Il coraggioso Matteo Correggia e il Roero

12 Apr

The late Matteo Correggia - Photograph by Matthew Molchen


The wine world lost one of its greats back in 2001 when the driven and ardent Roero vine dresser Matteo was taken unexpectedly in an accident in the vineyard. Prior to his death, Matteo had worked fervently to establish the sandy soils and the vines of the Roero as fruit that could one day be held next to the great Langhe vines. His dedication to his craft meant he gradually bought the vineyards that he knew ripened the best and had the best exposures and sold off those he knew he would rather do without. When at last the world took notice to his beautiful wines, it was all be taken away from him and the estate was left in his wife Ornella’s capable hands. The wines are now made under the direction of enologist Luca Rostagno – the man Matteo wanted to make the wine in his cellar.


Matteo Correggia’s estate is based on the northern side of the Tanaro river in Piemonte in the area known as the Roero (rather than the more southerly and well-known Langhe wine region). It is an area long-renowned for the native white grape Arneis, a wine that is usually unoaked and consumed when young and is a beautiful accompaniment to fish dishes. It is the reds though that are commanding due attention, with a classic Roero rosso like Matteo Correggia’s La Val dei Preti or earlier maturing Roero made from 100% Nebbiolo in the Canale d’Alba region of the Roero hills. These wines tend to be lower in price also due to a lower demand with the majority of people going for the more publicised Langhe wine region. So I say, scoop up a bargain, put your feelers out there, and the next time you come across a wine with Roero on the label, well apart from knowing a little more about the area now, you can feel confident that it is an area producing reputable, delicious wines worthy of the purchase! Trust me!

Roero and the Langhe wine regions: courtesy of Chevsky

Other Roero wines worth a much closer look include:

Renato Ratti’s Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC Ochetti or the Barbera d’Alba DOC Torriglione

Malvira Arneis and Roero reds Trinità, Mombeltramo and Renesio

Prunotto Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC Ochetti

Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis DOCG

Vietti Arneis DOCG



Langhe Bianco DOC Matteo Correggia (100% Sauvignon)

Roero Arneis DOCG (100% Arneis)


Langhe Rosso DOC Le Marne Grigie (20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah and 20% other French vine species)

Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC La Val dei Preti (100% Nebbiolo)

Barbera d’Alba DOC Marun (100% Barbera)

Anthos Vino da Tavola (100% Brachetto)

Ròche d’Ampsèj Roero Rosso DOC (100% Nebbiolo)

Ornella, Giovanni and Brigitta Correggia – Photograph by Gio’ Martorana

“He (Matteo) always had a thousand things to do and a thousand ideas to implement. And he was a genius at exploiting every minute of the day to get everything done. He never sat around twiddling his thumbs. As far as I know he also studied at night the things he would do the next day. He was always rushing, as if in fibrillation, in continual search of a personal satisfaction which seemed never to arrive, always aimed at the dream of creating his great wine.

Then, just when everything seemed to be going for the better, another event changed everything once more.

Meanwhile the times have changed for everybody, not just for me, and the wine market too is no longer the same as it was a few years ago when my husband was still alive. In fact I find myself alone today facing a very tough challenge, with an estate that must adapt daily to new necessities requiring immediate and farsighted decisions. But though the fear of making mistakes is constant, this challenge leads me to self-evaluation, always questioning myself to be sure I’m doing the right thing. That distant “formal” education still makes itself felt and occasionally seems to freeze me into artificial behaviours, sometimes out of fear of others’ judgements, sometimes fear of not being up to my roles of entrepreneur and attentive, caring mother.

Time passes, but through my work I am able to pay everlasting homage to someone no longer with us and I find the stimulus to carry on, to do, to create, to produce the “great wine” Matteo wanted.”

Spoken by Ornella Correggia in Andrea Zanfi’s ‘Piemonte…noblewoman of wine’

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