Allegrini 2024

Oltrepò Pavese: Cantine Ermès has acquired the Canneto Wine Cooperative at an auction

The large Sicilian Cooperative has invested in the Pinot Noir territory, as other wine companies have also done, such as Cordero, Tommasi, Berlucchi and Masi
Rosario Di Maria, president of Cantine Ermès, in Oltrepò Pavese

Oltrepò Pavese is the number one territory for Italian Pinot Noir. It is constantly seeking to relaunch and continues to attract investments from other territories - a sign that more and more producers and wine companies believe in the potential, not yet fully expressed, of the Lombardy territory. The most recent wine company to invest in the area is Cantine Ermès, a Sicilian company (home to Tenute Orestiadi in Gibellina, where the largest work of land art in the world has been placed in the vineyards , “Il Cretto” by Burri, to whom a wine is dedicated, as we narrated in this video), which acquired a wine cooperative at a foreclosure sale, the Cantina Sociale di Canneto (for a sum, according to rumors WineNews gathered, of around 2 million euros). The aim of Cantine Ermès is “to not lose the historical value of an important wine-growing area and to relaunch its production and social cohesion”. Rosario Di Maria president of Cantine Ermès, explained, “we want to involve the old members to develop a new course for Canneto”.
Cantine Ermès, which counts over 13.600 hectares of vineyards in Sicily, Veneto, Puglia, Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo and now, stepping into the Oltrepò Pavese, territory, Lombardy. It counts 2.513 members, and follows a “regional verticalized model, centered on the viticultural and oenological values of those territories and the varieties and denominations that can best perform on markets throughout the world”. This is the most recent acquisition, in chronological order, of a series of investments in the Oltrepò territory made by the topmost Italian wine names outside the territory, such as Cordero of Tenuta San Giorgio, Tommasi of Caseo, Berlucchi of Vigne Olcru and Masi of Casa Re, on a small piece of land, counting 3.000 hectares of vineyards, which, however, is the third district in the world dedicated to Pinot Noir, after Burgundy and Champagne.
The Sicilian Cooperative made the investment according to its guiding principle. “Respect for the different territories and their specificities has always been the distinctive feature of Cantine Ermès, affirming an all around protection and valorization approach for the existing structures and instrumental equipment, and, above all, human capital”, a note explained. “The gradual growth of Cantine Ermès in multiple Regions”, Rosario Di Maria, president of Cantine Ermès explained, “is the result of constant research in territories, consistent with our Cooperative’s original project. The identity potential of the territories in which we have invested and continue to invest, and the ability of those wines to compete on the most important markets for Italian wine are what counts in our corporate mission. The majority of the establishments Cantine Ermès has acquired over the years were the result of mergers by incorporation, restoring energy and prospects to wine cooperatives representative of those territories, without losing their human and social heritage. Our Cooperative project is based on two fundamental cornerstones: trust and respect”. It is a common feeling that makes the difference for president Rosario Di Maria, who emphasized, “respect for our wine growing members who embrace the project, and respect for the distinctive characteristics of these territories. Trust, which we have managed to generate day by day and, today, have managed to defeat the prejudices that a Sicilian winery faces when it is present in other Regions.
Cantine Ermès has reversed the path: it is now the South investing in the North. “The interest in Oltrepò Pavese”, Ermès continued, “came about from an exhaustive market analysis that led Cantine Ermès to present an offer for the acquisition of the production plant and the brand, fully aware that the relaunch path will have to start by involving the members of the Cantina di Canneto. “Through the good practice of sharing objectives and work, we are certain that we will rebuild a healthy and competitive company of quality wine, which will be new in spirit, but at the same time, able to enhance its roots, as we have done in other Regions”. According to Cantine Ermès, dialogue and synergy with the other cooperative structures in the Oltrepò will be fundamental for its relaunch. The interest Cantine Ermès had shown for Cantina di Canneto, pointed out Ermes, in the past few weeks, sparked a heated debate, which, however, time and the Cantine Ermès management will definitely be able to provide the right answers, from now on.

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