Ampeleia was born in 2002 from the collaboration and friendship between Elisabetta Foradori, Thomas Widmann and Giovanni Podini. They saw in Ampeleia a place where they could not only develop an agricultural project but also fulfil a common vision relating to shared values and experiences. Since 2009, Thomas's intense political commitment in his homeland has compelled him to forsake his involvement in Ampeleia.
Ampeleia exists thanks to the hard work of many people who, with great passion, dedicate their time and energy for the success and development of this project. Simona Spinelli has been managing the administrative and commercial aspects since the very beginning while Marco Tait oversees all aspects linked to wine production.
Their effort is completed by a dynamic and energetic group of young people working together in an atmosphere of dialogue and mutual improvement: Leonardo Mucci as vineyard manager, Sara Bani and Valentina Fiorenti in the offices are the winery’s accountants, in addition to many other workers. It is thanks to each of them that Ampeleia writes its story every day.
In the 60’s, Erica and Peter Max Suter, a Swiss couple, bought the abandoned farm and turned it into a rural estate with woods and pastures, breeding sheep and pigeons as well as planting a vineyard; soon the Meleta winery (in Italian, 'Meleto' is an apple orchard and the winery was named after the orchard on its land) was known for its wine and products. It was at that time that Cabernet Franc and Merlot were introduced to Roccatederighi.
The main building - typical to this region – is a small and simple farmhouse with a terrace and garden. It now houses Ampeleia's winery as well as the tasting room and offices. The wooden barrels and casks are kept a little further down the slope, deep underground; old sheds left by the previous owners and adapted to today’s needs are interspersed with small stone shelters and ancient buildings.
The vines in Ampeleia grow at a range of altitudes and on different soils: the great geological variety found in the area around Roccatederighi represents a rich pool of diversity. From the rocks of the medieval village of Roccatederighi, one descends to the coast and sea, in a landscape woven with countless fields hidden in the dense vegetation of Mediterranean scrub and holm-oak woods.
Today, the estate extends over three altitude levels and covers 35 hectares of vineyard producing an average of 150,000 bottles annually.
Originating from the Near East, the grape varieties that have been brought together in Ampeleia are often found in Mediterranean farmlands and contribute to assert their varied identity, rich in subtleties. In past times, vineyards were not planted with just one grape variety but many types of grapes were present and they were all harvested at the same time.
The varieties growing on the estate are adapted to the highly different altitude levels, soil types and environments; some varieties are fermented together and then are blended to become the wine that best expresses the land of Roccatederighi as a whole: Ampeleia.