The Tinazzi company was founded in Cavaion Veronese, near Garda Lake in Northern Italy, by Eugenio Tinazzi and his son Gian Andrea in 1968. 50 years later, in 2019, the company is still run by Gian Andrea and his children Giorgio and Francesca.
The entrepreneurial spirit of the family led to a vigorous expansion of their properties, first in the Valpolicella region, near Verona, and then in the southern region of Puglia, where they quickly formed a passion for the traditional wines of the region.
It was in the early 2000s that Gian Andrea came across the Feudo Croce Estate in the Salento area of Puglia. What struck him immediately was the enormous potential of the local native grape varieties, mainly Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera.
A few months later, the family decided to invest in the region and acquired the 68 hectare estate. After equipping the winery with the latest technology and a state-of-the art irrigation system, Feudo Croce wines quickly won international praise and acclaim.
Feudo Croce is in Salento, the southernmost part of Puglia, in the heel of Italian boot. The Mediterranean climate features long and hot summers, with little rain and sea breezes which cool the vineyards. The main grape varieties are Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. Primitivo is also known in the wine world as Zinfandel, but the name comes from the Latin word “primativus”, meaning “early ripening”. Grapes come from low bush-trained vines, farmed in the typical albarello system. Primitivo wines are usually full-bodied and rich, with aromas of dark fruit like fresh figs, blueberries and baked blackberries. In the ripening season, Primitivo grapes achieve high levels of sugar, which means that the wines are rich in alcohol and very fruity.
Cantine San Giorgio
Success in Puglia led Tinazzi to expand even further in the region, with the purchase of the winery called Cantine San Giorgio to provide the full production process. Cantine San Giorgio is a historic business in the territory of Salento, founded in 1962 as a wine cooperative. The Tinazzi purchased it, after careful assessment in 2011, to favour local wine production even further, enhancing the potential of Puglia’s typical grape varieties.
Cantine San Giorgio, is now an important production reality in one of the most interesting wine regions in Italy and has come to fame with its commitment to high quality grapes and wines.
The symbol of Cantine San Giorgio is the “Torre Vinaria”, a 21 metre-high white tower that houses 6 assemblies of vats, one underground and five above ground. The tower was designed to allow wine to flow from one tank to another without being adversely affected by the frequent heatwaves of the Salento region.
Cement vats have become very popular again in recent years, primarily due to their ability to maintain the temperature of the wine constant, thanks to the qualities and thickness of the concrete.
The Tinazzis are now preparing to strengthen their relationship with Puglia even more: a new winery (above) is being built, with completion date the end of 2019, beginning 2020. This new winery will be the flagship in terms of modernity and automation, without ever forgetting the quality and tradition of our products from Puglia.
Tinazzi’s investment in Puglia has been repaid with success, especially with the Primitivo di Manduria, Imperio LXXIV. The name, Imperio, is a reference to the empire of the Ancient Romans, who were the first to cultivate this grape. In fact, Primitivo gets its name from the Latin “primiativus”, meaning “first to ripen/early ripening”. The LXXIV part of the name, the number 74, is related to the year 1974, when the wine was first classified as a DOP product.
Grapes: 100% Primitivo di Manduria.
Vineyards: on the Feudo Croce estate; clay and limestone soil.
Vinification: pressing and destemming of hand-picked grapes with maceration and fermentation at controlled temperatures of 22-26° for 10-15 days. Second soft pressing. Maturation in 5-10 hectolitre French oak barrels for 12 months.
Tasting notes: deep, opaque red; complex array of aromas: ripe berry fruit, spices, slight hints of cocoa, balsamic vein. Good length and balance on the palate; hints of dried fruit, soft tannins, toasty finish. Perfect with roast meat and mature cheese.
Visits and tastings can be organized on the Feudo Croce estate in Carosino to discover the local vineyards and the how the wine is made. The barrel cellar can be visited and the tour finishes with a taste of typical Puglian wines to give the visitor an idea of the flavours and tastes of their wonderful land of origin.
Translated by ICY
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