Italian Good Living | Terre Gaie: where roots and innovation are in perfect syntony

Terre Gaie: where roots and innovation are in perfect syntony

Terre Gaie, Padua’s company guided by the owner Salvatore Lovo, demonstrates that it is possible to look at wine’s future without cheating the origin.

Di Fabio Piccoli

There are life’s personal stories that could become an extraordinary script for a movie. These are the stories that seep authenticity, difficult challenges that were won, falls and re-starts.

Among those, I had the luck to bump into Salvatore Lovo’s one, class of ’54, the current owner of Terre Gaie, one of the most interesting and dynamic companies of that enchanting territory of the Colli Euganei.

Last of seven children of a family that the very same Salvatore defines “poor”.
“Yes, it is useless to deny the reality – says Salvatore – my family was a poor one even if it was inside a context of absolute dignity. My dad was a big man, almost 2 meters tall, he was sharecropper in two hectares and a few cows because of the sole family basic necessities. To make ends meet he was also a porter at the agricultural Consortium and at the sugar factory. Heavy jobs just to support the family. A very serious family, I saw him laugh very few times; to him what came first where his family’s needs”.

The most important thing he taught me? “Respect, manners, keeping silent and only talk when the others are finished. This is what he often told us at the table, when all the family was reunited. So, yes, we were a poor family, but to him being respectful and sincere was fundamental and especially there was no need to be ashamed of our identity”.

“My passion for wine, for enology in particular – continues Salvatore – was born thanks to my mom who made me bring baskets with the lunch for my dad and my brothers who were working in the social cellar”. “I was eleven-year-old and one night my dad – says Salvatore – told me to hide because the Cellar’s executive director was passing by and if he became aware of my presence we would have been be in trouble. I saw that man with a black smock and a white goatee. From the first moment he gave me an image of authoritativeness. I asked my father what it meant to be executive director: he answered me that he was responsible of the Cellar and in order to become so he studied a lot of enology and, as a result, he became doctor of wine”.

“That description struck me so much that I suddenly understood – says Salvatore – that that was going to become my job”.

A promise that Salvatore Lovo made to himself when he was eleven-year-old and that he was able to maintain by overcoming economic difficulties and by graduating in 1975 in the prestigious enology School of “Giovan Battista Carletti” in Conegliano.

From that diploma to now a lot of time has passed and a lot are the professional experiences undertaken by Salvatore Lovo. Surely the most important one was the one begun in 2005, the birth date of Terre Gaie.

“A project which matured during time – explains Salvatore – thanks not only to the evolution of my personal experience as a consultant in prestigious Italian wine companies, but also, and especially thanks to the will of my daughter Silvia who pushed me towards the construction of our very own company. Without forgetting the fundamental contribution of my wife Rita, without which Terre Gaie could have never been born”.