A MEGA ITALIAN WINE MERGER
THERE’S A NEW WINE GIANT ON THE BLOCK. Cantine Riunite & CIV one of Italy’s largest cooperative wineries, recently bought the co-op Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV), creating a $6OO million winery. Cantine Riunite & CIV was formed last fall when Modena-based CIV and Réggio-Émilia producer Cantine Riunite merged to form one of the largest growers’ co-ops in Italy. By buying GIV they have created one of the largest wine groups in the world, producing 11O million bottles a year from grapes sourced from 28OO growers for an estimated turnover of $6OO million annually, according to a Cantine Riunite & CIV press statement. GIV owns 3O88 acres of vineyards and wine cellars. Its estates include Nino Negri in Valtellina, Ca’ Bianca in Piedmont, Melini and Machiavelli in Tuscany, Bigi in Umbria, Fontana Candida in Lazio, Castello Monaci in Puglia, Terre degli Svevi in Basilicata and Rapitalà in Sicily. The group also owns the Lamberti and Santi estates in the Veneto region and, in December it bought Bolla from Brown-Forman. According to GIV managing director Emilio Pedron, the two companies will continue to run autonomously, but the operation will open possibilities for combining forces at administrative and strategic levels.