United wines of Benetton

Italian clothing giant Benetton will start producing wine from September. The company has already chosen the names for its range: Red, White and Malvasia, a type of wine that is either white or very dark, and aromatic.

United wines of Benetton
Luciano Benetton will distribute wine across Italy from September. Photo: AFP/Toru Yamanaka

Founder Luciano Benetton told the Veneto edition of Corriere that the names were chosen for their “simplicity and clarity.”

Apart from being guided by his passion for wine, Benetton said the inspiration to move into the wine market came from the grapes that grew outside the company’s headquarters in Treviso.

“For years I would see these grapes from my office window, and thought they were destined for the wine cellar,” he told the newspaper.

Benetton, which is famous for its controversial advertising campaigns, became a major shareholder in Farnese, a winery in Abruzzo, in February.

The range of wine, called Villa Minelli after the company’s headquarters, will be distributed in hotels, restaurants and wine bars across Italy from September. Production will be limited to 50,000 bottles a year.

“As we don’t have a great tradition in this field, it would be best to keep our feet on the ground,” Benetton said. 

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Italian village residents find Lambrusco wine coming out of their taps

People living in a small village near Modena, in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, got a surprise on Wednesday when they turned on their kitchen taps and got wine instead of water.

Italian village residents find Lambrusco wine coming out of their taps
File photo: Flickr/Nardino

Not a miracle, but a fault at a nearby winery meant wine had accidentally been pumped into the local water supply, technicians later discovered.

Residents said the smell of the pink liquid coming out of their taps was unmistakably that of the locally-produced Lambrusco Grasparossa, local newspaper Gazzetta di Modena reported.

The wine ended up being piped into homes in the Castelvetro area of Modena from the nearby Settecani winery after a “technical fault” in one of the winery's silos meant wine was leaking into its water pipes. As the wine reportedly had a higher pressure than the water in the pipes, it began to run through the system and into nearby homes.

The local water board quickly sent technicians to put things back to normal – but not before residents “bottled as much of the precious liquid as they could,” wrote the Gazzetta di Modena, “to enjoy later at a lunch or dinner along with other typical Modenese specialties.”

The local council issued an apology for the incident on Facebook, and while some village residents voiced concern about the safety of their water supply, other complaints were directed at the council and local water company for fixing the problem too quickly.

Though Lambrusco doesn't have the best reputation abroad, Modena's Lambrusco DOC is a well-regarded lightly sparkling red wine with a complex flavour and a history dating back to Etruscan times.

READ ALSO: Not just Prosecco: here are the other Italian sparkling wines you need to try