OUR HISTORY - A devotion to distilling
The story of the family business begins in the mid-19th century when an ancestor of Beniamino Maschio, newly-married and living with his young wife in a house owned by his father in Cismon on the slopes of Monte Grappa, accepted an invitation from Franz Joseph to go and work in Transylvania (Romania), where there was a demand for labour for the construction of a new railway.
The Romanian branch of the Maschio family grew, and once the railway was completed its members sought work in other areas including the distillation of fruit liqueurs and pomace on an estate owned by the descendants of Prince Vlad, better known as Dracula. Later, pining for home, some members of the family decided to return to Veneto.
It was 1892 when Antonio Maschio arrived in Vazzola in the province of Treviso. Before long, he had built his own small distillery, and it was here that the family’s great adventure in the fascinating world of grappa began. One of Antonio’s sons, Giuseppe, married on the 17th February 1900 and he and his wife brought twelve children into the world. Then during this period Giuseppe expanded the distillery. Three of their children became well know for different reasons. Bonaventura (later to found his own distilling business in Gaiarine, Treviso province) Aurelio, who became a Salesian missionary and was known as the “John Bosco of India” in recognition of the charity institutions he founded there (all still in operation today), and the youngest child of all, Beniamino, future master distiller and the father of Alessandro and Flavia, who now run the family distillery in San Pietro di Feletto near Conegliano (Treviso province).
Beniamino Maschio used to define himself as a “lover of monovarietal grappa”. For several years now, the company has been run by Beniamino’s children, Alessandro and Flavia. Alessandro himself, is father of five children, one of the most active and innovative distillers in his home region of Veneto, where distilleries are plentiful. As president of Istituto Grappa Veneta, Alessandro has worked to promote the production of monovarietal grappa made from grapes such as Cabernet, Chardonnay, Manzoni bianco, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco and Sauvignon, while also creating gems such as the grappas produced in Amarone, Prosecco and Cartizze (aged in small casks made from wild cherry wood) and Brenté, a blend of Pinot and Prosecco grapes (aged from 3 to 9 years in oak casks).
Ferruccio de Bernard established his Distilleria dell’Alpe in 1948 in Bastia d’Alpago, a small hillside village in the sweeping Cansiglio forest of the Eastern Italian Alps. Ferruccio patented an enigmatic drink, Kapriol liqueur, commonly known as “Distillato del Bosco” (Forest distilled spirit). In 2002 Beniamino Maschio took over Distilleria dell’Alpe with the intention of developing a variety of liqueurs typical of the Venetian traditions.
DE BERNARD WINE CELLAR
De Bernard wine cellar was founded in 1948 in Bastia d’Alpago by Ferrucio de Bernard who had been Carpenè Malvolti (the first Prosecco Producer) winemaker during WWII.
In the early 1950s, the estate was transferred to Conegliano where it started to produce sparkling Prosecco wine. By 1957, Prosecco De Bernard was already being exported to many countries, and as far as Australia. In 1962, the estate was awarded “Best Prosecco Wine'' by the widely distributed magazine Quattrosoldi. In 2002, Beniamino Maschio took over this beautiful wine-growing estate and wine cellar, carrying on with great passion and enthusiasm the quest for excellence undertaken by the De Bernard family.
A FAMILY HISTORY
The company is now led by the second generation, Beniamino’s children, Flavia and Alessandro.
Alessandro is the President of the Grappa Veneta Institute, which has given inspiration to the production of single grape variety grappas and developed real "gems" in the world of drinking such as Amarone grappa, Brenté grappa, Kapriol gin and AQVA LVCE. (Aqua Luce gin).
Now also Francesco, son of Alessandro, who represents the third generation, is a member of the board and is passionately involved in many aspects of the company’s business in particular he has responsibilities for the sales both domestic and worldwide.