Featured Exhibitor: Fabio Cordella Cantine
Fabio Cordella Cantine's long family tradition
by Marie-Claude Veillette
Like many of his fellow Italians, Fabio Cordella has two main passions in life: soccer and wine. What sets Cordella apart, however, is that he has the good fortune to live his passions every day. A one-time professional soccer player and current sports director for a Series A soccer team, Cordella is also the owner of a vineyard, located in Copertino in the region of the Salento peninsula in southeastern Italy.
Cordella's vines in Copertino grow out of a long family tradition. First planted by Cordella's grandfather in 1930, they were held exclusively within the family until 1968 when, lacking a willing successor to the business, the elder Cordella decided to sell most of his property.
"Because neither my father nor his brothers were interested in continuing the family tradition of winemaking, my grandfather ended up selling all but 15 hectares of the 125 hectares of land he owned," says Cordella.
It wasn't until 40 years later that Fabio took the reins of the family business. In the process, he committed himself to producing wines in the Italian tradition, made from grapes native to the region of Salento, including the Negroamaro and Primitivo varieties.
"It's now been 10 years since I repurchased the land. Our vineyard produces a diverse range of wines: in addition to our excellent varieties of red - which are characterized by robust, fruity flavors – we also produce whites and rosés made from Negroamaro, Verdeca and Chardonnay grapes. These wines have brilliant coloring and are dry with light, fruity tones. "
In keeping with the traditions of his father and grandfather, Cordella takes good care of his vines. The plants benefit from the area's Mediterranean climate and the warm winds coming from the Balkans that flow over the Adriatic Sea.
"We're a small winery; our total production varies between 60 and 70,000 bottles annually. In addition to our regular production, we produce a special batch of premium wine, limited to 2800 bottles, which is made exclusively from grapes grown from vines that are nearly a century old. These wines are aged in special casks for four years, and the final product is exceptional, " says Cordella.
Several of Cordella's wines have been named in honor of his family: TOTÒ bears the affectionate nickname given to his grandfather, while DONNA TIZIANA and OSCAR are named for Cordella's wife and son, respectively.
Cordella's grandfather passed away in 1987, but there is no doubt that he was very proud of his grandson, who has spared no effort to become the master of the family vineyard and an ambassador to the world by representing the wonderful flavors of Italy.
"Our vineyard is located in the heel of the 'Boot of Italy', " says Cordella. "It is the most important wine-producing region in the country, referred to as Italy's Cellar. " He will likely have no trouble convincing importers from across Asia to fall under the spell of Italy when he presents his wines at Global Wine Meetings, being held April 19-20, 2016 in Taipei, Taiwan.