It often is not easy to describe all the emotions and memories, especially when there are so many and you cannot decide which ones to choose. But one thing I want to tell you is my story!
My Name is Loris Bonotto, I have been the owner of the vinery "Le Contesse" since 1976 and I want to tell you of my vinery and my life.
My family has ancient origins, the name Bonotto comes from the Latin word Bonu, which means to be good in both character and consciousness. Our family was already in the republic of Venice in the year 1300 mentioned. There is a historian named Francipane, who found another meaning, which I very like: You will bring good fortune to the family you go to. To the Name Bono we add Otto, of the longobardian Odan, which means owner. The result is Bonotto.
The origin of our family is probably the subalpine area and the Venice alpine area. Their aim was to cultivate the land that was both fertile and full of water, making it perfect for agriculture and stock farming.
Marzemina, Recandina or Rabosa and the black Pignola were cultivated on the vine yards; the grapes were collected in barrels and then cooked to must for 6 to 8 days. After that they were pressed by a minimum of 4 men per barrel.
The production was for personal requirements; nevertheless part of it was sold in bars in Venice.
I remember my Grandfather Vincenzo and my Grandmother Genoveffa; she was a rigorous woman, who ran the household and the winery. My Grandfather was knighted Vittorio Veneto and fought in the front line in World War I. His life experience helped him find himself. His words and stories were vivid signs in schools till his death in the year 1980.
My mum is a short woman; she is 91 years old and almost every day she rides her bicycle to get her espresso and meet me.
She has always been a real lady. Beautiful, well dressed and with a lot of secret lovers in her younger days. She went to ''Conegliano Bene'', but eventually one day she met Pietro and fell in love at first sight with him. He brought her to Rai von San polo di Plave.
She still remembers the second of October on which she was harvesting and then I was born. "Probably because of growing up between the vineyards, my passion for wine came. "My father Pietro was a quiet man, a great worker, never to tired to help others, gone to early because of cancer. Who knows if he would be proud to know what I achieved, also thanks to his lessons and encouragement.
He was the one who helped me to realize my dream, by buying a piece of land, which was worth a lot at that time.
The land was once owned by the Countesses Tiepolo of Venice, this is the origin of our name.
In the year 1976 my wife and I opened our winery.
On this land we planted the first vine yard with the Bellussara method, a historical vine yard, which we are specially taking care of because of its tradition. If you visit us, we will take you for a walk through our vine shoots.
First I did my Bachelor at the College Badolini Rota in Oderzo and afterwards my master in onology in Conegliano. One of the most popular Universities of wine knowledge in whole Italy, Istituto Statale di Istruyione Secondaria Superire ''G.B. Cerletti'' of Conegliano, founded in 1876 by the King Vittorio Emanuele II.
My Dad had a small vinery with two cement barrels and sold white and red wine to wholesalers. The vine shoots were Carmenre, Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay. I started to produce Pinot biano and Pinot Chardonnay using the traditional method and Chardonnay frizzante using the charmant methode at the same time.
The sparkling wine was hard to get but I noticed from the beginning that the costumers valued it and kept asking for more. Prosecco was only exclusively found in Conegliano.
My friends and I drove to the hills of Conegliano to get exact information about this wine which has become one of the most popular aperitifs over the last few years.
I loved experiments and to work with steel; I enjoyed the cleanliness, and the fact that the wine is best kept in surroundings where it does not lose its natural smell and taste.
I bought a small truck and a bottling plant; I drove through Italy with barrels and bottles. It was really exhausting; sometimes Luigina took care of the production and loaded the trucks before the same procedure started all over again. There was no time to waste, because the aim was to support the family and manage the daily business.
A second and a third steel tank were bought and my second son Fabio was born. We were in need of a building for only the tanks, which were already being cooled by then. Furthermore we decided to hire our first employee. We bought a second truck in the 90s and were able to bottle 800.000 bottles during that period.
As soon as the company was going this well, I decided to sell my products abroad. In the evening I went to language courses and on the weekends I learned on my own. Foreign countries became a nice experience.
I never lacked passion and perseverance to achieve my vision of making perfect Prosecco out of our grapes.
At this point I have to admit I would have never come so far, if I did not have my wife by my side. A unique woman. If she had lived in another century, she might have been an admired leader or a queen. She has been the main support in my life. Together we built our company while raising two sons at the same time. Now we see our grandchildren working in the company and we are more than proud.