Passion and respect for the environment. But also the care for details and the slow rhythm of the natural processes of vinification. These are the fundamental elements which distinguish the winery "Sella delle Spine" in Taurasi. In an ancient place, where fathers grew up among expanses of vineyards and sons loved every plant as a precious good to know, take care of and keep, Caggiano family has been able to make an excellent wine, son of Irpinia's land, which expresses at its best its uncontaminated aromas, tying them in an indissoluble union between man and his territory. "Sella delle Spine" was born in the seventies and has preserved over the years the experience and passion for the land of origin and the grapes produced. At the threshold of the new millennium, then, Luigi Caggiano picked up the family tradition with the persevering conviction that grapes are the magic "passion" capable of making that wine, which, keeping its secrets, must offer inebriating emotions. Still today, after more than 20 years of hard work, the workers of the winery continue to work in a great family atmosphere in order to make sure that from the precious clod which feeds the plant it is possible to make a valuable bottled product. Il Denaro asked the owner Luigi Caggiano some questions.
Why did you decide to start this wine production activity?
Because I have always had a deep bond with my land. They define me as a "perfect taurasino": I have the love for the homeland, a love that, many believe, does not lead to anything. Because people tend to say that these are places with no perspective, no future. I don't think so. We are lucky to have such a rich territory. It is our duty to respect it, take care of it and exploit it. There are those who are born genetically entrepreneurs, who spend their childhood in wealth and comfort, but they have not tasted life and if they invest in such a project they will do so without passion, considering it just another attempt to earn money. I, on the other hand, come from a modest family. I hope one day to leave my children a company that has a decent income and an open business perspective. Tomorrow they will be able to decide whether to keep it or sell it, but they will have to do so only on the basis of their real aptitude. We aim to offer a quality product. My dream is to sign all the bottles. My culture leads me to dream a bit big from this point of view, however I do not care about the number of bottles produced. Determining the value of a company with respect to the number of commercializations made, in my opinion, is a reductive analysis. The arithmetic condition of a production is often polluting, I try to avoid it because I produce and sell an elite product.
Why the name "Sella delle Spine"?
It is a technical name that tells how the company was born. In 1970 the Ente Sperimentale of Campania Region worked in order to improve the breeding of vineyards in this area, which has always occupied a substantial part of the local economy. At those times was still in force the peasant culture of pluricultivation, that is high vine with vegetables cultivated underneath. The high vine gave a lesser maturation to grapes, however it offered a greater balance of nitrogen because it was removed from the soil thanks to the presence of vegetables. However it was implemented the project of changing the ray system (high vine) in spurred cordon, which offers a more advantageous structural condition, because it has a better leaf apparatus which allows a better maturation of grapes and of the organoleptic substance. In order to determine where to realize the project, a screening of the territory was carried out which led to the identification of three sites, including this one. In the end, because of an evaluation based on the position and exposure to currents and microclimates, this site was chosen, because it is saddle shaped and therefore allows the plant a better exposure to sun and for the presence of an optimal condition of the subsoil, verified by soil analysis.
How much importance do you give to the presentation of the product?
Very much. I think the packaging, the aesthetics of the product are fundamental. Although we invest a lot on this aspect, the costs of our wines are very concrete and fair. In commercial negotiations we propose our cost analysis. We first taste and analyze the product and then we communicate the cost. Before positioning the product we want to know where it should be positioned and by whom it should be proposed. We only do first level distribution: we are not interested in medium and big distribution.
What is the winning characteristic of "Sella delle Spine" wines?
The land. Because we are talking about an autochthonous and quality product. In order to make a good product it is necessary to produce good grapes. Good wine is born from the plant. The plant is born from a general pollination which inevitably makes its own all the aromas and flavors we have in our enological bouquet. Once Taurasi was characterized, for example, by the excellent presence of marasca cherry. In fact, the trace of such fruit is in great predominance in Taurasi's aromas.
Foreign markets. Besides Germany, Finland and Japan, with which the winery has already established business relationships, have there been new contacts?
We have many contacts in the Russian and Chinese markets, but I still do not feel ready from an organizational point of view. I'm a passionate person, that's why I work on my own. I always like to take risks myself, but I respect my own time and possibilities. I would never put others or others' work at risk. This is a company that has not benefited from any grants, other than small contributions from participation in trade shows. In fact, "Sella delle Spine" was among the protagonists of Vinitaly in Verona and ProWein in Germany.
What is the commitment you propose, the thought that reflects the values of your company?
Respect and love the environment, the product and everyone involved in its creation. Because in my opinion, companies should not be considered as such, but should be conceived as a gamble of life.