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Owner of Top Italian Winery Starts New Project in Veneto

Michèle Shah
Posted: April 26, 2001

Franca Maculan, co-owner of one of northeastern Italy's top wineries, says it's never too late to branch out on one's own. The 52-year-old recently purchased 15 acres of land in Italy's Veneto region, with the goal of producing two wines, a Valpolicella and an Amarone, under her own yet-to-be-decided brand name.

Franca and her brother, Fausto, have run Maculan, in the Breganze Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), for the past 30 years. The winery is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and an often-stunning dessert wine called Torcolato.

"My aim is to make something different, but on the same level as the wines produced under the brand name Maculan," said Franca. Her new property is in the Sant' Ambrogio area of the Valpolicella appellation; Valpolicella DOC wines are red blends of Corvina and other Italian grape varieties, while Amarones are deep, rich reds made from raisined grapes.

"I am still very much a part of Maculan," she added. "However, as the new generation [of the family] gets ready to take the lead, I thought of looking for a project of my own, here in Veneto. My brother already has a project of his own in the Colli Euganei DOC."

This fall, Maculan will plant 12 acres of vines on her land. "It will take about four to five years before the Valpolicella is ready and about 10 years before the Amarone is ready -- it's a bet on the future," she said. She has not yet determined prices or total production.

In addition to wine, the property already has 3 acres of olive trees for producing olive oil, which Maculan hopes to begin marketing after this year's harvest.

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Check our recent ratings of Maculan wines.

Learn more about the wines of northeastern Italy:

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