How was your company born?
Our father Lorenzo developed the winery in 1964. Before, my family had been producing wine for several generations, probably from 1630, and sold it to trattorias and restaurants of Verona and the whole province. The turning point, however, came with our father who gave a new impulse to the winery and set our products’ style: rich of texture and fresh wines, suitable to be paired with food.
One of the first crus of Amarone was in our winery. My father believed in this wine in the Sixties, when the principal wine of Valpolicella was Recioto.
Today you manage the winery with your sisters Antonietta and Sabrina. How did the generational passage occur?
My dad has always been open-minded. He has never hindered our ideas. My father and I have always been creative in wine production, so anything I wanted to experiment, he has always encouraged me to try it. It is remarkable in the family the episode when he decided to use a kind of pressure cooker for a wine experiment, staying awake all night because he was afraid of a possible explosion.
How would you define your company?
Domestic and handcrafted. But also historic and innovative at the same time. Authentic, with a strong identity.
How are the roles in the company divided?
Being three brothers is for us a resource more than a complication. For us more heads we are, more ideas it brings. However, in order to run the company’s machine efficiently, we have defined roles: Antonietta, who first joined the company in 1984, deals with the Italian market and administration, I deal with production and export in North America, while Sabrina, who entered into the company in 2000, deals with export to Europe and Far East and marketing.
Which wine better represents your company?
Amarone della Valpolicella, produced with a selection of grapes from various vineyards of the hills, is the product I am most happy with today. It is a full wine, rich in tannins and good acidity, perfect for accompanying food. Our trademark continues to be very successful in Canada, particularly in Ontario.
Which wine amazes you the most?
The young Valpolicella gave me unexpected satisfaction over the years. That is why our goal for the coming years is to re-evaluate this wine and bring it back to its original value: a pleasant, cool meal wine with less complexity than Amarone and Ripasso, but no less fascinating.
Which direction are your wines going in?
We are working to improve the aromatic component, it is a priority in this moment.
The biggest current challenge for a wine producer is…
The biggest challenge is in the vineyard, avoiding waste, seeking constant quality and selecting the best grapes. We are doing it in all of our vineyards and especially in the vineyards we have bought in the valley of Mezzane, Maternigo, 31 hectares of paradise surrounded by a forest.
Which are the markets in the world where you are most present?
Switzerland and Germany in Europe, while Canada, which represents the 35% of our sales, and the US (8%) for the non-EU. Although the domestic market is also growing, registering a 15-20% of turnover.
The biggest challenge for Italian wine export…
Educating the consumer and not being afraid to be yourself are the biggest challenge in the export of wine. Fashion and market trends are threatening corporate identities. Instead, the glass should express the style of the company, its territory, not the taste of the consumer.
Our goal is to meet the consumer’s taste without loosing our identity.
FOCUS ON WINE
Maternigo -Vapolicella Superiore