Un sogno che si realizza: un vigneto a due passi dal mare nella meravigliosa terra del Golfo del Tigullio in Liguria
“Being a winemaker has become an integral part of my life and that of my family; every moment of the day gets confused: work moments often become fun, like traveling, reading or having a good drink with friends.” Guido Zampaglione
The network ZAM.Organica is born from organizational needs, but the seed that gave birth to it must be sought more deeply into the ground.
After leaving Campania for Piedmont in 2002 and – following a years-long search for just the right vineyard – buying Tenuta (also known as Cascina) Grillo together with my family, I took on full responsibility for the long-term decisions related to the winery, resolving to “grow” it gradually with the end goal of producing around 80,000 bottles a year.
Due to both personal and family-related reasons, though, that’s not how things ended up.
I became convinced, in fact, that if I wanted to carry out all the grape-growing and winemaking processes necessary to produce long-aging wines of character and uncompromising quality, I was going to have to rethink the organization of the winery and focus on achieving a far smaller annual production of around 20,000 bottles.
But a gnawing sense of dissatisfaction, and the words of my grandmother Maria, herself a producer of “wines of yore”, kept swirling around in my head: “If our most motivated young people leave the South, what’ll become of us? Go out there and get some experience, certainly, but then come back: don’t forget your roots.”
That’s how – thanks to the crucial support of my father Michele as well as the rest of my family, we were able to re-launch our Il Tufiello project in Alta Irpinia, in Southern Italy’s Campania region. The project is growing rapidly with our production of Fiano and now looks set to become an important player in the world of wine, and to help spur new, difficult-to-attract forces in agriculture.
The fact of having thrown myself unreservedly into an activity that was so vitally important to me on a personal level surely helped shape my winemaking-related decisions, decisions that then turned into life choices.
In 2016, as I became increasingly aware of how time rushes by and how much I missed sea air (and how much good it would do my family as well), and mused on the vital, yet still little-tapped, link between farming and tourism, I made an offer for a small piece of land and a ruin in Liguria, in San Lorenzo della Costa, overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio, certain that it would never be accepted.
In 2017, I presented a rural development project to the Liguria Region for land recovery and property restructuring, and most of it was approved.
That’s how the San Lorenzo della Costa agricultural holding came into being – a farm in Liguria where we’ll produce wine and possibly also olive oil, and the first real chance for my family to create a link between artisanal farming and that other Italian driver, “tourism” in the broadest sense of the word.