The Pio Cesare winery was founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio. He was one of the very first wine producers to believe in the great potential and quality of Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera, and in the other great wines of Piemonte. He was among the very first winemakers to produce these wines with a philosophy that was dedicated to the terroir and the strictest quality of the wine rather than to volume, as was the dominant approach at the time.
With the passing of Pio Cesare’s legendary patriarch Pio Boffa in the spring of 2021, the iconic Barolo and Barberesco estate is now in the capable hands of Pio’s only child, Federica Boffa. Federica is the 5th generation to lead her family’s famous winery, as well as the only woman to hold this prestigious leadership role. Pio had great expectations for Federica, travelling around the world and introducing her to the world of wine from a very young age. She began working at the winery immediately upon graduating high school and continued to do so throughout university, taking on a full-time role in 2019.
Although she comes from a long tradition of celebrated winemakers, Federica also brings her own unique perspective and experience to the family business. She has begun a project to plant Nebbiolo in the high-elevation Alta Langa region, believing this is an exciting terroir and a viable opportunity in the face of climate change. She is also working with an agronomist to obtain a sustainability certification. In this new and exciting role as head of Pio Cesare, Federica Boffa balances tradition and heritage with innovation, preparing to leave her own unique mark on her family’s legacy.
Five generations later, Pio Cesare owns more than 70 hectares (180 acres) of vineyards located in the most highly rated locations and best exposures. Within the Barolo region, the Ornato estate and the Colombaro vineyard (in Serralunga d’Alba), the Gustava estate (in Grinzane Cavour), the Roncaglie (in La Morra), Ravera (Barolo-Novello) and the recent acquisition in the prestigious Mosconi cru in Monforte d’Alba. Within the Barbaresco territory, the Il Bricco estate, the San Stefanetto and Bongiovanni vineyards in Treiso. Other select vineyards are located in the communes of Diano d’Alba, Sinio and Trezzo.
Pio Cesare is totally independent, and the majority of their wines are estate-bottled. In addition to their own vineyards, Pio Cesare has fostered long-term relationships with growers for several generations, and manages all aspects of viticulture in these vineyards. Pio Cesare is among the most revered and respected of all Piemonte producers.
“You have to love the energy and dynamic thinking that comes out of this historic cellar located in the city center of Alba. Pio Cesare reflects the happy mood and the general euphoria coming out of Barolo and Barbaresco these past few years. The good spirits are linked to the ever-growing popularity of the region’s excellent wines, winery owner Pio Boffa tells me with his daughter Federica (now working at the winery) and his nephew Cesare Benvenuto by his side. A wide smile spreads across his face. The Langhe is experiencing positive growth and this leads to creative thinking.”
– Monica Larner on Pio Cesare, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2017