“This is a wine collection, symbol and exaltation of a Jurassic terroir of a cru area between 500 and 700 meters above sea level, particularly suited to the production of great wines that express the Valpantena and which goes beyond the dogmas of the denomination “. Massimo Gianolli, president and managing director of Hill of Cherry trees, prepares in the field – last year the first harvest of the super Valpatena and by 2025 the launch of four Igt varieties and two other docs – the strategy that through a capital increase of seven million, to be carried out with the club’s instrument deal and the birth of a newco with 23.4% of the capital reserved for new investors, will lead to listing on the stock exchange. “For the debut in Piazza Affari – he explains – it will take from five to eight years but with the capital increase we close the start-up phase, which began in 2010, and we open a new project that alongside the Club in Primeur with which we enhance the Amarone allows us to research and experiment with new ways to bring the terroir into the glass with the production of the Cru and the Gran Cru di Erbin “. If the operation goes through, Collina dei Ciliegi would become the third winery in the Italian vineyard – after Masi Agricola and the Italian wine brand – to be listed.
Let’s start with Erbin, then. And from the Supervalpantena vineyard signed by the French Lydia and Claude Bourguignon and Christian Roger, vice president of the Veronese winery. Gianolli again: “Organic, narrow planting layout, very low yields, interventions reduced to a minimum and in full respect of the complexity of the soil: we aim for absolute quality”. And then the winemaker intervenes Paolo Posenato. The growth plan in the field foresees this year the debut of the first Cru of Erbin: Peratara, a classic Valpolicella doc. But 10 hectares of land already planted with vines in Valpolicella will also be redeemed in advance and the purchase of other neighboring land that will be used for the Supervalpantena project. Next year the Erbin Cru collection will be completed with the marketing of Erbin Bianco and Erbin Rosso. And there will also be the first taste of the Gran Cru line with the arrival on the market of Preara, amarone della Valpolicella Docg. Finally, in 2025, the Gran CRU collections will be completed with Monte Castello, a red obtained from a blend of Corvina and Teroldego, and Prea, a white that is being born from a blend of Garganega, Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay.
To understand the futureHowever, it is necessary to take a step back. Gianolli is a financial entrepreneur – he is the number 1 of Generalfinance, specialized in corporate credit – who in 2010 gave life to the company in Erbin, a few kilometers above Grezzana on a hill overlooking the Veronese plain. But the project “to make wine on the family land” was five years earlier and since then Gianolli has tried to reconcile the short lead times of the stock exchange with the much longer ones of agronomists and oenologists. Since 2013, 20 million have been invested and now the Collina dei Ciliegi is spread over 58 hectares, 33 vineyards in organic conversion and 11 labels divided into three collections that have received over 260 national and international awards, the last in order of tempo is the platinum medal at the 2021 decanter world wine awards for Armando Gianolli’s 2011 Amarone Cru Ciliegio Riserva.
Some of those resources also come from Cà del Moro wine retreat and the “Club En Primeur”. The project launched in 2018 brings together those interested in investing in Amarone Cru Ciliegio by purchasing one or more barrels still in aging. To date, 60 barrels have been sold, equivalent to 18,000 bottles for a value of over 700,000 euros. Gianolli again: “Unlike what happens in France, where the wine placed on the market can undergo downward fluctuations compared to the price paid en primeur, our formula aims to guarantee not only the investment but also profitability, guaranteeing a minimum increase of 10 % of prices year on year “. The next step to consolidate and expand the performance of the group is to work in search of new markets. And so in July 2020 the partnership with the French of Advini was formalized, a colossus with 2300 hectares of property and 28 companies including chateaux estates and wineries in the best terroirs of the Alps, South Africa and Spain and listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
According to Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index the “fine wine” sector recorded the highest growth among investments in luxury in 2021 with a + 13%, which even becomes + 119% if the last 10 years are taken into account. Gianolli again: “This partnership will allow us to position our wines in the horeca channel in over 100 countries while we will be the exclusive distributors of a selection of high-end wines from the French company. Without forgetting that the agreement provides for the distribution abroad of wines with the Borgo dei Ciliegi label, an unprecedented line of products resulting from cooperation with the main wineries in the Veneto ”.
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