125 YEARS OF HISTORY
In 1897 it was nothing more than a small tavern, a wine shop located in Contra – a small hamlet of the nearby town of Missaglia, where Casa Vinicola Caldirola still has its headquarters. It is in this place that the story of Mr. Ferdinando Caldirola and his kin had its beginning, tying their family name and the Italian people in a bond that would last for three generations.
In the 1940s, he and his son Gaetano turned their tavern into a more structured, articulate business in which other family members started to work.
In the 1960s, with the help of six more associates, they began to bottle wine. The equipment used was simple, and the business small – but functional. People in the area liked and appraised Caldirola’s wines which came in glass bottles, demijohns, and kegs. Such containers were not yet labelled, but simply embossed with the words “Vini Caldirola” (“Caldirola Wines”). The Quarter Bottles – the ones containing 0,25 litres of wine each – became particularly popular in the following decade as corporate canteens and cafeterias began to include them as beverage choices for their employees. In the meantime, the names of the clients served by Casa Vinicola Caldirola had become more and more notable: e.g. Innocenti, Alfa, Bianchi, Falck, Pirelli, Vismara…
THE SEVENTIES AND THE EIGHTIES
The 1970s were a time of growth and great technological development for Caldirola. The bottling processes became fully automated, while new retail opportunities were being seized. Caldirola was in fact one of the very first wine companies in Italy to market their products via large-scale distribution, a sales channel in which “La Cacciatora” brand was bound to become more and more popular. High-quality wines coming at reasonable prices helped gain the customers’ trust and loyalty all across the country, and the product assortment became vaster – from Piedmont to Tuscany, from Sicily to Abruzzo.
After establishing its presence on the Italian market, Caldirola took its first steps outside of Italy. The exploration of the German market was followed by a commercial expansion in several European countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the USSR. The Soviet Union, then Russia, became a recurring business travel destination, and President Michail Gorbačëv even paid a visit to Missaglia in 1993 – during which he had a chance to make a toast with Caldirola’s prosecco.
The company later began sponsoring important sports events. A limited edition bottle was produced especially for the 1990 FIFA World Cup – which took place in Italy – and was extremely successful, while cycling champions wore Caldirola’s logo on their shirts as they covered the routes of Europe.
A NEW MILLENNIUM
The beginning of the 21st century came with a very important and well-deserved achievement for Caldirola: the conquest of market leadership in large-scale distribution channels in Italy.It was, however, a time of change and transition as well: Mr. Ferdinando Caldirola decided to sell the company which his family had owned and directed for three generations.
A new management with significant oenological experience set yet another series of important goals: a continuous pursuit for growth in the Italian market, a relentless chase of new opportunities abroad; a constant attempt at marketing products that would make ever better matches with consumers’ preferences and desires, with an excellent quality/prices ratio. An extremely careful selection of the best wines from all regions of Italy led to an important expansion of “La Cacciatora” brand selection.
In the future lie new sales opportunities all over the world. While a strong, stable presence in the most important countries in Europe has been obtained, the exploration of new markets in Asia and in the Americas is a chance of gaining further entrepreneurial and commercial achievements, and to make good, Italian wines known all over the world.