Age Guadagni-Benassi
The bond among the families Guadagni-Benassi and the earth of the Friuli goes back in the years, to the second world war. An uncle of the family Benassi, Ezio, was soldier and partecipated to the war in Friuli. Many years after the end of the war, during one of the usual annual visits for the cerimony of November 4 in the Shrine of Redipuglia, Mr. Ezio succeeds in finding again the place that remained engraved in his memory: a wine cellar in the zone of Cormons, Roncada, where he saw on the wood barrels the writing: “wine for Italians”. So friendship born between Ezio and Antonio with his child Corrado who lived in that suburb. Then Mr. Ezio Benassi brought to visit these places his brothers and his daughters and so the relationships also continued in the future generations: his brother Valentino with his child Piero and his wife, Mrs Giuliana Guadagni, with the daughter of Corrado and her husband. In 1982 the farm, no more active, is purchased by Mr. Cav. Benass and his wife, Mrs. Giuliana Guadagni. These two persons, that operate in another branch but with historical roots of country culture, devote their heart/love in the restauration both architectural and eno-technical of the farm. After three years, in 1985, the firm begins the activity of production and sale of loose wines (700hl annual) thanks also to the dear friend Luciano, who lives in Friuli, and together with the new owners, he devotes soul and body in the management of the new farm “La Bellanotte”. The firm starts immediately and distributes the whole product in Tuscany, earth of origin of the new owners and country for excellence of the good wine. In 1987 the firm begins to bottle a part of the product – around 10 thousand bottles yearly – on explicit request of some customers, who have the exclusive right in the mythical Versilia of the years ’80. Year after year the demand has gone increasing more and more, reaching halves the years ’90 to the bottling of around 25thousand bottles. In 2000 a big storm burst on the company: the loss of the friend Luciano, killed by a sudden but lethal illness and being now the heart of the firm, he leaves it in the power of a deep crisis so that the owners, returned in Tuscany, begin to think about the sale of the farm. It was their first-born Paolo, 25 years old, great impassioned of the wine and of the world that surrounds it, who took the enormous responsibility to try to put again together a beautiful reality, made of efforts but also of satisfactions, that risked to fade away forever. In this way begins the new age of the “Bellanotte”!!! Paolo involves the study “VinoVigna”, with the friend and wine maker Claudio Gori, with the ambitious adventure to grow up the children (so Paolo likes to define his wines) that aspires to be known, a little bit vain…like the beautiful women that have always animated the life in the seventeenth-century history of the Bellanotte, made of loves, subterfuges and games of hazard!!! With “VinoVigna” in 2000 begins a great job that, as it underlines the same name, it begins in the vineyard in order to go to the transformation and to arrive in the wine cellar. Nowadays “La Bellanotte” has eight hectares of vineyard and it produces around 50thousand bottles. In the vineyard every grapevine has only one shoot and it is introduced the green pruning, perceived as a “swearword” for the people who works the earth for years with the concept of maximum production when it is asked to pass to a maximum production for log of a kilo. In the cycle of harvest and transformation they return to the manual harvest in boxes and machines of new conception are purchased for the transformation. In the wine cellar a meticulous control of the hygiene, of the cleaning of the tanks and the of the wine cellar; there are also introduced a series of controls and analysis on the musts and also on the wines. The question adressed to Paolo “What did change?” left dumbfounded each other… “Nothing!!! we have realaborated and improved the techniques and the methods that begin in the vineyard and they end when wine is bottled. The most difficult part has been to talk to the people that work for a long time in the country and explaining that a grapevine that brings only a kilo of berries is not to be considered sick but rather, the mother of a work of art!!! to conclude… I would like to be able to criticize the critics! I believe that a lot of people, and this doesn’t mean all, when they are in front of a bottle they want to find in any case some defects, but they have to see also its good part, and this is often previously avoided. You have to be humble because you have to remember that behind a bottle there are always histories of life, passion and hard work; in fact to be able to create a bottle of wine there is a run that lasts years of intense work. With this I don’t want to blame anybody becouse fortunately we have good tasters and drinkers that appreciate the products of our splendid country, but I would like only to induce all of us to a reflection in order to lengthen the time that spends from the tasting of a wine and the moment in which we open the mouth…” I would like indeed to end, expressing one thought of mine that I always love to remember “it doesn’t exist a big wine without a vein of poetry, without poetry wines become flat and meaningless the wines they die”.