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In the early years of the 19thC the farm was bought by Matteo Thun a financer and supporter of Garibaldi who extensively restored the property to its present state: three separate structures , the barn, the winery and living quarters.

For a few years the property passed into the hands of the Chini family. These were descendants of the famous Eusebio who left Trentino for his voyage as missionary astronomer and explorer of the new world. We like to imagine that the young Kino passed by the “Maso Chini” – now the cru for our special reserve Teroldego – on his way to map Mexico and teach the Californians the art of vine growing.

In 1855 the property was bought by Andreas Martinelli, a rich young man from the nearby Val di Non. In just a few years Andreas transformed the aging farm into a modern estate with business dealings across half of Europe enabling him to also buy the prestigious Palazzo Firmian (now the Town Hall) as his private residence.

The re opening of the Martinelli Winery was the long time dream of present owner Paolo Martinelli. In 1980 he had just set up his own film company in Rome when the unexpected death of Uncle Guido, owner and manager of the family winery, suddenly turned his life upside down. After a few years of trying to reconcile two completely different jobs in completely different parts of the country Paolo regretfully decided to give up commercial wine making and sell the grapes. At least for the time being.

When his first son was born they called him Andrea after the founder, just in case…

The huge winery’s heyday was in the early 1900’s and it had never really been modernized since so was in need of extensive restoration. The huge roof of the barn had been re-done a few years back to keep out the rain – another four to go! The porticoes were falling to pieces, the deep cellar had to be restored, walls needed building, floors laying, how to do it all?

ln 2012 Giulio, Andrea’s younger brother a civil engineer with an MBA decided to return from Madrid to lend a hand while waiting for a job opportunity to come up. They decided to start work on the barrique cellar one of the oldest and most unique parts of the estate full of hundred- year- old casks, the walls black with mould and encrusted with sediment. It was DIY on a grand scale and a full immersion in the trades of builder, chippy, archaeologist, electrician, plumber…

With friends ready to share their knowhow, good music blaring from the stereo and the coffee maker always on the ready a magical atmosphere was created which developed into a partnership. Giulio decided to give up Saudi Arabia in favour of a sommelier course in Trento the better to be prepared for a future in the wine business.

The winery situated in Via del Castello 10 is actually much older than the date of its foundation by the current family in  1860 .

The so called  “cantina fredda”  or cold cellars of the farm belonging to the castle of Mezzocorona are described in a deed dated  1454 as storage for grains, wines and other goods for use of the lords of the castle.   A little later in  1486 it  once more appears in a document listing it as property of the Counts of Firmian along with orchards, barns and stables.  In 1600 other land is added to the inventory together with equipment belonging to the farm a wine press, various tools, oxen and a quantity of wine to be divided between the baron and his serfs.

Since 1860 the Cantina Martinelli has always been run by the same  family winning many awards for its cattle and its wine. In  the 20thCentury Guido, the uncle of the current owner Paolo produced over 12 different wines  and ran the estate during the difficult war years when the farm  was occupied by the German army. After his death for a few years , wine was produced for family consumption only with most of the grapes being sold to the Cantina Sociale in the hope that a younger generation of winemakers would appear.

After a biology degree in the UK and a master in  agri-business in Australia, Andrea now in his early twenties, moved somewhat tentatively to Mezzocorona. It took a couple of courses at the San Michele agricultural college , including trips to South Africa and the wineries of France and Italy for him to fall in love with the wine world and discover that he was something of a “nose”. An apprenticeship in the nearby winery of Giulio de Vescovi was a great experience  in hands on winemaking and also allowed him to make friends with the other young winemakers of the valley: Endrizzi, Dorigati, Foradori all in their twenties and delighted to have a new ally in their passionate mission  to reinstate Teroldego as one of the great Italian wines.

Today after many years of hard work, masses of bureaucracy and a lot of investments the technical part of the winery is finally operative. The first wine produced in 2013 and marketed the same year fullfilled all expectations and makes the family very optimistic for the future. There is still a lot to do and a great potential to branch out into different fields. Lots of ideas to discuss over a good glass of wine together with the team: girlfriends, mum and dad and a great bunch of friends.

The dream is finally coming true.