Cantina Sociale Valpolicella was founded in 1933, a troubled time for the world economically and politically, as well as an unhappy period for vine growing. The Phylloxera louse had wreaked devastation on the grapevines of the region, and shortage of cereal crops had led to planting of wheat instead of the vines preferred in Valpolicella.
In those unstable times, six gentlemen who believed in the value of their own land, found themselves threatened by a group of cunning industrialists and speculators who bought up plots of land to produce so-called Valpolicella using mostly imported grapes, so they decided to act together.
And so on August 23, 1933 Dall'Ora Gaetano, Carlo Vecchi, Giovanni Battista Rizzardi, Marco Marchi, Pier Silvio Graziani and Alvise Serego Alighieri found themselves in the study of the lawyer Francesco Betteloni in Verona to found the Cantina Sociale Valpolicella.
Economic motivation was of course behind the new organization but also pride in producing wine with great potential based on ancient traditions. They also realized that only by joining forces could they focus on quality and introduce new technology and improved facilities to enable them to face the challenge of winning new markets. These six small producers made good choices from the beginning by renting large cellars at Villa Novare and bottling the wines directly, and successes did not take long to arrive, with awards at international exhibitions in Brussels and Siena in 1935.
The major success of the era was the birth of Amarone, often presented as a chance discovery, but in reality an inspired idea about how to respond to the changing styles of the wines of Valpolicella and the tastes of its admirers.
After the Second World War, agriculture in Valpolicella recovered and especially vines and wine. By 1948 the Cantina employed 30 workers producing wines from 1,200 tonnes of grapes. The winery moved on a temporary basis to San Vito di Negrar and then in 1957, it merged with another local co-operative (Cantina Produttori della Valpolicella), moving to its current location near the town of Negrar. It was then reconstituted with 80 members, consolidating its position among the best in the new reality of the Italian wine world.
During the '60s and '70s the Cantina continued to expand its markets but in 1989 decided to focus once again on quality, launching a new range called "Domìni Veneti" named to recall the Venetian origins of the vineyards. The aim was to offer restaurants wines of similar quality to those from private wineries that at the time were benchmarks. This started a journey which has proved very successful; in 2004 our Recioto "Vigneti di Moron - Domini Veneti 2001" was the first Recioto ever from a cooperative winery to win the coveted top rating of "Tre Bicchieri" in the Gambero Rosso Guide.