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Contratto (Italy)

Contratto looks back at over 140 years of distinguished history. Here are some corner points summarized for a better overview:

1867:               Giuseppe Contratto moves from Aosta to Canelli intrigued with the idea to make champagne-style wines also in Italy
1872:               200 people work for more than 5 years on building a cellar into the tuff limestone of the Canelli hills.
1900:               Contratto becomes an expert of the Metod Classico production using mainly Moscato and releasing wines that are named Moscato Champagne and Asti Champagne
1910:               The winery produced one million bottles annually, more than 50 people were working in the busy cathederal cellars
1920:               Contratto was predominantly exported to the Britsh Empire and its colonies, releases. A wine called "For England" was released, as the English were the first to develope a drier palate. The "For England" was less sweet than its Champagne colleagues from France.
1930 - 1944:    The second world war also had an impact on Contratto and its production. While the winery tried to continue to make wines, the sales and production suffered largely under the economic restrictions of war. The winery lost almost all export sales in that difficult period.
1950-1970:      Contratto metodo classico was the most important quality metodo classico sparkling wine in Italy.
1970-1993:      In 1977 Franciacorta winery, Ca del Bosco, released its first sparkling wine, and shortly after, many other new Fraciacorta cellars were established. In the 80's the bubbles from Franciacorta boomed in Italy and Contratto lost market share to these new colleagues from Lombardia.
1993:              After 126 years the winery leaves family hands and is sold to Canelli's Grappa distillery Bocchino.
1993 - 2011:    Bocchino renovated and restored part of the cellar, the office and warehouses as well as the courtyard and outside fassade of the buildings. The physical appearance of the winery was "reborn". The new focus were reds; Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera, as well as Moscato d'Asti and Gavi. Less attention wasgiven to the sparkling wines. The annual production in 2010 was reduced to less than 100.000 bottles.
2011:              La Spinetta takes over Contratto.
Future:            Make the Contratto bubbles a recognized top quaity sparkling wine from Italy and reintroduce it to the world.

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