Alfredo Currado, a pioneering winemaker at the Vietti estate in Barolo, died on April 30 after several years combating Parkinson's disease and, more recently, pneumonia. He was 78.
As a young man, Alfredo married Luciana Vietti and took over management of her family's winery in Castiglione Falletto in 1960, after the death of his father-in-law. He studied enology and set about making changes to modernize and improve the winery.
Extremely passionate about the territory of Piedmont and its wines, the young couple began traveling together extensively overseas in the 1960s to the United States, not only to promote their brand but also to tell the story of their region, its wine and culture. Vietti became one of the first wineries from the area to export to America.
Currado was one of the first Barolo winemakers to focus on single-vineyard wines. He produced his first cru wine, Vietti Barolo Le Rocche, in 1961, a cru that after many years remained his favorite. A great believer in indigenous grape varieties, Currado was responsible for the rediscovery of the almost extinct Arneis variety and developed a modern white varietal based on it.
"I will always remember my father's joy for life—even when he was ill—and the importance he placed on being surrounded by friends and family," said Luca Currado, Alfredo's son and the current Vietti winemaker. Alfredo and Luciana also had two daughters, Emanuela and Elisabetta. "One of his longstanding goals, even after retirement, was to continue to transmit his knowledge about our wines and territory to be appreciated by the rest of the world," said Luca. "The best way to remember him will be with a glass of wine and smiling."