Thieves steal Cantele’s current vintage

Not only is the Cantele family a client of mine, they are also my close friends. It is with great sadness that I share the following message (which I translated for them this morning). Tracie P and I are keeping their families in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers. We’ll be visiting them early next month and will report back on this tragic story. That’s Cantele Chardonnay, from a past vintage, in the image above.

Dear Friends,

I’m writing you to let you know that on August 2, 2012, our winery was the victim of a robbery. An enormous quantity of bottled wine was stolen by a large and very well organized group of thieves (numbering at least 12-15 persons).

A detailed list of the stolen wines follows:

2,052 bottles Chardonnay Igt Salento 2011
174 bottles Verdeca Igt Puglia 2011
4,242 bottles Negroamaro Rosso Igt Salento 2010
4,746 bottles Primitivo Igt Salento 2009
2,640 bottles Salice Salentino Doc Rosso Riserva 2008
3,576 bottles Varius Syrah Igt Puglia 2010
3,972 bottles Varius Merlot Igt Puglia 2010
66 bottles Alticelli Aglianico Igt Puglia 2008
168 bottles Alticelli Fiano Igt Salento 2011
78 bottles Teresa Manara Chardonnay Igt Salento 2011
2,028 bottles Teresa Manara Negroamaro Igt Salento 2009
5,082 bottles Amativo Igt Salento 2009
12 bottles Le Passanti Fiano Passito Igt Salento 2007

Needless to say, we reported the crime the next day, August 3, 2012, to the Carabinieri stationed at Gaugnano.

In order to avoid any misinformation and/or to preclude idle gossip, I would like to confirm the following:

1) The stolen property was not covered by insurance.

2) Our storage of market-ready products was not protected by an alarm system; it was monitored solely by a video camera system.

In the wake of the theft, our initial sense of powerless disappointment was quickly overcome by our shared resolve, making us even stronger and more determined than before.

The only way to react to incidents like this is to get back to work. And in this spirit, I can confirm the following:

1) Tomorrow we will begin to harvest our 2012 crop, starting, as usual, with our Chardonnay.

2) The new 2010 vintage of Primitivo, Teresa Manara Negroamaro, and Amativo has been aging in bottle for a number of months and in the next few days, we will proceed to label the bottles so that the wines can be released onto the market by early September.

3) None of our winery’s projects has been or will be hindered by this deplorable event.

Lastly, I’m hoping that you will take note of any anomalies that might occur in the market in coming months.

It’s vital that we maintain and protect the supply chain, positioning, and correct pricing of each of our wines.

Thank you in advance for your much appreciated help in this matter.


Umberto Cantele