Cantine Sant'Agata

Like the family, wine has deep roots

I was born in 1968 into a farming family.

These were the golden years of industrialization. Young couples fled the countryside for a secure salary near the big cities.

My mother and father, understanding the importance of their origins, luckily for me they had not left their native lands like many of their peers to work at Fiat and had remained in the small town of Scurzolengo to grow and sell their own wine.

Being born and growing up in the countryside, with farming parents gave me the opportunity from a very young age to experiment and savor real natural products, understand the land and know how to interpret them to get the best results from them, without exploiting them and without causing damage to the ecosystem. Collecting ripe apricots directly from the plant and feeling their scent impregnate the skin of the hands was a sublime experience, like picking ripe tomatoes warmed by the sun, breaking them in half and eating them without adding anything.

At the beginning of the 90s, my brother Claudio and I became the owners of the family farm: we decided to call it Cantine Sant’Agata, due to the presence, in front of our house, of a votive pillar, placed by a wealthy family in honor of Sant’Agata. That was an important starting point for us, it was the beginning of an important journey that would change our lives forever.

My father mainly had private customers: they bought our wine in demijohns to bottle it at home. This wasn’t enough for me! I wanted to have greater satisfaction, I wanted to see my bottles in restaurants, I wanted someone to recognize our wine and talk about it.

I started traveling to promote and propose our wine around the world. Unfortunately, we were not wealthy, there was never enough money and we had just committed to a major mortgage to build the new company headquarters.

The first fair abroad was the Anuga in Cologne in 1993. In order to participate, my wife and I decided to use the money given away by our relatives for our honeymoon: it was a really exciting first experience, even if with little earnings. I met producers of whom I had only ever heard of, I had the opportunity to be with them and compare my ideas. I had confirmation of having taken the right path.

Borders were no longer a problem, but an intermediate goal before reaching ever further away goals.

I have three daughters: Ginevra, born in 2004, Elisa born in 1995 and Altea born in 1997, the same year we landed for the first time in the USA, the one that, a few months later, would become my reference market. In the late 1990s, I was selling more wine in Manhattan than in all of Italy.

The successes obtained in the wine world, I owe them above all to the Ruchè grape.

A few years before my debut in the company, my father with foresight had planted a hectare of this vine and it was my luck. A red wine that tastes of roses and violets, with a contained and non-aggressive acidity, a naturally modern wine, with fusion and contemporary combinations, precursor and master of exaltation of the territory.

The real turning point came in 2007, when the company headquarters was destroyed by a fire, the lack of insurance to cover the damage suffered again exposes the family to the supplying banks. I decided to expand our sales proposals by going back to the origins, opening a restaurant business … this is how Franco Cavallero’s Forum wines was born.