The de Corato family roots go deep into the countryside of Puglia, more precisely in Andria on the high plain between the Murgia hills and the Adriatic Sea. Here Giuseppe, the family patriarch born in the midst of the XIX century, was a farmer with entrepreneurial spirit. In 1921 he acquired the large estate owned for centuries by the noble Rivera family, whose founder Pietro had been captain of Emperor Fredrick II of Swabia in XII century, and made of it a model in vine and olive production.
It is in Rivera historical cellars that Sebastiano, Giuseppe youngest and most visionary son, founded the winery in the late 1940s, inspired by a vision of realising the enormous viticultural potential of the hilly area dominated by Castel del Monte, Fredrick II’s masterpiece and the area’s landmark. His ambition of creating a brand that would nally represent Puglia in the world’s wine rmament and his tenacity were soon to be rewarded as Rivera quickly become benchmark of Puglia quality wine production and force driving its rebirth.
In the ’70 Sebastiano’s son Carlo introduced innovations in both vineyards and winemaking that led to the development of wines that innovated the region’s wine scene. Under his mentoring his sons Sebastiano and Marco, representing the fourth generation, bear with pride and continue with commitment a century long history of success that has made Rivera wines ambassadors of Puglia in the world’s markets.
Located on the Roman Traian road at the foot of the Alta Murgia hills where ancient trails would bring herds of sheep from Abruzzo every autumn for their winter pastures, Rivera estate testify to the history and evolution of agricultural production of a whole territory. The winery’s historical nucleus dates back to the late 1800s and hosts red riserva wines in its below-ground barrel cellars with over 400 French oak barriques, 20 3,000-litre French oak and 9 5,500-litre Slavonian oak casks. A newer wing added in the 1960s with built-in glass lined cement vats, now completely temperature controlled, is used for post-fermentation ning and maturation of white, rosè and young red wines.
Epicentre of today’s winemaking activities is the new modern, ecient facility now rises next to historical buildings, with small stainless-steel fermenters custom-designed for on-the-skins macerations for red and rosé wines, and well suited for whites. The entire winery complex is served by a solar-panel installation that covers 70% of its total energy needs.
Heart of Rivera production are the 75 hectares of estate vineyards, planted at high vine densities per hectare, trained to the spurred cordon and Guyot systems to bear low yields per vine and farmed according to the protocols of sustainable viticulture. All in all a programme of uncompromising quality in viticulture that allow to best express the diversity of terroirs that compose the estate. Rivera, Torre di Bocca and Tafuri vineyards range between 180 and 250 metres with deep and poor tufa-limestone soils yield ne native-variety grapes, the whites with rm acidity and the reds of impressive elegance and structure.
The impressive Lama dei Corvi vineyard, with north-east exposure overlooking the Adriatic Sea and the Gargano massif in the distance, lies on exceptional calcareous rock soil at 350 metres and produces chardonnay and sauvignon blanc marked by a ne crispness and minerality. The remaining grape need is met by a few long-trusted local growers.