The Dal Cero family has transformed their Ca’ dei Frati property, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda, into a model Italian estate over the past two decades. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but now, following the purchase of a large chunk of prime vineyard in 2008, they have over 160 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality and today they remain the best producer in Lugana.
The secret to the success of the Cà dei Frati wines is outstanding vineyards. Most producers in the zone overcrop and train the vines high. At Cà dei Frati the vines, which are between 10 and 35 years old, are trained low on single or double Guyot systems. The newer vineyards have a higher density of planting and yields are well below the average for the zone. In Lugana, Turbiana is grown on the glacial soils just to the south of Lake Garda. The warmer days give wines with more weight and intensity than those from 60 kilometres to the east. The cool nights, thanks to the moderatinginfluence of the lake, ensure the grapes retain aroma and acidity.
The 2021 vintage was characterised by a mild winter followed by above average temperatures at the beginning of spring. Frosts hit the region in April, causing damage to some of the vines and reducing yields. A hot and dry summer further reduced the final crop, however the grapes harvested were of excellent quality, showing intense aromatics and pronounced flavour profiles.
The grapes were picked by hand and carefully selected. Once at the winery, they were gently pressed using a pneumatic press. The must was fermented in temperature controlled stainless-steel tanks to preserve its natural fresh fruit character. The wine was then matured on its lees in 500 litre stainless-steel tanks for six months,before spending a further two months ageing in bottle before release.