At the harbour the activity was very frantic with special boats called vinaccere or varcelle and motor sailing ships transporting huge chestnut containers (700 hl) filled mostly with white wine to large cities like Genoa and Trieste in Northern Italy or France and Germany. That was the gold age for Southern wine trade. In 1952 Mario, Michele and Salvatore succeeded their father. This was the beginning of a new era: they first renamed the winery D'Ambra Vini d'Ischia Spa and introduced some technological developments that will make it a model winemaking company. Great wines would be produced from biancolella, forastera and per'' e palummo grapes; new vineyards would be purchased in the most renowned grape-producing areas on the island to grow only great varieties; new equipments would be bought to improve winemaking and bottling; a new plant would be built in Panza d'Ischia, one of the most important Ischia wine areas.
The Frassitelli vineyard at elevation 500 m above sea level is Casa D'Ambra's proud boast. Acquired in 1960, according to the great Italian enologist Luigi Veronelli it is 'one of the most beautiful vineyards worldwide' and it is included in almost every wine and gastronomic tour. His suggestion was very welcome and nowadays Casa D'Ambra can be praised for one of the first practical applications, if not the only one, of the cru designation to a wine made with grapes grown in a single vineyard terrain. Its high elevation has earned wine making the appellative of 'heroic' activity: in order to speed up the cultivation process and reduce the high costs of management, production and marketing a rack-rail has recently been built. A strong worker could not carry more than ten cases a day, the new facility can transport up to 20 cases in 15 minutes.
Casa D'Ambra purchases every year 500 tonnes of grapes by 150 local suppliers. The winery owns some estates including 4 hectares in the Frassitelli area and another hectare in the Montecorvo area. The winery property comprises also a total area of 6 ha in vineyard terrains that are shared with other grape producers. The winery's activities are focused mainly on exploitation and expansion of local vines, namely white Biancolella, Forastera, and Rilla grapes, and the red Piedirosso and Guarnaccia varieties. Furthermore in order to improve the grape quality and to recover and protect old varieties, a test field was established in the Frassitelli area in 1995 that would be some sort of genetic bank for the recovery of extinct varieties. Grape types including guarnaccia and guarnaccello, coda cavallo and streppa rossa, rillottola and don lunardo, catalanesca, romana, procidana and coglionara will be brought to new life.
The building where the temperature-controlled cellar is located is hosted in a spectacular natural amphitheatre at the foot of Mount Epomeo. The cellar occupies an area of 3,500 square metres. All production phases take place here: vinification in stainless steel, red wine ageing in small and large barrels, bottling and storage. Temperature is automatically-controlled. The daily production capacity is 80 and 25 tonnes for white and red grapes, respectively. The stainless steel barrels can hold 10.000 hl, the wooden barrels 300 hl. The bottling line has an hourly output of 3,000 bottles.