Ca' del Bosco
Where wine becomes art...
At Ca' del Bosco in Erbusco, Lombardy, art, nature, wine and elegance meet and pollinate each other. It is a world of experience and emotion in its own right. Here you learn to make big plans that get the blood pumping, as well as to aim high with hope, to reach for the moon and know you'll always end up among the stars.
I am standing in front of a golden, ornately forged and oversized gate. Have I arrived at the gate of heaven? Is this where I cross over into an otherworld? I am so small, and the brass circle is so large. All its splendor and beauty shines in the sunlight. This work of art, "Hymn to the Sun", was created by the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. The bronze sculpture artist created a geometric body that breaks open and reveals its inner life to the viewer. Those who stand right here feel that they are at the beginning of a path that allows them to discover a fascinating world full of extraordinary emotions. As if controlled by a ghostly hand, the circle in the middle opens and I can pass by car. Tensely I follow the road. I am in the middle of forests, lush hills of Franciacorta in the heart of Lombardy and 160 hectares of vineyards, with bridges, streams and magnificent wine cellars. A region in the north of Italy and full of magic and myths. Surrounded by small villages, stately villas and medieval castles. Here lies Ca' del Bosco, in an enchanting theatre where nature celebrates and elevates art.
Ca' del Bosco belongs to the elite class of wine producers. It is an ultra-modern winery of superlatives concerning architecture and technical infrastructure. Its founder, Maurizio Zanella, is a seasoned personality with a lot of wit and visionary flair. His statement: "I see the art of winemaking as a moment of life. As a personal form of expression, as a masterpiece of talent, in which passion and ability merge into a mysterious alliance with nature."
"Before comparing Franciacorta to Champagne, realize that they are two completely different wines."
Maurizio Zanella, founder Ca' del Bosco
Wine is not simply made in these cellars and rooms. They are veritable sanctuaries, and the catacombs, laid out deep in the earth, are ideally suited for the extremely long storage in barrels, barriques and bottles due to the naturally constant temperature and humidity. The wines grow and flourish in a meditative and sheltered ambiance. Time stands still. Only this one, eternal moment counts. And again and again I am caught by the smell of wine, oak wood and damp stone. I walk through the long, seemingly endless corridors with their many branches and rooms. Without a guide I would have lost my way long ago. This cellar was laid out in a star shape. Its centerpiece is a seven-meter-high room resembling a cathedral. A helicopter landing pad was built above the cellar.
Franciacorta is a young Italian wine-growing region in Brescia, Lombardy with DOC status since 1967. The wine grows particularly well here because of the optimal location on mineral soils of Alpine foothills and because of the mild climate near Lake Iso. The region has achieved its fame through its sparkling wines. Franciacorta has its own denomination, and the laws here are even stricter than for champagne production. Signor Zanella studied at the University of Enology in Bordeaux. As consultant for his new vineyards, he brought André Dubois, the cellar master from the famous Moët champagne house. He produced his first spumante at the age of 17. Together with Angelo Gaja and Giacomo Bologna, he initiated the renaissance of Italian viticulture in the eighties. His flagship is the Anna Maria Clementi DOCG sparkling wine, the base wine of which is pressed in a hand-operated wooden press.
This white sparkling wine is vinified in all common variants - Cuvée Prestige Brut, Brut Vintage, Brut Dosage Zéro, Satèn and also as Cuvée Prestige Rosé. The grapes used are Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco. Maurizio Zanella leaves nothing to chance. A wine has around 500 ingredients, 300 of which can be defined. They are analysed and checked in his laboratories. Quality is a top priority here - you can feel it in every detail on our tour.
Reto, Gianni and Luca Vergani's fine noses and palates taste various sparkling wines, the barrel-fermented Chardonnay as well as the Elfo from mainly autochthonous, white grape varieties. Which wine is the best is debatable. It is the individual preferences that make us decide. My favourite is the Satèn vintage sparkling wine. Ca' del Bosco created it for the first time in 1980 as a special interpretation of a Franciacorta: the harmonious combination of white grapes alone, without Pinot Nero. The rising bubbles of the fine perlage hide a little secret: at the time of tirage, when sugar and yeasts are added to the base wine so that bottle fermentation can begin, less sugar is added to Satèn than to the rest of the Franciacorta sparkling wines. I find it so delightfully sparkling. It's bursting with femininity. It's smooth, lush, ripe, soft and round. It is a delight for the senses, but also contains tones of sensuality. Satèn - the femininity and elegance of silk, with barely perceptible structure and fineness of the fabric - it makes all senses vibrate ...
Text: Nadja Wiehlat | Image: Ca' del Bosco | Source: Vergani Magazine 1