Empson USA Lento

Fact Sheet


Founded in the late 1800s, the winery is in its fourth generation with the current owner, Salvatore Lento, entering the company in 1963. Today, the winery focuses on the creation of authentic and unique wines. Franco Bernabei acts as the winemaker along with the owner, Salvatore Lento, and his daughter, Danila Lento.

Points of Differentiation

  • Estate Bottled
  • The winery is now in its fourth generation
  • The wines are crafted by world renowned winemaker Franco Bernabei
  • The winery uses geothermal and wine power to reduce its environmental impact
  • Located between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coast in the narrowest point of Calabria which benefits from the seas’ breezes
  • A nearly 13,000 sq foot cellar dug into the rock bed helps to prevent thermal shock in the wines

The History

Salvatore focused his efforts on increasing production while also improving the quality of the wines produced. The winery prides itself on carrying out pruning, tying, leaf removal, and thinning out of bunches manually. Each plot is cared for at different times depending on the land, the grape varieties, and degree of ripeness.

In the 1990s Salvatore acquired another estate in addition to the two historical estates that the family already owned. He decided to move the winery’s headquarters and main cellars to the Amato Estate.

The cellar, which blends into the landscape and has two levels located underground, was designed to have a low impact on the environment. The winery focuses on using renewable energy including geothermal and wind power. Lento can also independently generate cold water used for cooling the musts during winemaking as well as produce steam to be used for the sterilization of the bottles and can provide heating and cooling of its premises.

The two underground levels of the cellar help to reduce the possibility of thermal shock and ensure the best conditions for the wine aging. The top floor has areas designated for receiving the grapes, crushing, and fermentation. A gravity system drains the wine to the lower levels for aging in the barrel room which was dug into the natural rock which is nearly 13,000 sq feet in size.

Today the winery is in its fourth generation. Salvatore still acts as the family’s patriarch, but his daughters are fully invested in the company. Danila is a market-sensitive winery technician who works with her father and Franco Bernabei while Manuela is responsible for the commercial side, collaborating with Matteo Bernabei.

The Terroir

Lento Winery is composed of three vineyards: Amato, Romeo, and Caracciolo. The winery differentiates the vineyards based on their location and grape varieties.

Amato contains the winery’s headquarters and is about 200 acres in size. It sits on gently hilly terrain in the Calabria IGT area, 1,640-2,300 feet above sea level. The vineyard sits between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coast in the narrowest point of Calabria. The subsoil is rocky while the siliceous-clay soil contains potassium and calcareous attributes. The winery grows Magliocco, Greco, Malvasia, Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay in this location.

Romeo is located in the Lamezia DOC area. The hillside is exposed to the Tyrrhenian sea and sea breezes. This vineyards grows Greco Bianco and is 75 acres in size.