A LONG JOURNEY
It was 1845 when Vincenzo Ippolito engraved his initials on the country house that was nestled between vineyards, olive ochards and orange groves in the seaside of Cirò. Viticulture came to prominence over the other forms of agriculture of the area, although the consumption of the wine produced was strictly local at that time.
After the First World War, Don Vincenzo Ippolito, a bold and ambitious person, resumed the efforts started by his grandfather, finding in viticulture and in the territory of Cirò, a project to nurture and carry on with determination. Thus was born the first modern winery in Cirò, with the underground stone basins used both for vinification for the first short pumpovers and for aging.
Continuous travel and the desire to improve lead to the introduction in the cellar of the first chestnut barrels, of various capacities, from 80 to 100 Hl. Although the wine sold was only in bulk, the market began to grow, Cirò was recognized as a quality wine, the first contacts began to arrive from Northern Italy, in particular from the most renowned production areas.
Strengthened by the success of its wine not only on the Calabrian market but also outside the Region, Don Vincenzo begins, first in Calabria, to bottle its Cirò, enhancing the grapes of its ``alberello`` vineyards located in the most suitable areas: Feudo and Difesa Piana, on the coast.
The first two labels by Ippolito are born, a Cirò Rosso and a Cirò Riserva, bottled after ten years of aging in large chestnut barrels. The bottle used for the Riserva was the Piedmontese deformed, typical of the great Barolos of the time and still used today in the company.
In the vineyard, under the direction of brothers Antonio and Salvatore Ippolito, the first attempts at modern agriculture, geared towards mechanization without losing sight of quality, began. The first approaches to foreign markets began, with Germany and United States in the first place. In Cirò, in 1969, the first production regulations were drawn up, selecting Gaglioppo and Greco Bianco as the grapes for the productions of Cirò Rosso, Rosé and Bianco. Ippolito was one of the prime movers and major authors of this historic moment
The company reaches significant dimensions, therefore it is decided to enlarge the cellar by building a new fully automated bottling room, an underground for the storage of wines in tanks and bottles, new offices and a laboratory for quality control. The 60 hectares of the hilly estate of Mancuso, in the heart of the DOC, are transformed into vineyards by planting only native varieties: Gaglioppo and Greco Bianco.
The first important national and foreign awards began to arrive and the market grew, becoming increasingly demanding. Hence the decision to add a new reserve to the three vintage wines and the Cirò Riserva which was aged a full 10 years. Colli del Mancuso Cirò Riserva was born: the first “Cru” from Calabria. It was 1989.
A sad event marks these years: the premature death of one of the two brothers, Antonio. The company therefore relies on a few but solid customers, the large-scale distribution channel is growing, a channel in which the Ippolito company consolidates its position. In the vineyard, a clonal selection of Gaglioppo is underway, in collaboration with the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Bari.
The fifth generation enters the company. New wines are born, new technologies are introduced in the cellar, an underground barrel cellar of 2500 m2 is built, new vineyards are replanted. The aim is to conquer new markets and consolidate existing ones, the means is the pursuit of quality in all its values.
Today. The firm features 15 different wine labels on 4 continents. Its guiding principles, that were born over 170 years ago are to promote the appreciation of its native vines, to safeguard the territory, to respect the traditions, nature and biodiversity of its native land. With the 5th generation at the helm, this is destined to continue for generations to come.