North-west of Salentine Peninsula, zone of old wine growing and wine producing traditions, lies Salice Salentino, a small rural town which boasts the more than three century old wineryLeone de Castris.
Among the fertile vineyards of that time, just where nowadays the works rise, Duke Oronzo Arcangelo Maria Francesco de Castris Lemos'Count (Ferrante and Francisco's nephew both Spanish viceroy in Italy) founded the first winery. It was the year 1665. The Duke was a wise and far-sighted man; therefore, after the first few years of product processing, he rushed to Spain, sold some of his possesions, came back and invested his earnings in the Salentine lands.
Round Salice, Guagnano, Veglie, Villa Baldassarri, Novoli and San Pancrazio the Duke came into possesion of as much as 5 thousand hectares, on which not only did he plant new species of vine, but even olives and wheat. At beginning of the 19th century the winery began to export unprocessed wine to the United States of America, Germany and France.
The winery began bottling its product with Piero e Lisetta Leone de Castris,in 1925. In 1943 the production of Five Roses, the most famous product of the firm started and it was the the first rosè to be bottled and made marketable in Italy.
During last war, the Saletine Rosè by Leone de Castris, FIVE ROSES, was exported to the United States. This wine is named after a "contrada" (a rural zone) in the feud of Salice Salentino, which is called "Cinque Rose" (five roses). This zone is so called because for many generations each de Castris has had five children. At the end of last war, General Charles Poletti, Supply Officer of the Allied Forces, asked for large supply of rosè. However, he required a wine with an American name. FIVE ROSES was, thus, born.
The history of this family and of the winery is still going. On. Cavaliere del Lavoro Salvatore Leone de Castris has contributed to a very important development - also as international level - of the Company.