The Parisi family and a dream that has continued for thirty years. Artenova snuffs out 30 candles and launches an e-commerce of artistic terracotta

2023/02/28     / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

In the photo the craftsmen of Artenova: from left to right Fabio Deiana, Alessandro Dei, Leonardo and Andrea Parisi (in front of the wine-jar), Andrea Barbieri

“Artenova Terrecotte” was born 30 years ago in Impruneta, the dream of Giuseppe Parisi, father of the current holders, Andrea and Leonardo. After years in which his amazing craftsmanship had been at the service of five different Terracotta companies between Impruneta and Florence, he decided to break out on his own. On February 15th 1993 Giuseppe Parisi together with his son Leonardo, bought a small Terracotta workshop in via della Fonte from a local craftsman. They called it Artenova Terrecotte Artistiche to denote the artistic terracotta, which at the time was very much in vogue. That small workshop of artistic terracotta objects that 30 years ago crowned the entrepreneurial dream of an artisan, is now not only leader in Italy, but a world leader in the production of terracotta jars for the processing of wine. Today this production is the core business of the company, 99% of whose turnover is from wine amphorae. However, the story of Artenova owes a lot to its beginnings. So much so, that they were inspired to relaunch on the market, through digital channels to make it more accessible, the production of artistic terracotta from which it all started 30 years ago.

The 90’s: Artistic production conquers Gift-shops and Garden Emporiums in Germany and France

In the 90’s and for most of the early years of the new millennium, Artenova focused on the production of accessories for interior and garden furnishing. Items such as flower-pots, terracotta baskets and a variety of refined garden animals – tortoises, lions, horse heads along with classic style fountains, statues, busts and bass reliefs, all strictly handmade. This production of decorative articles supplied gift-shops and garden emporiums throughout Italy but above all in Germany and France where the demand for Italian terracotta in the 90’s was very high. In Tuscany, among the most illustrious customers of the 15 years preceding the new corporate direction, Artenova includes historical Florentine Pharmaceutical perfumeries. Their Perfume Diffusors, handcrafted by Artenova, in the shape of life sized pomegranates soaked in perfume to be slowly released into a room, were (and still are) much loved decorative objects.

From 2000 on: the dawn of a new business. The big terracotta jars for wine

In 2008 a new business, preceded by a global crisis which greatly affected the production of Artistic Terracotta came the dawn of a rebirth. Conscious of being in one of the most important wine areas in Italy and thanks to the advice of experts and technicians not only of the wine sector, Artenova, changed the direction of its production to create large vessels of Impruneta terracotta for the wine sector. They were the first to do so in Italy. It was then that the brand name “Terracotta and Wine” was launched. The production took off with an almost viral diffusion. In a few years the beautiful handmade Jars of Artenova had reached far beyond national borders. As well as from Italy (with a prevalence from the cellars of Tuscany and Piedmont), the company from Impruneta began to receive orders from as far away as Australia, USA, New Zealand, Albania, Montenegro, Austria, Germany, South Africa, Chile and Hungary. The highest number of orders however, came from France, where Artenova today still exports 40% of its production.

In recent years, from its first edition in 2014 to the latest in 2022, “Terracotta and Wine”, the Biennial Event entirely focused on Terracotta Wine and its global culture, creates gigantic echoes throughout the public of Amphora Wine lovers. The event is entrusted to the Cultural Association, “La terracotta e il vino” of which Artenova is the founding member. In 2016, a protocol agreement strongly desired by Artenova, was set up together with the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Florence. This created an exchange of specific expertise between the two, on how the terracotta of Impruneta influences the chemical-physical and sensorial parameters of wine. The results of the study on the characteristics conferred onto wine through the process of fermentation and aging in Impruneta terracotta jars, were presented for the first time during “Terracotta and Wine 2016”, the second edition of the event. In 2019 the company from a small, individual business became an SRL (Ltd) with the denomination “Artenova Terrecotte” di Leonardo and Andrea Parisi.

Today: The “Return to Earth” and the contribution of Artenova to the choice of sustainability

Wine producers who choose Artenova today are ones who believe and invest in the sustainability aspect of viticulture, demonstrating care and quality by reducing environmental impacts on the entire transformation chain from vineyard to cellar, and on to distribution. A glass of Amphora Wine will have maintained the characteristics of whatever grape variety is used. This is particularly so for the rare indigenous grapes, the flavours of which all but disappear in oak. Terracotta is a natural raw material that does not cede anything to whatever it holds, thus it enables wine to remain faithful to its terroir. In this return to the earth and to natural elements, those who use terracotta, make a choice in terms of sustainability and well-being (less sulphites needed in terracotta vs wood).

Artenova has always believed in the value of their unique natural raw material, the most natural of all – the earth itself. Today with an ever growing global green-conscientiousness, this “return to earth” through Leonardo and Andrea Parisi’s company, with the production of amphorae for wine is more than ever a choice of sustainability and symbiosis with our planet.

On its 30th Birthday, an e-commerce site of furnishing accessories. Online March 1st

Artenova’s E-commerce site of interior and garden furnishing accessories (flowerpots, ornamental tableware, terracotta baskets, fountains, decorative statues, bass reliefs and the elegant and refined variety of garden animals will be online). The articles are of course all strictly handmade by the artisans of Artenova using the clay of Impruneta. About a hundred products can be viewed on the site, divided into categories. Have a look:  https://shop.terracotta-artenova.com/negozio/

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