On Saturday, November 30, the editors of the Bibenda guide to the wines of Italy held their annual gala awards ceremony at one of Rome’s ritziest hotels.

Paolo Cantele was on hand to receive the Cinque Grappoli (Five Bunches) award, the publication’s top ranking, for Cantele’s 2017 Late Harvest Chardonnay Teresa Manara.

This wine has a special place in the Cantele family’s heart: It’s named after the grandmother to the current generation, the woman who fell in love with Salento and decided that she and her husband should relocate there in the years that followed World War II.

It’s also a special wine because it was winemaker Gianni and export director Paolo’s father, Augusto Cantele, who became a pioneer of Italian Chardonnay when he began making the wines in Salento in the late 1990s.

As Paolo wrote on the estate’s Facebook, “it’s an award that we are proud of, as winemakers and as Pugliesi.”

The Bibenda guide to the wines of Italy is one of Italy’s most prestigious. For five decades, its editors have been publishing some of the country’s most respected guides to Italian wines, olive oils, and distillates. In 2013 it created the Italian Sommelier Foundation to expand its reach into wine education. It’s widely considered to be one of Italy’s most important food and wine-focused associations in the world. The Cantele family couldn’t be more thrilled to receive this top award.

Image via the official Bibenda Facebook.

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