The World of Tinazzi: 50 years of Italian experience, from Veneto to Puglia

“We were so poor that we were just about to sell the chairs”. This is the startling recollection of company president, Gian Andrea Tinazzi, about the beginning of his career, when he was only 18 years old and, together with his father Eugenio, had started to produce wine in a tiny basement in the village of Cavaion Veronese, not far from Verona. Gian Andrea was very young but he was already driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit. 50 years after its foundation in 1968, Gruppo Tinazzi has grown into an established business with cellars and estates in Veneto and Puglia. The family involvement is still fundamental: Gian Andrea’s children, Giorgio and Francesca, now assist him in the enterprise.

Gian Andrea Tinazzi with his children, Giorgio and Francesca
Gian Andrea Tinazzi with his children, Giorgio and Francesca

Tinazzi’s roots in the Veneto region: Bardolino and Valpolicella

Despite its expansion towards the “heel of the boot”, the Tinazzi family is still very much rooted in the Veneto, its land of origin. The headquarters of the company is located in Lazise, on the shores of Lake Garda. Here, the native grapes of the region are vinified using the most advanced technologies. Visitors are welcome: the winery opens its doors to wine professionals and wine lovers, who can visit the premises and taste the wines.

Tenuta Valleselle in the Veneto
Tenuta Valleselle in the Veneto

Expansion in the Veneto came in 1986, when the family purchased the enchanting Tenuta Valleselle estate, located on the hills flanking Lake of Garda in the small town of Bardolino, from a community of local friars. After careful restoration, the estate has been dedicated to hospitality. Wine lovers can walk through the olive groves, visit the vineyards and attend courses on Italian cuisine.

Another recent Tinazzi acquisition is Poderi Campopian, a winemaking estate in Sant’ Ambrogio di Valpolicella. This sizeable investment is the home of the classico premium red wines of the area. The vineyards stand out at an altitude of more than 600 meters (2,000 feet) above sea level, where Verona’s native grapes – Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella – benefit from excellent exposures to the sun and express their best quality.

Developing this still further in 2015, Tinazzi has opened a winery premises in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella to maximize the production of the red wines of the Denomination according to the appassimento technique. The best bunches are carefully selected during harvest, put on special trays for drying, and left in a drying room until the following January before they are destemmed and crushed.

The Puglian world of Tinazzi: from pioneers to established producers.

Cantine San Giorgio in Puglia
Cantine San Giorgio in Puglia

The family estates located in Puglia are no less remarkable. In the early 2000s, Gian Andrea Tinazzi visited the Salento peninsula and, fascinated by the typical “alberello” (bush vine) vineyards of the region, he was quick to understand the potential of Primitivo and other traditional grape varieties. The result was the purchase of the Feudo Croce country estate in Carosino, near Taranto. Over the years, more vineyards have been planted and an irrigation system using innovative water collecting techniques, now playing a crucial role in viticulture, has been installed. Feudo Croce is open to visitors, who can enjoy tastings and visit a museum of photographic images about the winemaking process. The estate’s flagship wine, Primitivo LXXIV, has been voted one of the Top 100 Wines of the World by Wine Spectator magazine for two years running, as well as winning many other awards.

In 2011, Tinazzi took over Cantine San Giorgio, a wine cooperative in the territory of Salento. The family decided to invest in this business – which has become the production center for all the Tinazzi wines in Puglia - with the aim of revitalizing local wine production and enhancing the potential of indigenous grape varieties.

Hospitality in the wineries

Hospitality is one of the key priorities of Tinazzi group. Wine lovers from all over the world can visit the wineries and take part in a rich program of wine tastings and guided tours throughout the year.

In 2010, Tinazzi started a cooking class project designed to promote the Italian culture of ‘wine and territory’ in gastronomic terms in the estates of Tenuta Valleselle in Veneto and Feudo Croce in Puglia.A lively and immersive approach means guests enjoy the “Tinazzi experience”, eating traditional dishes that an expert Italian chef teaches them to cook, and pairing them with the best-suited wines in the Tinazzi range.

Poderi Campopian - “Lunante” Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOP

The name of the wine “Lunante” derives from the Italian word “luna”, which in English literally means “moon” and refers to the fact that grapes are harvested only at night to maintain their freshness. After being destemmed and crushed, the grapes are fermented and gently pressed and the resulting wine is then passed over the skins of grapes used for Amarone. Maturation is in oak barrels for 12 to 18 months. With a deep ruby red color, the character of this wine is already obvious from its looks. On the nose, there’s a fruity bouquet of ripe red fruit with notes of licorice and hints of spices. On the palate it is full-bodied, with pronounced fruity aromas and velvety tannins that add a pleasant complexity to the long finish.

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Translated by ICY

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