Meet the Winemaker: an interview with Antonio Capaldo of Feudi di San Gregorio


Meet the Winemaker: an interview with Antonio Capaldo of Feudi di San Gregorio

16 April 2018

The next installment of our Meet the Maker series is with Antonio Capaldo of Feudi di San Gregorio, the groundbreaking winery in Campania. Long-time pioneers in promoting Southern Italy, Feudi only produces wine from local, native varieties; upholding traditions of the past with a vision for the future.

[caption id="attachment_6191" align="alignleft" width="496"]Antonio Capaldo, owner of Feudi di San Gregorio, sitting for a portrait Antonio Capaldo - by Feudi di San Gregorio

For our next article of the Meet the Maker series, we spoke with Antonio Capaldo, owner of the world renown Feudi di San Gregorio winery in Campania. Commonly referred to as Feudi, the winery has been pioneering the intersection between innovation, artistry and tradition since 1986. Based in the town of Sorbo Serpico in the province of Avellino, the winery epitomizes the highest expression of Southern Italy’s native grape varieties. While they promote all varieties from the South, Feudi is Campanian – or most specifically, Irpinian – at its core. Opened by two Irpinian families, Feudi is representative of the cultural and oenological history that has shaped their territory and beautifully blends the stories of the past into wines for the future. From the moment you enter Feudi di San Gregorio’s site, you are immersed in a captivating sensorial experience. The site is more than a place for information, it is a piece of digital art. An expression of the winery, which makes wines that are expressions of the land. We spoke with Antonio to find out how this sensorial immersion evolves when experienced in person.
  1. The very first thing one reads on your website is that a “bottle of wine and a work of art share the same creative process.” Tell us about this belief and how it shapes the vision and activities of Feudi di San Gregorio.

    [caption id="attachment_6207" align="aligncenter" width="950"]The exterior of Feudi di San Gregorio The Winery - by Feudi di San Gregorio

    Wine is a pleasure. When a customer selects our wines, they decide that we represent the right partner in a moment of pleasure. We need to keep this in mind every day when we work. We need to match the customer’s expectations and we need to leave them with the idea of drinking our wines again. This is what I mean by saying that we follow a process similar to art: we try to create unique pieces for unique occasions.
  2. Speaking of your website, it is a work of digital art in its own right. It is an interactive experience, it submerges the user into the world of Feudi. How do you carry this online experience offline, in the actual winery?

    [caption id="attachment_6189" align="aligncenter" width="950"]Chefs making homemade pasta at Feudi di San Gregorio's restaurant, Marenna Chefs at Marenna - by Feudi di San Gregorio

    It took us time to reproduce, through our website, the sense of hospitality we transfer to our visitors every day. And, of course, the real experience remains way better than the digital one!! We receive over 30,000 visitors every year thanks to the architectural design of our winery (opened in 2004 and exposed twice at La Biennale of Architecture in Venice), the attraction represented by our Michelin starred restaurant Marennà, but most importantly the warmth and the professional attitude of our people in the hospitality department.
  3. The overall feeling of Feudi seems to be viewing past practices and history through a modern, contemporary filter. How does this mentality dictate your process of winemaking?

    [caption id="attachment_6187" align="aligncenter" width="950"]Trellised vines in a field of purple wildflowers at Feudi di San Gregorio Vines - by Feudi di San Gregorio

    Campania has a very long viticultural history and we love this legacy. It left us with incredible native varietals which allow us, together with our volcanic soils and the peculiar climate conditions, to produce great and unique wines. It also left us many pre-phylloxera (a pest that wiped out vineyards across Europe in the 19th century) vines which led to a cache of great farming expertise in the area, which remains the cornerstones of our production philosophy. Therefore we are very thankful of this heritage but we try to re-interpret this every day in light of present times, knowing that the world changes, that technology matters and that our purpose is to produce you want to drink at least a second glass of!
  4. What is it that Feudi di San Gregorio is trying to evoke with their wines? Artwork elicits reactions and emotions. What type of reactions do you wish your wines to elicit?

    [caption id="attachment_6185" align="aligncenter" width="950"]An elderly woman, dressed in all black, stands in front of an ancient vine Luigia - by Feudi di San Gregoria

    Energy and sense of familiarity.
  5. As a member of The Grand Wine Tour, Feudi di San Gregorio is acknowledged for its outstanding hospitality. What can guests expect when visiting the winery?

    [caption id="attachment_6193" align="aligncenter" width="950"]A group of three people on a guided tour of the vineyards at Feudi di San Gregorio A guided tour - by Feudi di San Gregorio

    Besides our Michelin star restaurant (a meal can be of course paired with a winery visit and a tasting), we offer several packages for visitors: guided tours to the winery, guided tours to the vineyards and targeted tastings (to one varietal for instance, etc). We also have a limited number of guest rooms.

The Grand Wine Tour is a mark of excellence in hospitality distinguishing Italian wineries throughout the country. Book your tasting and tour today!