A deconsecrated church in La Morra, Piemonte is now the very colourful Capella delle Brunate, or Barolo Chapel, located near the famous Brunate vineyard. The chapel, dedicated to Our Lady of Grace, was built in 1914 as a shelter for vineyard workers in the event of heavy rain or hailstorms. When the winemaker Cerretto purchased 6 hectares of the Brunate vineyard in 1976, the chapel was part of the purchase.
Unused and left ot itself, the chapel had gradually deteriorated Legend has it that the wine growers Bruno and Marcello Cerretto struck a deal with two artists, and wine enthusiasts, David Tremlett and Sol Lewitt, to renovate and paint the church in return for a constant supply of the winemaker’s Barolo (whether this is exclusively the Barolo from the Brunate vineyard, the legend does not say). Tremlett decorating the interior, and Lewitt the outside of the church.
Located on the hill that rises above Barolo, southeast facing turning southward on the descent, Brunate is one of the oldest and most renowned Barolo vineyards. It is shared between the two villages, Barolo and La Morra. Adjacent to the equally famous Cerequio vineyard, the soil is the calcareous clay marl high in magnesium typical of the area. Wines from the Brunate vineyard thus are often characterized by a brilliant balance between elegance, power, and structure.
Photo: Cerretto’s winery in Castiglione Falletto