Our family's story begins in the rugged hills of southern Italy. Giovanni De Maio was born in Torca, a small fishing village near Naples. There he made his own wine for the family's consumption, as was the tradition at the time. Shortly after the First World War, he settled in Uruguay with his four children and, as soon as he could, he bought a vineyard in the area of Barros Blancos, near Casa Grande’s location.
His son Gaetano continued his work as a winegrower and built the large house (la casa grande) that today gives its name to our winery, that he surrounded with vineyards. He sold the grapes and kept a little muscatel and nebbiolo to make, like his father, the wine consumed by the family.
Of the three sons Gaetano had, the youngest, Washington, was the one who continued the family tradition. Since 1976 he has been the soul of the vineyard on the Los Horneros road. He grew up there and spends every day in it. At that time, several families were involved in grape and wine production in the area. Today, Casa Grande stands as an emblem of the resistance of small family producers who do not give in to the pressures of the market and the vicissitudes of the economy.
Shortly after starting to run the family vineyard, Washington joined Francesca, daughter of fellow Italian immigrants, Rachele and Giuseppe Dito, from Verbicaro, a commune in the Calabria region. From there, they brought a love for simple yet richly flavoured dishes of the local cuisine and a host of traditional recipes. While Washington reconverted the vineyard and improved the production with new vines starting from 1987, Francesca developed her love for cooking and art, two passions that today are integrated into the Casa Grande winery project.
Fabrizio, now an agronomist, was born from the marriage, and in the same year that the conversion of the vineyard began, Florencia was born. Grandfather Gaetano was still alive, who at first looked at the arrival of modernisation with wary eyes, but quickly appreciated the virtues of the new technical challenges. Florencia studied oenology and in 2013, no longer with her grandfather, in the old shed where Gaetano kept his tools, she began the beautiful adventure of setting up a winery. To make her own wines, not just to share with her family anymore, but to offer them to an increasingly demanding consumer market. Thus began a small garage winery, which maintained the family spirit and craftsmanship.
In just a few years, as a result of Florencia's studies and ideas, and the joint efforts of the family, Casa Grande achieved a growing acceptance of its wines in the local market. In 2017, exports to Brazil began and the wine was recognised by specialised critics.