Donna Lisa

The identity of Leone de Castris Wine Hotel is strongly linked to the figure of Maria Luisa (Donna Lisa) de Castris, wife of Piero Leone Plantera (marriage that took place in 1925, year of birth of the Leone de Castris brand) and descendant of Oronzo Arcangelo dei Conti di Lemos, who founded the winery in 1665.

Donna Lisa had been educated to the cult of art and letters. She was a perfect wife and mother but also had an unusual family behavior for the social class to which she belonged.

We don’t know how much she influenced her husband in the domestic lifestyle and in the brave entrepreneurial decisions.

Donna Lisa personally took care of her children and had a remarkable social life, she attended at conferences and concerts, interacted on every important occasion knowing, among other things, the main foreign languages.

On the 30th of November 1961, the President of the Republic of the time, Giovanni Gronchi, authorized the merger of the surnames Leone and de Castris, ratified by the Court of Audit on the 16th of December of the same year. The union of the two families marks an important chapter in the history of the ancient Winery.

Marialuisa De Castris e Piero Leone Plantera
Piernicola, Pierino e Salvatore Leone de Castris

A long family history

The history of Leone de Castris Winery travels parallel to that of wine in Apulia since, for over three centuries, the strength and pride of the nobility of its tradition has been released from every sip of its wine.

The fundamental choice, for the first time in Apulia, was to combine the processing of the product to the bottling. In 1943 Five Roses was created, the first Rose wine bottled in Italy, followed by Rosso Salice Salentino in 1954 which, largely thanks to the work done by the Company, became a DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata – Controlled Designation of Origin) in the early 1970s.

At the end of the 1960s, the general direction was taken over by Salvatore Leone de Castris, son of Piero and Lisetta, who strongly contributed to further expansion on the main international markets.

In 1980s his son Piernicola joined the Company, who first, worked in the commercial sector and, since the middle of the 1990s, he became part of the general direction. The development of both the wineries and the vineyards continues and increasingly prestigious awards are conferred.