Italian winemaker returns to the family

By Giulia Cambieri

The De Coratos will certainly uncork a vintage bottle of wine to celebrate the beginning of 2012, as the family, which controls Italian winery Cantine Rivera, announced it bought back the 50% stake fellow winemaker Gancia had acquired in 1983, thus regaining full control of the family business.

“We wanted to take back control of the company that my grandfather founded and that has always been managed by the family,” Sebastiano De Corato, director of sales and marketing at the Apulia-based winery and grandson of the company’s founder, told CampdenFB.

He added that the Gancia family’s decision to sell the business to Russian oligarch Roustam Tariko didn’t influence the operation.

“We decided to buy back Gancia’s stake last year, purely for commercial reasons. We wanted to maintain full control of our sales channels, something we believe is crucial in today’s difficult market,” he said.

Rivera was established in the early 1950s by Sebastiano’s namesake grandfather Sebastiano De Corato. Today, the winery sells about 1.3 million bottles per year, focusing its production on local wines such as aglianico and nero di Troia. Sebastiano’s father Carlo De Corato is the company’s chairman.

The partnership with the family behind Gancia dates back to 1983, when Rivera opened its equity to the sparkling-wine house in order to improve its investment and marketing operations.