Wine in the woods
The amazing art and wonderful wines in the Ca' del Bosco cellars.
How a little house in the woods became one of Franciacorta's finest wineries
In the mid-1960's, Anna Maria Clementi Zanella bought a house in the chestnut woods of Erbusco, in Franciacorta: the hilly area in the province of Brescia where some of Italy's greatest sparkling wines are produced.
A few years later, having quickly recognized the land's potential for viniculture, a her son, Maurizio, transformed the house into a winery, a winery destined to become a major protagonist in what is now often referred to as Italy's "wine renaissance ".
Given the company's world wide success, it's hard to imagine why Zanella's approach to viticulture was at first regarded with so much skepticism and suspicion. His methodology is based on the rigorous selection of grapevines and the use of organic fertilizers. He also decided to make a number of different red and white wines, and not just the traditional spumante of Franciacorta
When technology and tradition meet, in the cellar
The vineyards of the wine estate extend to 150 hectares, distributed over eight different municipalities. Due to the varying microclimates within the same estate, grapes are subject to separate vinification, according to the vineyard of origin.
As soon as the grapes are harvested, they are put into boxes according to the vineyard of origin, after which they are left to cool in refrigerated cells, awaiting stemming. Grapes are selected manually and only the finest bunches make their way to the pressing stage.
Ca' del Bosco uses an exclusive, oxygen-free vinification technique, and separation tanks which separate the must from the wine using nothing but the force of gravity
The wine is left to rest in small oak barrels. In the long, stone cellars, state-of-the-art machinery combines with the experience of Ca' Bosco's master cellar men, who know only too well how time and patience are as essential as technology when it comes to making great wine.
Contemporary art and the art of making good wine
Ca'del Bosco is one of the most fascinating cellars in the whole of Franciacorta but Zanella's interest in innovation goes beyond the world of wine to embrace that of contemporary art too,( as can be seen from the immense bronze sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro which welcomes visitors at the entrance to the cellar).
The estate's park is home to numerous other works of contemporary art, like Bruno Romeda's "Elogio dell'Ombra" and Igor Mitoraj's "Eroi di Luce". Cracking Art's "Blue Guardians" - electric blue wolves made of recycled plastic - which welcome visitors from the height of their position on the roof of the cellar.
Inside the cellars yet more impressive artworks can be seen, the most stunning of which has to be Stefano Bombardieri's "Il Tempo Sospeso"- a rhinoceros suspended from the ceiling of the cellar via a series of sling ropes. This massive animal which, despite its weight, manages to reach great heights, has become the symbol of the company.
No ordinary wine tasting
Visits to Ca' del Bosco's cellar culminate in exclusive tastings of the company's wines, held in a large hall, the huge floor to ceiling windows of which afford glorious views of the surrounding countryside.
An absolute must for both professional and amateur enologists, the Vintage Collection wine tasting introduces visitors to the delights of Franciacorta Dosage Zero, Franciacorta Brut Millesimato and Franciacorta Satèn.
In addition to the company's world-famous 'spumante' wines, Ca' del Bosco produces an impressive selection of white and red wines, including superlative Chardonnays and many a highly acclaimed Merlot. Zanella's Carmenero, deserves a special mention: a powerful, full bodied red wine which hides a spicy punch, the deceptive character of which is perfectly summed up by the wolf in sheep's clothing on its label.
Put it in your diary agenda (...or on your Smartphone)
Cantina Ca' del Bosco
Via Albano Zanella, 13 - 25030 Erbusco (BS)
Tel. +39 030 7766111
Visits from Monday to Saturday, by reservation only
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