from, and the 2 hectares of Tenuta Santa Chiara in Monastero Bormida, dedicated to the production of Alta Langa.   The winery’s next steps will further be towards the enhancement of the territory, which will also be done through substantial and continuous work on single vineyards. This operation will be centered on man and his desire for new challenges: a way to demonstrate his ability to listen to nature and interpret it according to the terroir. An outlook that considers the terroir’s priceless value: representing the unique union of microclimate, soil and human work.  

For its 100th year, Ferraris Agricola is inaugurating a Wine Club, the “Salotto del Ruchè”. It will host some events dedicated to the company’s anniversary, warmly inviting customers and wine lovers to participate. A unique opportunity to know more about Ferraris Agricola and taste its wines together with the entire Ruchè denomination. Stay tuned!