Pioneers of wine

Cantina Tollo.A tradition spanning millennia


In central Italy there is fossil evidence of grapevines dating back two million years, but the first traces of agricultural activities oriented to grape cultivation itself date back to the end of the Bronze Age. In Abruzzo, the first evidence of wine production stretches back in pre-Roman times, with funerary pottery unearthed in the monumental cemeteries around L’Aquila. There are then the numerous Roman remains which attest to the spread – and the popularity – of wine, cited in the works of historians and in the verses of poets as well. Wine gives courage and makes men more apt for passion”, wrote Ovid, the famous elegiac poet from Sulmona in Abruzzo. Wine from this region is praised in On Agriculture by Marcus Porcius Cato, and even Hannibal, lingering in the Vibrata Valley (Teramo), was seduced by the local wine according to the Greek historian Polybius. In the contrade (i.e. districts) of Tollo, a town in the province of Chieti, dolia (terracotta containers used for transporting wine) have been found, both intact and in fragments, now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Chieti. These wine stores were located at the residence (rural villa), but also buried among the vines in order to retain the characteristics of the location during the transformation of must into wine. Even today it isn’t unusual to find dolia fragments in the hills around Tollo during the earthworks for planting new vineyards.

Large oak casks, tonneaux and barrels, alongside modern facilities for maturing processes, characterise a wine cellar which has always played a starring role in the Abruzzo wine culture.


A collective historyCantina Tollo was founded in 1960, when the Abruzzo countryside had depopulated once again and many Italians had left the country in search of a better future. Our fathers on the other hand, winemakers for generations, decided to stay in the vineyards, creating Cantina Tollo. Playing a leading role in the sixties and seventies in an exciting period for winemaking which brought the Abruzzo region to life, Cantina Tollo played an active part in helping to bring about a radical change in the local wine-growing landscape. While there was a fall in production around Teramo and L’Aquila, the areas occupied by vineyards in the Chieti province grew little by little, especially in Tollo, which became a real “City of Wine”. 

Cantina Tollo has also had an important part to play in the process of regulation, initiatives for the protection of regional wines and quality improvement programmes for grapes and winemaking techniques. Today, it is one of the most important and established businesses in the Italian winemaking industry. With a presence in all countries of the European Union, in North America and in the Far East, it exports 35% of its production, with particular attention to the emerging markets of Russia, India and China. The ageing facilities located in Tollo comprise large oak casks, tonneaux and barrels alongside vitrified cement tanks, nowadays considered the best for ageing. Passion, commitment and shared values have guided Cantina Tollo at every turn in its history, and continue to accompany it in its successes.

Recognitions and certifications

Cantina Tollo was awarded the Title of Italian Coop-Producer of the Year in 2019 at Berliner Wein Trophy Competition, and was designated more times as Best European and Italian Coop Producer in past years (2010); recognitions which are on top of the dozens of prizes awarded to its wines. In terms of the quality of its internal procedures, it is important to note that Cantina Tollo has obtained the following certifications: quality management system certification Uni En Iso 9001:2008; food safety certification Uni En Iso 22000:2005; environmental management system certification Uni En Iso 14001:2004.

Certifications

As for the quality of internal procedures and product guarantee, Cantina Tollo has obtained the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Certification and the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Certification. Each wine of the Organic Line also has the Organic Wine Certification and the Vegan Certificate.

60 YEARS OF ABRUZZO

THE MOVIE