About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pasqua - a Family Passion

After a long and eventful train journey from Florence to Veneto. Then hiring the last rental car at the station, it was time to find the new winery of Pasqua just a few miles north in San Felice.
As you start down the drive-way you see the impressive new winery, which was still having some finishing touches applied while I was there.

One of Italy's leading independent, family owned wine companies they are one of the few wineries of the Veneto region to actually have their headquarters in the heart of the commercial district on the edge of the city of Verona. They even employed a designer from Milan to come up with their stunning new labels and packaging. All that said, to balance their urban location, the family have 84 years experience working the land of this region, and have been the drivers of the region's success, ensuring wines like Soave and Valpolicella are known throughout the wine-drinking world.


Warmly greeted by Carlotta Pasqua and then introduced to the winery staff and several of the family relatives that have varying roles within the business. We jumped back in the car and had a tour of several of the closer vineyards, showing the diversity in location, soil and also canopy techniques with one of their older vineyards still applying the pergola method.

Then a tour of the new facilities which is on a grand scale, but with a fine attention to detail for each parcel of fruit that comes into the winery and the winemaking options available for the many styles of wines that Pasqua produce. Seeing the grapes being dried in trays for their Amarone wine was one of many unique insights learnt on this Italian trip.
Then the tasting - in the winery tasting room, which doubles as the cellar door, we were surrounded by a wall of Pasqua labels and styles, where do you start, what a dilemma we had.
In all of the wines that we tasted - you could see a balance that Pasqua has achieved of old traditional wine styles and the clean fresh influences that the export market is enjoying with a wide array of cuisine.

Pasqua is all about "A Family Passion" - that is evident in everything that they do with the family members involved at all stages of the winemaking process. The three senior Pasqua brothers are very cosmopolitan, they are far from the image of the peasant winemaker/farmer as you could imagine.
The Pasqua family is dedicated to producing high quality grapes and making great value wines which express the character of the Italian wine regions from which they come.
Yes they do produce excellent value, 'entry-level' wines, Pasqua also have a reputation for crafting beautiful Amarone-style and top quality wines, such as the single vineyard Villa Borghetti wines, ensuring that Pasqua are also enjoyed in the best dining rooms, both public and private around the world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cecchi - Tuscany

After an early start to the day that began in Rome, catching a train from the central station to Florence, and then grabbing a rental car to drive back down to Castellina in Chianti, we were greeted by Riccardo Francesconi (Export manager) for Cecchi. First Riccardo took us to a rustic, traditional cafe & trattoria just outside Monteriggioni - where I enjoyed possibly the best sandwich in my life. Chosen from an open prep-area in the corner of the cafe, you can select from local produce, I chose an un-salted loaf to go with naturally salty cured Tuscan ham and ripe tomatoes all finished with a local olive oil - I was now set for the rest of the day.
We then made our way to the redesigned and rebuilt winery / cellars and new management centre at the Castellina in Chianti premises completed last year in 2006. Cecchi is the brand-name of a well respected major wine company, with a lengthy history, but more than anything else it is the name of a family.


From 1893 to the present day the Cecchi family has played a key role in the evolution of the world of wine both as a product and as a philosophy, and it has lived, understood and digested all the changes that have taken place in over a century. At the helm of the business today are Cesare and Andrea Cecchi, who draw on the teachings of their predecessors, and are taking the work forward with a passion and professionalism aimed at achieving excellence.
Cecchi understands that the interaction between the earth and technology yields its greatest results. As with all great wine - Cecchi wines are the fruit of the land. Care for the vines is intense and constant, because it’s the grapes that arrive in the cellars that will guarantee an excellent starting point for the quality being pursued.
Riccardo showed us around the very well equipped winery - with the most advanced systems in order to optimise every single part of the production process. This attention to detail is what led them to become one of the first companies to achieve ISO 9001:2000 certification in 1997, and many other firsts in production and waste management - all certifications that guarantee quality for all markets.
The next day Riccardo took us on a road-trip down to Maremma - to visit and sample the wines from their new development that started in 1996. The property is home to approx 25 ha, a great deal of replanting has changed the face of this land, with a focus on Sangiovese. Cecchi has some grand ideas and plans for this site, a very large project for a new winery, has already begun and now we must wait to see, I look forward to returning.
Cecchi has about 250 hectares of vineyards, spread over four different areas of central Italy: Chianti Classico, San Gimignano, Maremma Toscana and Umbria. The whole team is constantly committed to understanding a changing world and presenting wines of excellence for worldwide markets expecting and conscious of quality, but with all this said they have not forgotten their past, the respect of indigenous grapes and crafting honest wine that express their terroir, and match local & modern cuisine like no other wine can. A traditional and memorable Tuscan experience.