Candido: an entrepreneurial history with a great consciousness of the viticulture and enological potential of Apulia.
A tradition that spans eighty years of entrepreneurial history always carried out with commitment, far-sightedness and with a great consciousness of the viticulture and enological potential of Apulia. Candido is the enological quality of Salento. Today, the brothers Alessandro and Giacomo, represent the third generation actively committed in the family business, founded at the end of the 1920’s that comes to us with undiminished vitality and passion.
The winery is located in an area almost flat and not very high above sea level between Guagnano and San Donaci. It was founded in 1929 when Francesco Candido reclaimed more that 250 hectares of marsh land and transformed it into vineyards symbolic of the modern viticulture of the South of Italy. Decades pass and the agricultural activity of the winery evolves to the point of developing the idea of making wine from its own family estate’s production of grapes: an important step for the entire community of Salento which recognizes Candido as a reality reference committed to achieving economic development and progress in areas where the agricultural identity and the rural culture have deep roots. The initial productive project evolved, becoming a solid reality able to bring up the name of Salento to the world.
Together with the work of other virtuous producers, this project contributed to clearing the way for Apulia to be known as a wine producing area of quality in Italy. Candido, by blending tradition and innovation, made this brand an ambassador of Apulia in the world of quality wine. Today the Candido estate fosters a solid enological culture made of place and man, of unique tastes and traditions. Then and now, at Candido, making wine means feeling intense emotions that start from the rows of vines – the heart of the productive process – to the finished wine from the cellar. Every operation is followed with attention and passion that alone guarantees the quality of the final product. At the winery, everything is followed to the detail, from the land to the wine cellar, putting into practice experience and passion, research and professionalism.
The vineyards and the plants are preserved and cultivated while in the cellar the most modern vinification technology retains the organoleptic quality of the grapes that come from the productive contexts and with optimum weather conditions. Alessandro and Giacomo have firmly maintained their ties to the land and the tradition.Beginning with their dedication and passion that in three generations has never failed, they continuously focus on a program of development and innovation of the production while attentively looking to the market and consumers to seek out the modern trends and new requirements.
The productive centers of the estate are in San Donaci, in the province of Brindisi and in Guagnano, in the province of Lecce; two small towns along the ancient road that connects Taranto to Lecce. The estate owns 140 hectares of vineyards all in the DOC Salice Salentino appellation. Another 180 hectares are cultivated by small owners with consultation of the winery’s technical staff.
The estate’s ampelographic platform is strongly made up of autochthonous varieties that have made Apulia famous in the world for its wines: Negro amaro, Primitivo, Malvasia Nera, Malvasia Bianca and Aleatico in addition to the rediscovery of Fiano Minutolo with which the winery makes a white wine with great finesse. The estate also grows some allochthonous varieties that adapt well to the Salento soils like the Italian Sangiovese and Montepulciano and the international Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. In all the productive contexts of the estate, the soil is clayey – calcareous of medium consistency, particularly favorable to the cultivation that allows the grapes to better tap the nutrients released from the plants.
In the vineyards, all the stages of the plants’ growth are consistently followed. The maturation of the sugars and the accumulation of the polyphenols are guaranteed by cluster thinning the plants in order to reduce the yield per hectare. The prevalent vine training system is espalier trellis with exception of some varieties like Negro amaro, Primitivo and Aleatico that are trained by the traditional Apulia tree/bush system. The average density per hectare is around 4000 plants for all varieties planted.
All the vinification operations are carried out in two distinct phases at the two cellars in Guagnano and San Donaci. The first phase of storage and processing of the grapes takes place in Guagnano while the maturation of the red wines in barrels and barriques (of French oak from the esteemed Allier forest), bottling and bottle aging are carried out in San Donaci in a totally temperature controlled cellar.
During the various stages of wine making, Candido pays great importance to not alter the wine quality. All the latest technology tends not to be invasive. For this, the production equipment is subject to continuous investment upgrades with the latest generation. Candido is one of the institutions considered for quality wines in Apulia.
Its production is a safe haven for those who seek wines strongly characterized by the territory with a competitive quality/price relationship. The range of wines consists of 14 labels, four of which are DOC and 10 IGT, between red, white, rose and sweet wines. The flagship wines of the estate are Cappello di Prete, Duca D’Argona, Cassio Dione and Aleatico.
Just a few kilometres separate San Donaci and Guagnano, two small towns situated in the province of Brindisi and in that of Lecce, respectively. Both are surrounded by flat countryside, across which stand olive trees and rows of vines dominating other types of vegetation and lending suggestive colours to the landscape as the seasons change. This is the setting of a very real manmade company named Azienda Vitivinicola Francesco Candido with its two head offices and over 80 years of history to tell.
Candido has set up various projects within the local area, which interestingly not only relate to wine making or vine growing. One project worthy of note is the setting up of a multi-use facility adjacent to the site where the company has always been based. San Donaci, a facility made entirely of glass produced in the Lecce area – a marriage of the traditional and the contemporary – was set up to meet the needs of groups of visitors (from a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 60 people) interested in finding out about the phases involved in wine production, in understanding the identity of Candido wine and in discovering Salento through its wine and food products.
After a guided visit of the winery and cellars visitors have the chance to relax in a comfortable lounge. San Donaci also has an on-site commercial kitchen where local specialities can be prepared for guests as well as a versatile tasting/dining room, perfect for holding wine tastings in either a relaxed or more formal atmosphere. Next door again there is another conference room for either meetings or video presentations. We only accept group bookings of between 15 and 60 persons.
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For further info and to book guided visits in the cellars, wine tastings and traditional Apulian meals please feel free to contact Valentina on 349 2572690 firstname.lastname@example.org
Added the 23 November 2011 in Enoworld