Allegrini 2024

If competitors team up: the case history of Rete Valpantena, “the other” Valpolicella

The pact between Costa Arènte, Pernigo, Bertani, Collina dei Ciliegi-Cà del Moro and Ripa della Volta (while the Mezzane Valley Winemakers are born)
Valpantena is an area with extraordinary tourism potential

A case history of territorial marketing destined to set the standard, which sees five enlightened entrepreneurs from the Valpantena, in the Veneto region - “the other” Valpolicella, an area rich in nature, history and culture, but above all with great enological potential - who decide to join forces to give birth, in 2023, to Rete Valpantena. A virtuous project, a perfect example of “coopetition” (cooperation between competitors), which brings together the excellences of the territory - agricultural, artisan, productive and tourist - and sees to date, as founders and leaders, Costa Arènte, Pernigo, Bertani (Angelini Wines & Estates), Collina dei Ciliegi-Cà del Moro and Ripa della Volta. And it is of these days the entry into the Network of three new entities - Villa Pellegrini, Villa Arvedi, Case Vecie di Villa Brigaldara - which have adhered to the mission of promoting the identity and the human and cultural heritage of the Valpantena, in a medium-long term action strategy. A model that has also been replicated, these days, by thirteen wineries that, again in Valpolicella, have formed the Vignaioli Valle di Mezzane group, with the intention of turning the spotlight on their territory.
“The main objective of the Rete Valpantena”, explains Igor Boccardo, CEO of Tenute del Leone Alato (of which Costa Arénte is a part), “is to give prominence and development to this place, with an extraordinary viticultural history and great potential for growth. We want to enhance its distinctive traits: a peculiar micro-climate that, combined with manual labor in the fields and in the cellar, the search for lost vines and the morphological characteristics of the territory, make it a true enological uniqueness. Working in a network means joining efforts to achieve a common goal: to develop the market in which we operate. We are also competitors, of course, but by working together we can reach farther, communicate on more levels and promote our territory more easily. Kudos go to Massimo Gianolli of La Collina dei Ciliegi, who first launched the idea of the network, which we immediately welcomed with enthusiasm”.
Valpantena, also known as the “valley of the gods”, rises from the city of Verona toward the Lessini Mountains, serving as a divider between Valpolicella Classica and its enlarged area. Rolling hills, a succession of vineyards and olive groves, and a landscape similar to that of Tuscany make it a potential “Valpantenashire”, an ideal destination for a high-end, even international, tourist target that seeks history, art, and spirituality in addition to food and wine. The valley is part of the Valpolicella wine district and has been rediscovered and enhanced only in the last 20-30 years, thanks to a nucleus of historic wineries that proudly claimed the sub-denomination Valpantena on their labels. Its morphological characteristics give wines with distinct elegance and acidity, vibrant and naturally free of concentration.
“As president of Rete Valpantena and of Bertani, a brand that has made the history of Valpolicella and that precisely in Valpantena has found its cradle”, explains Ettore Nicoletto, ceo Angelini Wines & Estates (a group that, in addition to Bertani, owns, among others, estates such as Val di Suga in Montalcino, Tenuta Trerose in Montepulciano, and Puiatti in Romans D'Isonzo, ed.), “I am happy to speak today of “coopetition”. It is a term that often runs the risk of being just an aspiration, but in the project of the Valpantena Network it instead finds full expression. The Network, therefore, represents a kind of laboratory in which the importance of the territory and the concept of “teamwork” are two of the main objectives. And it is precisely through the Network that we want to communicate the beauty and qualities of this territory; a district rich in talents, virtuous entrepreneurial realities and projects with great prospects. A territory, a stone’s throw from Verona, that deserves to be discovered and explored in all its corners of extraordinary biodiversity”.
This is a highly innovative project because of two main factors: the first is related to being a “network”, the result of the precise awareness of the need to overcome individualism in order to promote but also to organize the offer of hospitality, experiential in the best way; the second factor is the strong and courageous willingness of businesses (and therefore not public institutions) to become concrete and active actors in territorial development. These are two rare factors in the landscape of territorial development and promotion in our country, still strongly linked to the so-called public driver. The third important factor to consider is to use the driver of agrifood excellence (wine and oil in primis) and of the excellent catering of territory to convey other important values of the Valpantena such as, for example, historical-artistic ones. The project has been the focus in recent weeks of “Microcosmo Valpantena”, a roundtable discussion that delved into its origin, mission and work, followed by a masterclass that analyzed, within the Valpolicella DOC, the differences and similarities between the Classico and Valpantena subzones. Many and various projects are in the pipeline for the coming months: from the “Ristogolf Circuit”, in partnership with an important national golf event, to the cycle of evenings dedicated to music (with concerts and gourmet aperitifs), passing through “Bike & Wine”, meetings with experts in the sector and incoming specialized journalists.

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