Acquaviva Winery

About

Acquaviva is a family-owned 40-acre estate vineyard and full service winery located at the corner of Route 38 and Meredith Road in Maple Park, Illinois. The 20,000 sq. ft. facility includes a tasting bar, Neapolitan-style pizza bistro with foods paired to accompany the wines, retail marketplace, private event space, as well as a visible winemaking production center. Along with the award-winning wines and delicious pairing cuisine, the Acquaviva winery boasts amazing architecture and hand-painted fine art by world renowned artist Andrew Zabela.

In the late 19th century, Vito Brandonisio’s grandfather started a small vineyard in Acquaviva delle Fonti, Bari, Italy. As a child, Vito visited the vineyard frequently and remembers fondly the time he spent there. When Vito moved to the US, he continued the family’s winemaking tradition. He and his brothers, and eventually his sons and nephews, made wine every September and enjoyed it together at family gatherings.

Years ago, Vito Brandonisio took his first steps toward accomplishing his dream of living on his own vineyard estate: he purchased 40 acres of gently rolling terrain in Maple Park, IL. On this property he built his home and planted his vineyard, naming it Acquaviva Estate, to homage to his home country of Bari, Italy.

Acquaviva’s 40-acre vineyard estate produces many grape varietals all perfectly suited to sustain and thrive through the turbulent Midwest seasons. These grapes include Prairie Star, Brianna, Chardonel, Marechal Fosh, and Frontenac, among other Illinois favorites. Over the past ten years, Vito has selected and hand planted vines and allowed them time to mature and flourish while he moved forward with step two of his dream: to open his own winery on the property.

Acquaviva’s Winemaker, Sergio Benavides, is a graduate with maximum distinction of La Frontera University, Chile, where he earned his degree in Agricultural Engineering. He later attended the prestigious Universidad de Chile where he specialized in viticulture and oenology.

While working in several of his country’s premium wineries (De Larose vineyard, Morande vineyard, La Rosa vineyard, Errazuriz vineyard), he perfected his philosophies on making fine wine. He learned the hands-on skills of a winemaker through managing the vineyards and learning both the old and new world techniques on caring for the vines. Sergio continued seeking experiences to improve his skills and eventually decided to leave his country in search of new opportunities.

His international experience started when he came to the United States to harvest at the Alexander Valley Winery in Sonoma, CA in 2003. In 2004, he was recruited by an International French company to represent them in Spain as their Consultant Winemaker.

In 2010, after years of making fine wine and developing new wine programs, Sergio accepted the position of head winemaker at the new and luxurious ACQUAVIVA WINERY where he was put in charge of 20 beautiful acres of vines, more than 23 varietals, and the entire wine and vinification process.

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Produced & Bottled in Maple Park, IL

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