No great story exists on its own: it is preceded by another story, which originates from another one, and so on, right back to the moment where everything began. Ours begins with a birth, that of Francesco Berta, our forefather, a landowner and winegrower.


The years go by and the son becomes a father. First of Giovanni and then, a few years later, of Michele. Two brothers, two different paths: the first, a winegrower like his father, in Casalotto di Mombaruzzo, the second, a pharmacist in the big city of Milan. ere was no Internet, distances seemed greater, but even then, where there was a will there was a way: Giovanni sent Michele the raw materials and he transformed them in liqueurs with mysterious curative properties.

Chapter 1

the birthof a dream


Paolo Berta, Giovanni’s son, still had no idea that he would establish the Distillery. Paolo was just a young man who had attended wine-making school and was an apprentice at a winery in Canelli. One day he decided to stop and grab something to eat in a delicatessen, and this was to be the encounter that changed his life. The girl who was serving at the counter, the shopkeepers’ daughter, was so beautiful that Paolo came back every day for the next few months to buy all kinds of cold meats and salami just so that he could talk to her. He was already in love with her, despite the fact that the only thing he knew about her was her name: Lidia.


Lidia and Paolo wasted no time: shortly after meeting each other, they got married and decided to make their home in Nizza Monferrato, and to build the first Distillery, on the ground floor of their home, in the name of radical, tenacious, uncompromising work. Work based on a maniacal and tireless quest for perfection, for the ultimate synthesis of the good and the beautiful, for the best raw materials, processed with a level of care bordering on devotion. The stills began to heat up right here where, when you look up, you can see the Barbera hills.

Chapter 2

From generationto generation


Those who dream big and aren’t afraid to sweat in order to make their dreams come true are often rewarded, and our family is no exception: Paolo’s sons, Gianfranco and Enrico, who grew up surrounded by spicy aromas and gleaming bottles, decided to follow in their father’s footsteps. A decision that immediately distances us from the logic of mass distribution in favour of handshakes, lunches in good company, customers who become friends. And, while the living room at home filled up with people from all over Italy, Paolo began setting aside some grappa, in small wine barrels…


The moment of truth. Watched by his sons, Paolo opened one of his barrels of grappa. That deep, amber-coloured, fragrant liquid looked nothing like other grappas; it had become something else. Something revolutionary. Something characterised by the scent of years and of care. This was Roccanivo, the first Selezione Riserva, to be followed by others in the years to come.

Chapter 3

Bottleshave wings


Gianfranco, a man with a passion for fragrances and flavours, a man who spent much of his time in the cellar, poured the deepest love into every drop of the grappa he produced; Enrico travelled the world, from Northern Europe to South America via the Orient, accompanied by the bottles his brother created. Gian’s wife Simonetta took care of the company’s administration. All that was missing was the space to house a dream that was growing bigger and bigger: from Nizza Monferrato we returned to Casalotto, to the very hill where we had come from and where part of us had always been.


This land had given us its fruits; we decided to give something back. We purchased Moriondo Carlo, the historical name of the Piedmontese Amaretto, we began renovating Villa Prato, we bought Monteu Roero Castle and gave the local people the chance to visit it again. Everything seemed possible, everything was within reach, the big question mark hanging over the future gave us no cause for concern whatsoever.

Chapter 4

a new beginning


Stories are never all good; unless you fall, you can’t get back up. Some falls, however, really hurt you deeply. Some falls leave an indelible mark. Gian left us; but his commitment to others, his love for the land, his desire to never settle for anything less than the best and never stop searching for the good and the beautiful will be with us forever.

It is in his name that we created the SoloPerGian project, a cellar, a grappa, a Foundation that helps the young and the not-so-young find their way into the labour market. It is in his name that we raise our glasses. SoloPerGian. SoloPerGian.


There are jobs that require care: and what requires care, takes time; Restoring an eighteenth-century villa is one of these: making the most of the passing of time, minimising the negative effects, is an undertaking to be tackled slowly, reflecting on each small action; We don’t work against time, we work together; Nobody ever said it was easy: but when we opened the doors of Villa Prato for the first time, all the hard work seemed very little;

Chapter 5

Towards the Future


It’s always been this way. We love houses full of people, welcoming friends, creating meetings. To complete it all, just one piece was missing: a bright, spacious place with large windows and a terrace to be embraced by the hills; A place to celebrate a wedding full of friends, organise a successful corporate convention, experience a great night out; This is Borgo Roccanivo: and we could only inaugurate it with a special event; On 3 May 2022, Federico Buffa brought to Borgo Roccanivo Italia Mundial, the unforgettable victory of the Italian national team at the World Cup held in Spain in 1982;


Bars exist to be jumped over; This is what we try to do all the time, every day, with the perseverance of those who know that every day you can take one step further than the day before; The important thing is never to stand completely still; The Castelletto dell’Annunziata and the Convento di San Giovanni, an ancient convent with a miraculous history behind it, are proof of this: two ambitious renovations, two pieces of history to be revived; What they will become, we will find out together;

But even a big story, if you go it alone, is small; And raising the bar also means doing things you have never had the courage to do: on 5 May 2023 we did something that in more than 75 years we had never even thought we could do; Together with Adriano Attus, Sotheby’s and Pavesio e Associati with Negri-Clementi, we auctioned 20 pieces including precious customised bottles, large wall art and small desk art; The proceeds, more than €29,000, were entirely donated to Libera for the Amunì project, through which it helps young people who have committed crimes to make a new start in the name of justice;

Paolo and Lidia no longer work at the Distillery, but their dream lives on, growing and being passed on from one generation to the next: that dream continues to travel and take the story of a love so great that it defies time to every corner of the world.

Federico Buffa