UMANI RONCHI has been in the Bianchi-Bernetti family for almost fifty years, having been founded as an Azienda Agricola (agricultural company) in 1957 by Gino Umani Ronchi at Cupramontana, in the heart of the production area of Verdicchio Classico, in the Marche Region.
Its true productive and commercial development began a couple of years later, when the company was joined by Roberto Bianchi
and his son-in-law Massimo Bernetti
. An important milestone was the conversion to being a limited-liability Azienda Vinicola
(winegrowing company) on 4 January 1968
. A short while afterwards, under the direction of Massimo Bernetti, the operational and entrepreneurial brains of the Company and now its sole proprietor, some important investments were made.
The existing Castelbellino winery, which for some years had been used for the vinification of Verdicchio, was expanded. A new operational and administrative headquarters was set up in 1969 at Osimo
, with a winery
attached (see photo), for Rosso Conero
and for wine bottling and storage.
Umani Ronchi’s expansion, and its success on the market (especially foreign markets, Germany and England in particular), favoured its development and enabled it to consolidate. On 15 June 1973 it finally changed its trading title to Azienda Vinicola Umani Ronchi SpA.
The subsequent years were decisive for the Company’s growth. Massimo Bernetti realised that the wine scene in the Marche was dominated by Verdicchio, which on the one hand was a wine which met with favour on international markets, but on the other hand it put in the shade the other wines of the Marche and Abruzzo, particularly the red wines, Rosso Conero
and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
, which Umani Ronchi itself produced. The
need to boost these other wines led to the decision to invest strongly in qualitative improvement of the entire productive chain, a consequence of which would be an expansion of the range of wines on offer.
This was the correct direction to take, and during the 1980s increasing attention was paid to the principal red wine of the Marche, Rosso Conero, which became one of the Company’s leading products. 1983 was the first year of production of San Lorenzo, followed by Cumaro in 1985.
Simultaneously, the role of Verdicchio was renewed, with the creation of crus and riserve, capable of competing with the best of Italian white wines. First of all came Casal di Serra, which was produced from 1983 onwards, followed in 1985 by Villa Bianchi. At the same time, production began on other regional DOCs such as Bianchello del Metauro and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.
With the start of the 1990s, Massimo Bernetti still had ideas and objectives to achieve: extending the vineyards, and above all continuing to improve the quality of Umani Ronchi wines. This led to a search for, and purchase of, better plots planted with vines. At the same time, he consulted experts and academic institutions to discover the most advanced techniques in winemaking and agronomy. Thus began a new period, which would see him joined by his son Michele
, and would take Umani Ronchi to the threshold of the third millennium.