THE HISTORY OF CONTRI SPUMANTI S.P.A. WAS SHAPED BY ITS FOUNDER, LUCIANO CONTRI
Contri Spumanti S.p.A. is today one of the most important businesses in the Italian and international spumanti and wine panorama. The company is located in Cazzano di Tramigna, a small hillside village situated to the northeast of Verona, in the quaint and suggestive Val Tramigna, an ideal, pastoral setting for a springtime scene of delicate cherry trees in flower. The history of the company is strictly tied to the history of its founder. Luciano Contri, class of 1938, from Cazzano di Tramigna. When he was fifteen years old, while Luciano was beginning his studies to specialize in oenology, his numerous family experienced great difficulties due to a serious illness that struck his father Luigi and obliged him to stay away from home for two entire years. During that time, his grandfather Domenico (whose nickname in the village was PACENA), over ninety years of age and founder of the family’s business, made his experience and proverbial wisdom available; and together with the will and spirit of sacrifice of his nephew Luciano, they succeeded in dealing with the consequences of Luigi’s absence. Although Luciano had no driver’s license because of his young age, he went to the markets of Verona and Padua by train and by any available means of transport – these were important markets for the winemaking business. On his eighteenth birthday, he took the examination for his long hoped-for driver’s license, which made him independent in his travel for work and for deliveries of the product to customers: during that period, grandfather Domenico passed away, at the age of ninety-seven. Inured by daily sacrifice and in the surety of the teaching he had received, in 1959 (when he reached the age of majority) he set up the one-man company Luciano Contri, which became Contri Spumanti S.p.A. in 1980, albeit the shareholders were all family members; that very year, the production of spumanti and natural fermentation sparkling wines began (Charmat Method). Having always been aware of technological innovation, to which he often contributed personally, Luciano Contri succeeded in building a company that was increasingly at the cutting edge, as shown by his leadership in turnover per worker. As time went by, Luciano Contri succeeded in building a strong company at the cutting edge, which supported the criterion of “maximum efficiency”. In this connection, Contri has always attempted to reduce the costs of transformation to a minimum, guaranteeing, nevertheless, high levels of product quality. One of the peculiar traits of this business is the management and strict control of the entire production cycle. Such an aptitude permitted strong growth on both the Italian market and on the major foreign markets, which have always been demanding and extremely selective. Moreover, the company’s ability to meet market requirements through customized packaging is widely recognized and appreciated. The endeavor and skill of Contri Spumanti S.p.A. in improving the quality of their wines with respect to the costs enabled the company to achieve an increasing number of awards and acknowledgements in recent years, in various international oenological competitions. The reins of the company are currently held by Dr. Paolo Contri – a brilliant oenologist and extremely professional manager, who has studied economics and benefited from the precious teaching of his father Luciano.