Interview with Giancarlo Vason
When did you start collaborating with Farina?
Ever since the birth of the company Farina I started working with Remo, a careful and pragmatic man, with whom the relationship has consolidated beyond the professional sphere.
Remo was a curious man and used to ask many questions about the wine production set up and on the technologies, so a path was created that saw me on his side as oenologist and counselor in the early decades of production. The role of my company was critical to accommodate his needs of technical and professional improvement.
So we started bottling demijohns, at the time it was the most used container and the cheapest too, and after that we moved on to bottles.
With the passing of time, there was a higher need to create more and more stable quality-wines, that could compete with other companies.
We were in the '70s - '8s and red wines such as Amarone and Valpolicella had yet to explode commercially while whites like Custoza and Soave, for their easiness to drink, were the most popular ones. We still had to get to the awareness of putting to dry only healthy, beautiful grapes, to produce better wines.
How has technology helped improve wines ?
The historical moment that rose awareness and generated a 360-degree change in the activity, took place in the '80s. It was then that there was the need to get the company to innovative enological know-how that could satisfy the market demands.
This accelerated the progress and allowed to keep competing with the foreign markets.
To address the first challenges of the export, for example the USA market, we needed to make investments to control the fermentation with selected yeasts, the sterile bottling of wines, and therefore new oenological knowledge.
For me it was natural to carry on the research at that time, and the convivial moments, as the evenings Remo and I and the respective families used to spend together, were transformed into opportunities for comparison, to gather useful ideas. I applied my researches and Remo found theoretical inputs for new practical applications.
What was the most modern evolution?
In the nineties there was a race to copy the wines that came from the New World. A search for more and more concentrated and structured wines. While in more recent times, since 1995 to the date, there was more focus in pointing out the peculiar characteristics of the grape varieties of Valpolicella: elegance, pleasantness, softness. Among the producers is growing more and more the awareness of reaching with professionality that target that made us the envy of the entire world: wines that are the emblem of our territory, representative of the terroir.
How did you enter the world of wine?
The winemaking tradition flows in the veins of my family. My father owned a farm and had an important breeding of silkworms. When my father died, I didn’t want to study anymore and didn’t want to deal with his activities. I chose to attend the Agricultural Institute in Verona and during the third year I chose to continue the path, studying Oenology in Conegliano. So I became a winemaker in 1963. In 1966 I split the assets with my brothers, who were not interested to carry on my father’s activity, so we started to develop a business of agencies: I dealt with the sale of oenological products and my brother Giuseppe of agricultural machinery . Ten years earlier, in 1955, together with my brother, we established the Vason company, he decided to carry on only the branch of the agricultural machinery and let me do the business linked to the world of enology. My goal has always been to constantly improve the products that I proposed to the wineries, intervening with the technology to solve the problems that arose in those years in which we were still trying to understand which direction to follow in the production of wines. In this way we brought innovation to Italy and the world .
As an oenologist, what opinion do you have about Farina's wines?
I can say that my favorite is Montefante. A wine that now boasts more than thirty years’ history, the first vintage was in 1997. The wine is elegant, soft, smooth, easy to drink, with a very modern character.
What do you think of the generational change that took place at Farina’s?
The testimonial has been well received. Elena and Claudio have strengthened the company and made it more modern and in line with the needs of the world markets.
How has wine changed over time?
In 60 years there has been an epochal change in the know-how.
The modern enology began 60 years ago and at that time wine was seen only as an accompaniment to feed workers and laborers. Today we have shifted to an experiential, hedonistic wine.
Only today we can master the process of transforming grapes into wine. What’s inside a berry resists drying, modifies and produces characteristics that differentiate an Amarone from all other wines. In short, we can bring out the features of the territory.