In the expansion phase, which lasted about two decades, the winery launched a lengthy process of acquiring other winery cooperatives in the area, with the objective of establishing a broad, solid base that would support its long-range production and sales goals. This enabled Cantina di Soave, over the last few years, to grow from 1,000 members to some 2,200, and from 2,000 hectares of vineyards to some 6,000.
In that initial phase of increasing production capacity, Cantina di Soave succeeded in boosting market share across all sales channels, from large-scale distribution, requiring significant product volumes, to upscale wine retail outlets. With its high-end lines, in fact, in particular with the Rocca Sveva selections, Metodo Classico Equipe5, and Lessini Durello Settecento33 wines, Cantina di Soave has gained a position of strength in the most prestigious sale channels, including ultra-premium wine-bars and shops and the most celebrated restaurants. Such significant production capacity now allows the winery to select and differentiate among its grapes and wines, in order to observe its established quality standards. It is no coincidence, therefore, that Cantina di Soave’s top brands are present in markets across the globe and win prestigious awards every year from the main international wine competitions.
The increase in vineyard area, however, had inevitable repercussions on the processing facilities, which became inadequate. The main facility, in Viale della Vittoria in Soave, is currently capable of processing about 30 million bottles per year, or 20% of total wine production. This limitation led Cantina di Soave to initiate an ambitious expansion project that today has finally become a concrete reality. The lengthy bureaucratic process has just concluded with an agreement between the winery and the relevant authorities, in particular the Comune of Soave, with the Cantina agreeing to make a considerable investment–some 8 million euros–in public works projects that will benefit the entire local community. A number of those, largely traffic-related, will address the neighbourhood where the facility is located.
Given the size of the project, construction will occupy the next two years or so. The investment, one of the largest in the entire Italian wine sector over the last decade, comprises the total reorganisation of the production facility, from grape reception through to bottling. Once completed, the facility will allow the Cantina to process about 80 million bottles per year–almost three times the current amount–, or between 50-60 percent of the entire crop grown by its members.
The size of the investment is obviously proportionate to the dimensions of the project; thanks to the farsightedness of the management over the past few years, significant reserves have been set aside to cover project costs. Construction will be entirely funded by Cantina di Soave, since at the present there are no public programs covering such projects. The Cantina members approved an outlay of 55 million euros to fund the initial construction work.
“Vineyard land values and crop income per hectare in our local denominations are among the highest in Italy, thanks to strategies pursued by our management,” stated General Manager Bruno Trentini. “And we must also consider that this ambitious project will have ramifications that go far beyond the project itself; its positive effects will embrace the entire growing area, and not just economically. Its effects on our society as a whole will be widespread, a tangible demonstration of how a cooperative’s beneficial policies positively impact all of the denominations that we embrace.”
Ufficio Stampa e Comunicazione