Employees inherit winery in Friuli region, vow to continue legacy

  ROME -- Wine entrepreneur, Pietro Pittaro, has bequeathed his winery to nine of his employees. Pittaro, who passed away in March at the age of 89, led the company, Vigneti Pietro Pittaro, until his final days. The businessman leaves behind 85 hectares of land in the Grave del Friuli region, which produces around 300,000 bottles of wine annually, 100,000 of which are sparkling. 

   A quote from poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, “I have what I have given was read in Pittaro’s obituary, highlighting the entrepreneur’s final sentiments. The nine recipients of the winery were Pittaro’s lifelong right-hand man and winemaker, the land surveyor, the bookkeeper, the salesman, and the cellar and vineyard men. According to local reports, the beneficiaries “will soon set up a new company with all the legal requirements, it will be led by a CEO, while each ‘heir’ will have their own specific tasks within the company.” 

“The key phrase: continuation and development of the brand which remains Friulian and is not sold to the highest bidder.” 

  According to the beneficiaries, it has been a gift and a huge surprise. The company’s oenologist, Stefano Trinco explained, “When we did some inspections of the vineyards, or trials in the wine cellar, he would sometimes tell us, in the Friulian dialect, ‘Us lassi dut a vualtris’ (I leave everything to you), but frankly, we always thought that Pietro was joking.”

  “There was a good relationship between us, built on esteem and respect, but we would never have imagined such a generous gesture. From our side, there is great emotion, as well as a due thank you. And, of course, there is the commitment and awareness of taking the business forward. It is an honour and a great responsibility. A precious gift that must be appreciated to the utmost; we will do everything to carry on its name as it deserves.”