Cincinnato recovers and promotes the vines of Lazio.
– click here to read the italian interview by Andrea Radic published in “Le Guide de L’Espresso (la Repubblica)” –
Cooperativa Cincinnato is made up of one hundred and twenty growers who tend a total of four hundred hectares, with two hundred and fifty under vine. This winery, located on the slopes of the town of Cori in Lazio, is admirable for a particular approach, differing from other cooperatives: it operates at the highest possible level and remunerates its members accordingly. Founded in 1947, Cincinnato today is considered a regional benchmark for local wine cooperatives and its mission has been to develop native vines, stubbornly seeking quality.
“We started working with native vines twenty years ago,” explains the president of Cincinnato, Nazzareno Milita. “I mean Nero Buono and Bellone.”
Why this choice?
When the Italians embarked on the massive exploration of international vines, as a cooperative, we lagged behind and paradoxically it was precisely this tardiness that allowed us to make different choices and follow a different path. We had understood that the real resource lay in our winegrowing assets and their exploitation. Over the years we carried out studies and field trials. In the 2000s, we decided to aim for the highest quality, preferring a radical path of no return, relying on precise choices and investments. We shared this decision with our growers, and they agreed, triggering an outright revolution in our district.”
“Today we’re a cooperative whose only objective is quality and we manage to pay our growers a fair rate for their grapes, which is much higher than the local average.”
A virtuous example, what’s your secret?
“There is no secret, but I can share the basics with you. Undoubtedly, we start by eliminating management politics and affiliations, because our purpose is to achieve maximum corporate yield, boosting profits to be redistributed to our growers. An administrator appointed president of a cooperative is tasked with this goal. Little, indeed hardly any talk and plenty of tangible results.
This process of quality as a target is shared with our growers, who are informed at all times and trained in the processing methods to be applied.”
You’ve been president for almost twenty years … you have almost absolute power…
“True enough: I supervise the agricultural part of the quality project, how to cultivate the land, how to grow grapes, how to plant and tend vineyards. The winemaking part is entrusted to Fabio Bigolin, while Giovanna Trisorio is in charge of sales and marketing.
Our main reference market is Rome, and Lazio, also because of our name, Cincinnato. Here too, we apply widespread distribution, serving individual venues, restaurants and wine stores, and focusing on the customer. We export fifteen percent of the million bottles we produce.”
Do you put great store on wine tourism?
Seven years ago, we opened a vineyard facility for this very reason. We wanted to showcase our district through a real food and wine experience, here on site. There is a nineteenth-century farmhouse where we organize tastings and about twenty guestrooms. Lazio has a potential basin of four million consumers, and we aim to raise awareness of places to explore just a stone’s throw from home: beauty spots on the doorstep.”
How are things going at the moment?
“We had invested almost entirely in the overseas market, so we’re struggling and obviously we hope the market will pick up. We don’t offer online sales, we don’t sell directly, we prefer to wager on and support customers who then offer structured online sales. And we look forward to welcoming visitors to the winery again: last year we opened our doors to over ten thousand guests.”
What’s to taste
Nero Buono Lazio IGP
An heirloom vine grown on lava soils with low yield per hectare. The selected grapes age slowly in oak. A nose with hints of forest berries and a well-defined palate, well-structured with a persuasive character.
Nero Buono Lazio IGP
At Cincinnato we admit this wine is a homage to our town. A pure Nero Buono, the grapes from our own vineyards, whose reputation has developed over time thanks to the sheer quality of the product.
Cask-aged for two years.
The nose is intense, unfolding nicely with balsamic hints and stronger notes like leather. It holds together well on the palate, well-rounded with a pleasingly long finish.
Bellone Lazio White IGP
A real territorial identity, the wine is named after one of the mythical twins to whom the ancient temple of Castor and Pollux is dedicated, with the impressive remains renowned as the archaeological heritage of Cori.
A monovarietal wine from Bellone, an heirloom grape, also known locally as “uva pane”, for the thick skin that is almost bread-like.
Greco Lazio IGP
A monovarietal white from the ancient native Greco grape, grown in the eponymous district of Cori.
A seductive personality woven from snappy fruit and mineral notes in perfect proportions, with charming floral hints of just the right intensity
A monovarietal Metodo Classico brut from Bellone grapes, aged on the lees for 18 months.
A great exercise in elegance and style. A refined sparkler with an intense, intriguing nose. It opens on the palate with truly gorgeous character.