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Posted: Friday, 29 October 2021 23:40

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Zonin (1821-2021): Celebrating 200 years and 7 Generations in Wine Business

Oct 29: The seventh generation of Zonin 1821 celebrates the 200th Anniversary of the Gambellara- headquartered family-owned wine company in Veneto, Zonin1821 which has been imported into India by Aspri Spirits since 2007, writes Subhash Arora who feels the company achieved astronomical heights in terms of quality improvement and increasing its presence within Italy, the US and beyond since it went on an acquisition spree since the 1970s

During many visits to the winery and Vinitaly, meeting their top management officials including the former President, Gianni Zonin who I also met in Delhi once, I never knew Zonin as Zonin 1821. The winery does have an interesting museum as you enter, displaying the early periods and highlighting that the winery was set up in 1821. During the last few years, I started noticing 1821 added after Zonin as the name of the winery. It dawned on me one day that it was fast approaching 200 years of its existence!

The winery completed 200 years of Italian wine history this year, sharing the Italian wine culture throughout the world. The path the company has embarked upon is marked by important milestones like becoming among the top 5 wine producers in Italy. It vies with Famiglia Antinori for being the largest family-owned vine growing and winemaking company in Italy with an annual revenue of €200 million.

Since its inception, the goal of the Zonin family has been to produce wines as desired by the market and help create a new contemporary wine culture, where autochthonous Italy blended with multiple international traditions.

Also Read : From Archives (2006) : Zonin Patriarch Upbeat About Indian Market

Three guiding principles have enabled the company to attain prestige and recognition on the international stage: tradition, attention to wine-growing areas, and a strong entrepreneurial dynamism, enhanced by a series of acquisitions made since the 1970s.

Dominico Zonin, the eldest son of the patriarch of the family- Gianni Zonin, became the President in 2015 as the father passed the mantle to his 3 sons. An important generational passage took place forItalian wine when Dominico, already managing director of the family’s winemaking group became the leader of the group as President. He leads the company together with his brothers Francesco and Michele as the vice presidents. In 2019, Francesco was given complete charge of the American subsidiary, 1821 Fine Wines & Spirits.

Also Read : DWC: Zonin Wine dinner with Zonin

The slow and gradual generational changes were without any traumatic transitions. Starting in 2006, when Francesco, Michele and Domenico took over various areas of responsibility: production, sales and marketing, administration and management control. Gianni took a step back, gradually leaving the company ownership and management to his sons. Today more than 80% of the production is exported.

Over the decades, new generations of Zonin had set out to acquire the best vineyards and estates in Italy. Zonin 1821 also has an American estate, the Barbourville Vineyards estate in Virginia, that was bought in the 1970s, as the first acquisition outside Italy.  A venture in Chile to make Chilean Dos Almas labels was added later.

Also Read : Feature: Zonin, Barboursville Virginia and Jefferson

1821 Fine Wines & Spirits in the US is the largest privately-owned vine growing and winemaking company in Italy. It was formed as an independent subsidiary in the US through which the total portfolio of Zonin 1821 is distributed in all 50 states in the US. Zonin exports to 120 countries around the world, including India.

Zonin1821’s portfolio includes nine wineries located in the seven prestigious wine growing areas in Italy- Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Piemonte, Tuscany, Lombardia, Puglia and Sicily . Zonin is committed to ecologically sustainable viticulture and ensures that it continues the philosophy of preserving the local winemaking traditions, land, and culture of their respective regions.

The Zonin family vineyards cover more than 9,800 acres of land, 5,000 of which are dedicated to vineyards. An additional 1,200 acres, 225 of which are dedicated to vineyards are located at Barboursville Vineyards. Zonin has become a €200 million company.

Also Read : Star Interview: Visionary Cavaliere Gianni Zonin

Aspri the importer

Aspri Spirits has been representing the Zonin Familia wine portfolio for India since 2007.  Besides a range of Zonin Ventiterre range of Chianti, Soave, Valpolicella etc, it also imports Pinot Grigio, Montepulciano di Abruzzo and the premium wines like Amarone and Ripasso besides wines like Prosecco, Butera from Sicily and a few more wines. The growth of the brand has been steady, says Arun Kumar, the Delhi-based Director of Aspri.   

It is indeed an honour for us at Aspri Spirits to be associated with Famiglia Zonin. The completion of 200 years of Famiglia Zonin is an incredible journey and we are sure that many more milestones will be set,’ he says.

Also Read : Italian Bank for Wine as Collateral

Zonin is one of the important partners with Aspri for their imported wine portfolio. Perhaps they would consider celebrating this milestone in the presence of a visitor from Zonin which has been sending frequent visitors to India to service the market -before Covid. Perhaps they might consider a special offer for the labels in their portfolio in India and Retail Travel Counter for wine lovers so they can emotionally connect with Zonin and find for themselves how the quality and variety of their labels has evolved during the last couple of decades.

In any case, delWine salutes Zonin 1821 for completing 200 years with a strong partnership with Aspri for 14 years. JAI HO!

Subhash Arora

 

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