Our History

Our family had farmed and cultivated vineyards for generations, but as late as 1958 Angelo Giacobazzi, together with his son Antonio, decided to expand and develop the small family winery.

The name Giacobazzi would become a synonym with Lambrusco shortly thereafter.

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1958

Establishment

Cantina Giacobazzi is located in Nonantola, in the province of Modena, a town famous for good food and for being the homeland of people like Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti.

Our family had farmed and cultivated vineyards for generations, but as late as 1958 Angelo Giacobazzi, together with his son Antonio, decided to expand and develop the small family winery.


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1958-1962

The Early Years

The late 1950s and early 1960s were years of experimenting and refinement, devoted to enhancing the grapes produced in the family's vineyards.

Initial sales were made in jute sacks closed with a rope or heavy and strong crates carried by ox-drawn carts.

Handwritten labels were stuck on bottles, whose cork was manually fixed by string.


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1963-1968

The Expansion

The business grew quickly and we sold our popular Bollino Oro (Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC re-fermented in the bottle) in wine bars and inns in the major Italian towns by the mid-1960s.

So, the decision was taken to make investments to buy more modern machines and enable the company to make a quality leap in production and organization.

This impulse resulted in a daily production of about 10,000 bottles using semi-automatic machinery by the mid-1960s.


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1978

Gilles Villeneuve

Gilles Villeneuve was hired by Ferrari in late 1977 to substitute two-time world champion Niki Lauda. 

Giacobazzi received a call from his friend Enzo Ferrari, who asked to sponsor this partly unknown Canadian driver, a snowmobile racing champion and a driver on USA circuits.

He could not refuse and the name Giacobazzi and the image of Villeneuve became indissolubly linked thereafter with a huge commercial return. Giacobazzi was everywhere in Formula 1: on podia, where the Grand Prix Spumante was used for toasting, and in the most spectacular points of circuits all over the world.

In particular, Giacobazzi was at home at Imola and everybody still remember beautiful models in Lambrusco team Giacobazzi uniform strolling in the pits.

A close friendship was established between the Villeneuve and Giacobazzi families and Antonio was one of the very few close friends who could attend Gilles Villeneuve’s cremation and take part in the strictly private funerals. The friendship between the family never stopped and also Jacques, Gilles' son, used to bear the name of Giacobazzi on his driving suit at the beginning of his career.

Today, Gilles' car, a 1979 Ferrari T4, is kept in Giacobazzi's family museum in Nonantola.


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1979

Dolce Vita Grape Juice

In 1979, an important British customer was looking for a healthy product that could be had by anybody: in order to meet this request, Antonio came up with the idea of an alcoholic and sparkling grape juice.

The look of the product was elegant, like champagne, with a full range of tastes, the result of the mix of grapes and other fruits like peach, strawberry and apple. The name was chosen taking inspiration from famous movie director Federico Fellini: he called the grape juice Dolce Vita, just like he had called "8 e ½" his canned wine, playing between its proof and the title of the 1963 Oscar-winning movie. Also in this case, success was almost immediate.


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1980

The Industrial Expansion

The US market now absorbed almost all the production capacity of the winery and several reorganizations and expansions became necessary in order to meet the demand of other markets, including the domestic one.

Additionally, other small wineries in the area were taken over and then expanded, which resulted in Giacobazzi SPA having over 100 employees and a structure that was ready to meet the ever-increasing demand from international markets.


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1982

Giacobazzi and sport

We have always had a strong link with the sports world and, although the partnership with Gilles Villeneuve and Ferrari was certainly the main one, it is not the only prestigious one.

In bicycle racing, Marco Pantani is the flagship racer in the company's sports history. Pantani raced in the the G.S. Giacobazzi from 1990 till 1992: he ranked third, second and first in succession in the Giro d'Italia for amateurs and became a professional while the season was not over yet.

Another showpiece is gold medalist Claudio Vandelli in the 100 km team time trials in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

In motorcycle racing, Walter Villa (1943-2002), who was born in the very province of Modena, precisely in Castenuovo Rangone, took the name of Giacobazzi to circuits all over the world when he won the world championship on a Harley-Davidson four times between 1974 and 1976, three times in class 250 and one in class 350.

It partnered the long-standing brand Panini in volleyball, the Modena F.C. in soccer, and Dante Canè in boxing.


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1986-1990

The Second Industrial Expansion

The new factory in Via Rebecchi, whose building was started two years before, was opened in 1986.

With an expanded production capacity and a sound business structure, Antonio was free to put his efforts into the search for new outlets and the opening of new markets. England, with its modern supermarkets, mainly Sainsbury and Tesco, proved to be the most fertile country and the success achieved in the USA was repeated, and possibly even exceeded, in Great Britain in few years.


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1991-1996

The Separation

After several years in which even his brother Giancarlo collaborated with Antonio, he began to feel their characteristic diversity, creating a difficult period for Giacobazzi.

 

Lively discussions and different visions took the best out of them and their collaboration resulted in Giacobazzi becoming the leading company in the industry. In the early 1990s, however, with the entrance of Giancarlo's daughters and son-in-law in the company, things started to change and the business balance faltered. Separation was the only solution and Antonio, now a minority shareholder, sadly decided to leave the company, being certain that this was the only way not to damage it.


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1997 – 2004

The Sale of the Trademark

With the departure of Antonio, however, the company lost its throbbing heart.

His figure proved to be irreplaceable and Giancarlo, with his inexperienced daughters and untrained son-in-law, very soon faced unsurpassable troubles. Unfortunately, the trademark was sold to the huge, Brianza-based Caldirola group. 


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2005 - 2013

The New Owner

The company found itself without a single member of the Giacobazzi family for the first time since its establishment.

The new owner found unexpected troubles and did not get the expected results, which paved the way for a memorable, yet unexpected return.


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2014 - ad oggi

The Return of Antonio and His Sons

The 2014 is the year of a new business management

After the sad separation in 1996, Antonio continued his career in the wine industry, following the philosophy that characterized him in companies like Gattatico (RE)-based Donelli Vini and Gavioli Antica Cantina of Nonantola. In the meantime, his sons, who were young students at the time of the division, had grown up and followed their father in the company. In 2014, Antonio and his sons had the opportunity to get back the family business and they caught it right away. So, nearly one decade later, Giacobazzi of Nonantola has returned under the control of the family that established it in the postwar period.


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