Frentana

Rocca San Giovanni, Abruzzo
Cantina Sociale Frentana is a co-operative in Rocca San Giovanni, to the south west of Pescara. It is the model of how to produce great wine at very reasonable prices. There is a strong and well-directed management lead by president, Carlo Romanelli, Felice di Biase (sales) and enologist Gianni Pasquale. They have a shrewd understanding of the balance between the society and its 500 members. The usual problem with a ‘Cantine Sociale’ is the impossible task of controlling all the members; what Frentana have done is to create a quality project to which 60 members have signed up and the agronomist follows these plots personally. The cooperative has also made the unusual move of taking over the running of 25 hectares of their best vineyards. These are farmed organically and the experience gained is shared with the other members to create a template for all to use.
The cooperative was established in 1958 and work began on the futuristic tower, whose outer walls are made up of cement tanks where wines were fermented and aged, gravity powered much of the system. Steel tanks have largely taken over but the cement tanks are still used for some wines. There is a secondary winery constructed exclusively for the organic wines, whose progress has been quite spectacular. A benchmark, well equipped and modern cooperative whose wines express the local grape varieties with great skill.