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It all began in 1947, when Luciano Canella was helping his mom Giovanna at the historic family “osteria” - a traditional country inn called Osteria Forte del ’48 that was a landmark of San Donà di Piave.
Giovanna asked her son to source some local wine to serve her customers, and Luciano did better than that: he crafted his own light, fruity and appealing sparkling wine that provided fine quality on the tight post-war budget of the time.
The very first bottles were literally home-made but so innovatively light, fizzy and refreshing that word of mouth (and palate!) attracted new patrons to Giovanna’s table, to the point that even other restaurateurs started to order their wines from Luciano.
In 1952, Luciano realized he could no longer do everything himself. Canella wines were increasingly in demand and if he wanted to satisfy his customers, Luciano needed to think big. And did: he set up his first winery at San Donà di Piave and put together his very first team of collaborators.
By the late Fifties, Canella wines featured in the finest local restaurants and young Luciano, whose marketing flair was as remarkable as his instinct for quality, was one of the first producers to realize the importance of celebrity endorsements. These pictures from the early Sixties show famous actor Vittorio Gassman and musician Nicola Arigliano enjoying Canella wines at Ristorante Geremia in Mestre.
Luciano was not only ahead of the times in realizing the importance of product endorsement; he had a keen sense of brand image and marketing. From day one, he chose to flank the winery and family name, Canella, with a logo. He turned the name’s initial, C, into the stylized outline of a waiter serving wine. To this day, a streamlined, modern version of the logo adorns Canella bottles.
The first picture shows Lorenzo and Alessandra Canella playing by a billboard that was about to be placed on the road to Jesolo: “Everybody drinks Canella wines”, in German - a slogan and an invitation meant for German tourists vacationing on the Venetian coast.
In this picture, Luciano Canella playfully “drinks” from a blowup of a Canella Cabernet bottle in 1957.
Nella prima foto, Lorenzo Canella ed Alessandra Canella giocano su di un cartello stradale che stava per essere posizionato nella strada per Jesolo. “Alles trinken Canella weine” è l’ambizioso slogan rivolto ai turisti tedeschi in vacanza nel litorale veneto.
In questa foto, Luciano Canella “beve” da una gigantografia di Cabernet Canella del 1957.
This picture comes straight from the family album: Lorenzo Canella celebrating his third birthday.
The photo testifies to the fact that as early as 1962 (Lorenzo was born in ’59), Prosecco was our pinnacle wine for its ideal, mellow sparkle, the perfect toast on special occasions!
Canella has always believed in the power of advertising.
This picture shows our first experiments with billboards, where we reminded tourists on their way back home to stock up on Canella wines.
Luciano has the brainwave of a lifetime: Canella will prepare and bottle the world-famous Venetian cocktail, Bellini.
His ready-made yet amazingly fresh blend of Venetian sparkle and juicy peaches straightaway makes a splash, opening the door to numerous international markets for the Canella family: Bellini is a delicately fragrant aperitif whose low alcohol content and refreshing appeal ideally represent Italy’s lifestyle and craftsmanship.
Luciano realized that such an iconic drink would need to be presented in its finest possible incarnation, as faithful as possible to the original version. Hence a further brainwave: planting Canella’s own peach grove at San Donà di Piave, painstakingly growing the rare variety of white-fleshed peaches that go into our Bellini cocktail to this day.
Alessandra, Lorenzo, Nicoletta & Monica pour their passion and energy into running the family winery.
An agreement is drawn up with the municipality of Venice, enabling Canella to use the city’s logo (designed by Philippe Starck) on each Bellini bottle as a hallmark of the cocktail’s proudly Venetian identity, and from that moment on, Canella Bellini takes center stage in all of the city’s major events, from New Year’s Eve in Piazza S. Marco, to the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer, Festa del Redentore, on the third Sunday of July.
After over 30 years, Bellini remains the pinnacle product in our line of aperitifs, but since the turn of the new millennium, our family of wine cocktails has grown and now features several aperitifs that combine the freshness and fragrance of fruit with the zesty perlage of our Brut sparkling wine.
Mimosa, with blood oranges; Rossini, with top-quality Candonga strawberries from Basilicata, and the newest addition, Puccini, with the sweet, juicy fragrance of Ciaculli tangerines, from the countryside near Palermo.
Tommaso, Lorenzo’s son, spearheads the Canellas’ third generation and joins the rest of the family at the helm.