The company was set up in 1974 by Ernesto Dellapiana on his family's nineteenth century estate. Having grown up with a passion for the land and wine-growing, in 1973 he decided to leave the city - and an established paper-making business - to follow the great love of his life: the land of the Langa, and its hard-to-work hillsides.
He renovated the family farmstead after reassembling various inheritances, and enlarged and completely transformed the original buildings to create a winery with ageing and storage cellars.
The first wines were produced in 1974.
In 1984 he re-acquired the BOITO farm, which had belonged to his family in the past.
Then other recent purchase dates back to 1993, when the VILLA MANZOLA farm was added to the estate.
And in the first months of 2004 He bought a new vineyard in one of most prestigious area of Barbaresco: PAJORE'
Over the years the winery's proprietor has dedicated himself to extending and improving the company and its products in terms of both quantity and quality, making it - with its 85 acres in a single lot - one of the largest, and most interesting and unquestionably important wine estates in the Barbaresco-growing area.
This commitment has also been a feature of the wine-making itself, with a constant quest for continually higher quality in seeking to match the most innovative processing equipment and techniques with the classic traditions of the Langa.
In the last years to the job of the Proprietor is added the work of Jole and Enrico Dellapiana, the daughter and the son of Ernesto, who are actively entered into the activities of the firm.
Jole has begun to deal particularly herself with the commercial and bookkeeping management of the firm, mainly collaborating with the importers, and also following, the net sale in Italy;
Enrico, graduated in Enologia to the university of Turin, has begun to deal himself of the technical management of the agricultural firm and the Wine cellar, keeping track of all the problems involved in the production side, but always in hold collaboration and following the wise suggestions of his father.
The Rizzi estate is made up of three large adjoining farms, to which needs to add two prestigious vineyards (Fondetta and Pajorè) always inside the commune of Treiso, that they have been united to the Rizzi farmhouse.
The three aforesaid farmhouses are:
La Cascina Rizzi La Cascina Boito
La Cascina Villa Manzola
These vineyards and farms are place of production of a wide range of the finest Piedmont's wines, including Barbaresco (made from Nebbiolo grapes), Dolcetto, Barbera, Moscato and Freisa, as well as the more international Chardonnay.
The vineyards of Rizzi estate are placed in four great zones vine-growing of the Barbaresco, whose altitude vary between 220 and 370 m s.l.m. :
The crü RIZZI (inside it's found the Vineyard BOITO).The Vineyard FONDETTA ( vineyard set on the dorsal that brings to Treiso, point of meeting of the crü Nervo and Bernardot ).The crü MANZOLA.
The crü PAJORE'.
This is the real core and heart of the company, where the administrative offices and winery are located.
The name Rizzi comes from the Piedmontese dialect word "Riss", meaning hedgehog, the sweet, spiny little animal that lives in the undergrowth and used to be very common in this area.
The farmhouse, which was built at the end of the 1700s and has always belonged to the family, stands on the ridge running along the top of the hill of the same name.
As far back as 1898, the Rizzi cru was marked down as one of the finest Barbaresco wine-growing areas on the map drawn up by Professor Domizio Cavazza, the principal of the Alba wine-making school at the end of the 19th century who was the first to draw attention to the quality of Barbaresco.
The soil (white tufaceous marl), the particular microclimate provided by the hill's position - lower than the surrounding hills, and therefore more sheltered from any currents of air or inclement weather, and the perfect exposure of the vineyards to the rays of the sun combine with the painstaking care given during all the various stages in the vineyard and the winery to produce wines that exhilarate the palate on account of their high quality and great finesse and balance.
The Rizzi farm covers around 29 acres in a single lot on both sides of the hill, with the rows of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Moscato, Barbera and Chardonnay vines stretching out in geometrical formation.
Pride of place on the estate though, is taken inevitably by the Fondetta Vineyard: a single piece of land of around 10 acres lying below the village of Treiso, point of meeting of the crüs Nervo and Bernardot, in where Dolcetto and Barbaresco are grown.
This natural amphitheatre is an ideal vineyard setting where the perfect position, lean soil, old vines and low yields are the most reliable premises for exceptional wines of superior quality.
The Barbaresco "Fondetta" is born out of this vineyard.
It's the last vineyard that Ernesto Dellapiana has bought.
The 2,7 acres was incorporated in 2004 by the Rizzi estate.
Bordering the vines of Roncaglie and Montaribaldi, in the municipality of Barbaresco, Pajorè is incontestably one of most famous vineyards in the Langhe.
This vineyard is situated in the heart of crü Pajorè and it enjoys a near-perfect elevation from 300 metres to the roughly 230 metres of the last Nebbiolo worthy rows.
The finest plot, however, have a superb south or south-west-facing and very lean marly soil.
The Boito farm bordering on the Rizzi property represents the other nucleus of the company.
Its 32 acres of vineyards give the impression of laying siege to this splendid eighteenth-century farmhouse (a typical example of Langa architecture), which represents the final bulwark of the Rizzi hill.
The rows of vines - which produce the most incredible chromatic effects in the autumn, when the different varieties finally become easy to identify - stretch out in perfectly geometrical lines over the calcareous marly soil at an altitude of 220-300 metres s.l.m.
The varieties grown on the Boito farm are:
Nebbiolo (Barbaresco wine), Barbera, Dolcetto, Chardonnay, Freisa.
Cascina VILLA MANZOLA
Villa Manzola was famous as far back as Roman times, when - as Villa Manxionis - it was an important stopping-place on the "Magistra Langorum" road which passed through Treiso (named after the Latin word Tres) on the way from Alba Pompeia to the sea.
Horses and carriages from Asti and Incisa, as well as from other neighbouring towns and villages, stopped off here to be cleaned and put in order, and to allow the travellers to enjoy refreshments and a rest before entering Alba to be received with honour and curiosity.
The ten-acre farm, which is almost entirely planted with moscato, was taken over in 1993 by the neighbouring Rizzi estate.