The history of the company has deep roots, spanning time as well as distance. Originating in Turi (Province of Bari), in the early 1900s, where the tradition of vine cultivation and wine production had been handed down for generations. Modesto Dell’Aera, viticulturist and vintner, passed on not only his knowledge but also his entrepreneurial resourcefulness to his son Pasquale.
TURI 1940. Pasquale Dell’Aera on the right
At the end of the 1960s, a young Pasquale was offered an important job opportunity, converting and redesigning numerous lands scattered throughout the Calabrian regional territory. Initially he was reluctant in accepting the offer, he would have had to leave, albeit temporarily, his family and his beloved Turi. However, the proposal was very tempting and the opportunities for growth evident, persuading him to accept the offer.
Pasquale Dell’Aera began working in Calabria, initially with short and occasional trips, then longer and more frequent. After completing various projects throughout Calabria, the time came to redesign the “San Giacomo” estate in the Municipality of Soveria Simeri. Arriving in the Grandine valley, he marveled at the breathtaking landscape, a succession of rolling hills and fertile plains surrounded by two rivers, the Simeri and the Uria, a few steps from the sea but with the snow-capped Sila mountains behind them. It was, as if lightning had struck! The thought of investing in that rich and fertile land began to emerge in his mind, but what really convinced him to make this important decision, was the intuition and foresight of his wife Elizabeth, who pointed out and emphasized the abundant presence of water, an immeasurable wealth for those who, like them, had often lost their crops due to the lack of.
In 1973 Pasquale left his beloved Puglia and moved to Calabria with his family. He bought “San Giacomo”**and also within the same valley, purchased the nearby estate named the “Maddalena.”** After years of selection and research on the most suitable rootstocks and cultivars for this range, he planted the first vineyards. The Dell’Aera family thus took root in Calabria.
Pasquale, as did his father Modesto, eventually handed the reins over to his son Vito Modesto, who had always worked alongside him since the end of his studies. Vito, thanks to his dedication and the tireless support of his wife Rosaria, otherwise known as Pina, purchased the “Cantorato”** and “Laca”** estates, destined not only to the cultivation of vineyards but also to peaches and citrus fruits. To this day, the management and organization of all agronomic operations takes place under his expert guidance.
CANTORATO ESTATE 1991. Vito and Pina with their sons Matteo and Francesco
LACA ESTATE 1995. Pasquale, Vito and Francesco Dell’Aera
In 2008, Vito and Pina’s eldest son, Matteo, having completed his studies as an agrotechnician, showing great interest in winemaking from a very young age and driven by the desire to resume a family tradition that had now become secondary, dedicated himself with praiseworthy devotion to the realization of a project much greater than his 19 years. In a few years, the dream of vinifying the grapes produced with passion, took shape.
CANTORATO ESTATE 2021. Matteo and Francesco
Matteo’s goal was clear, to produce high quality wines. To accomplish this, he needed a state-of-the-art cellar with the most up to date technology on the market.
Finally, after years of research, planning and work, the refined characteristics of the red 2013 vintage wine, that would represent the vision of the Dell’Aera family around the world, was obtained. The wine was now ready to be bottled, but something was missing: the logo.
It was, while thinking about the geographical layout of the estates, that an idea took hold, why not choose a hippocampus? After all, the vineyards overlook the wonderful Gulf of Squillace, also known as the “Baia degli Ippocampi” due to the presence of numerous species of seahorse. The presence of this captivating creatures is a source of pride, considered an indicator of the healthiness of the sea that hosts them. There are also references to Greek culture and mythology that the hippocampus was a symbol of good omen, and in fact was depicted intent on bringing the girls who fell into the sea to safety. The hippocampus seemed perfect to represent the link with the territory, history and culture of the whole of Calabria.
Thus, the first label, “Grandane”, was born.