It was in the early 1900s that Giuseppe de Corato acquired the vast Rivera estate, in the territory of Andria, and planted with vines, olives, and grain. Fifty years later, his son Sebastiano founded the Azienda Vinicola Rivera, inspired by his vision of realising the enormous viticultural potential of the Castel del Monte area. The old cellar was renovated, the vineyards replanted, and that era's most up-to-date practices adopted and high-quality wine was the result.Widespread recognition quickly followed, and Rivera became the benchmark of Puglian wine production and the force driving its rebirth. Sebastiano's single-minded dedication to quality, and that of his son Carlo, brought about a remarkable innovation: the introduction into the estate vineyards of noble grape varieties from other regions, such as Sauvignon Blanc and chardonnay.
The long, patient efforts that followed were rewarded with the incorporation of those varieties into the production code of the Castel del Monte D.O.C. The entry into the Rivera firm of Carlo's son, Sebastiano, signalled a rededication of its values, a sharply-focused approach to the market, with emphasis falling on developing the area's native varieties, in order to produce wines of significant quality and distinctiveness, wines that would reflect the world of colours, of scents, of flavours that make up the land of Apulia. When the Castel del Monte DOC was established in 1971, the winery decided to rename their top wine ‘Il Falcone’ in honour of Frederick II Barbarossa, who, in addition to building the nearby Castel Del Monte palace the Appellation is named after, was an ardent falconer who even wrote a treatise on the subject. The vineyards used to make this wine were initially planted with a traditional mix of Nero di Troia and Montepulciano.