Casa Vinicola Zonin is one of Italy’s most important privately-owned wine-producing companies and is also one of the foremost worldwide. It distributes and markets the still and sparkling wines under the Zonin label as well as those of the family’s nine Estates.
Inspired by the principle “each region has its own traditions, each region has its own wines” Gianni Zonin has, since the end of the 1960s, been selecting outstanding terroirs, bringing Casa Vinicola Zonin to its present area under vine of around 2.000 hectares, supervised by a team of 32 oenologists and agronomists. These make up 9 Estates situated in Italy’s 7 finest Regions for wine production, as well as a property in the United States, Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia.
Different production areas, each with its own specific terroir and its own peculiarities in terms of climate and morphology, the experience and professionalism of our agronomists and oenologists and the choice of dynamic business strategies: these are the most important values on which the company’s philosophy is based.
Ever since 1821 the Zonin family has been linked with the cultivation of vines and the production of wine, but it was in 1921 that a real revolution began: Commendator Domenico Zonin set about developing his family’s lands and vineyards, thus creating Casa Vinicola Zonin.
At the beginning of the 1960s there was another major turning point: Domenico – whose life straddled three centuries and two millennia (1899 – 2001) – was joined in the company by his nephew Gianni, who became President of the firm in 1967. The young President immediately set himself the goal of creating a world made up of vineyards and estates situated in Italy’s best quality Regions for wine production, so as to be able to guarantee the quality of the grapes and of the wine through direct and total control of the whole production process.His dream started to become a reality in 1970, with the acquisition of the Tenuta Ca’ Bolani, in Friuli, the Italian Region that was most famous for the production of outstanding white wines. “I still remember when we bought the Ca’ Bolani Estate in Friuli – Gianni Zonin recounts – it was 1970 and there were some doubts in my family as to the wisdom of leaving the confines of our home region of the Veneto. But I was convinced of my idea: to produce really fine wines one has to own vineyards, selecting the best terroirs and the most typical grape varieties. So I went ahead with my plan”.
Subsequently the collection of estates was enriched with the purchase of other gems: first Castello d’Albola (1979), which epitomizes the unmistakable aristocratic charm of Chianti Classico.The following year, the Abbazia Monte Oliveto, farm at San Gimignano, the homeland of Vernaccia, also became an integral part of this great project.
The family’s vineyard holdings then spread to Piedmont with the acquisition of Castello del Poggio (1985), in the very best area for the production of Asti and Barbera, and to Lombardy with the annexing of Tenuta Il Bosco (1987), in the Oltrepò Pavese, a classic region for the legendary Pinot Nero.
Constantly on the lookout for new terroirs and indigenous vine varieties, in the 1990s Gianni Zonin identified the South of Italy as the ideal area in which to produce the great wines of the future: he bought Feudo Principi di Butera (1997) on the splendid island of Sicily and Masseria Altemura (2000) in the Salento Peninsula, in Puglia. He was also enthralled by an enchanting spot lying between the Mediterranean scrubland – lapped by the waves of the Ionian Sea – and the metal-bearing hills, and so he returned for the third time to Tuscany in order to purchase the Rocca di Montemassi (1999) and give a new impetus to the outstanding quality potential of the Maremma.
Gianni Zonin was also the pioneer of top-quality viticulture on the East Coast of the United States. In 1976, he bought the Barboursville Vineyards, estate, thus realizing the dream of American President Thomas Jefferson who maintained that Virginia could produce world-class wines.
In 2008 Gianni Zonin celebrated the Golden Anniversary of his relationship with wine: in these fifty vintages a project took shape that has few equals anywhere in Europe.