The DNA of wine is in their blood. They grew seeing their grandparents and parents tending the vineyards: the men pruning the vines and the wome tying down the naces; yje women picking the grapes and the mn hoisting the boxes onto the shoulders. As soon as they were able to walk, the were sent into the vineyards to pull the weeds growing between the rows.
Their families began making their own wine in the middle of the last century, selling it in bulk to the big bottling companies operationg in those days. The tuming-point came in 1982: Guido Fantino and Claudio Contenro purchased casks, thanks and a crusher, and set up Azienda Agricola Conterno Fantino.
The early years were hard-going, though non just for them: those were the days when 6 free bottles of Barolo would come with every ten cases of Dolcetto.
In 1986, the year of the methanol scandal, the first Gambero Rosso Italian wine guide was published investing in high quality production. The business really took off however in 1987, when the most authoritative international magazine in the trade, Wine Spectator, dedicated its first page to the 1982 Barolo Sori Ginestra. And the following yea, the '85 Monprà was lauded by none other that Gino Veronelli.
Three great consecutive vintages, '88 - '89 - '90, did the rest.
The first bottles were sold abroad in 1983, in Cologne, Germany, and exports to the United States market began in the '90s.
Today half the production is sold in Italy, through a vast network ranging form leading restaurants to old-world osterias, while the remaining 50% is exposed: half to the United States and half to 30 other countries worldwide.
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