As a representative for an Italian wine importer, I am admittedly biased towards the brands I work with. This has everything to do with how well I know the story of the people behind my brands- the winemakers, grape growers and estate owners. I am especially proud to represent Ca’ del Bosco in Franciacorta, a benchmark winery whose founder, Maurizio Zanella, pioneered Franciacorta’s potential for great wines.
My heart swells when I see these bottles proudly displayed in a restaurant like Mozza in Newport Beach, where a team of my fellow Americans- servers, sommeliers and bartenders- are teaching people about this beautiful and important part of Italy’s cultural landscape. I am so fortunate to be part of the team that such incredible Italian wine available to the US market.
Ca’ del Bosco is a special place, literally a “Ca’ del Bosc” or “house in a chestnut forest” purchased by Maurizio Zanella’s mother, Annamaria Clementi. Her son Maurizio was the visionary who could see the potential in this beautiful place- a potential for world-class sparkling wines, to rival those of Champagne.
Thanks to Maurizio Zanella’s enthusiasm and passion, Franciacorta’s terroir helped write a page in history for Italian sparkling wines. This was the birth of the great “Metodo Classico” wines of Franciacorta.
The perception we perpetually fight in the US is that all Italian sparkling wine is Prosecco. On the contrary, Prosecco is a separate and equally important piece of Italian viticultural history. However, the sparkling wines of Franciacorta have nothing to do with Prosecco. They are crafted with a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco. The bubbles are a product of a carefully coaxed secondary fermentation which occurs in the bottle, and is then riddled to life over a period of many months. This is not work for the faint-hearted.
I am always excited to tell the story of how Franciacorta came to be. It is a pleasure and responsibility to be able to teach people about this particular piece of Italian wine culture.
Ca’ del Bosco is an example of how one man’s vision can alter the course of history. This is what I love about wine in general- with a sip, anyone can participate in these rich traditions and histories too. Wine, like art, literature, and music, is endless- you can never know or experience it all, but I believe the pursuit of that understanding is what defines our humanity.