The Dal Cero family has been producing wine for more than three generations, painstakingly carrying out every single step of the process, from caring for the vineyard through to bottling the wine. Winery founder Augusto Dal Cero displayed a deep-seated respect for local winemaking traditions, a mission his sons Dario and Giuseppe have continued after their charismatic father’s untimely death.
The Dal Cero estate consists of Tenuta Montecchiesi in Tuscany and Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe in Veneto.
The Tenuta Montecchiesi, covering 28 hectares in the village of Manzano, was the ancient estate of Contea del Cardinale Passarini. The cellar was recently re-structured. Although its traditional rural architecture remains unchanged, it houses the most advanced winemaking technology. A great hall, completely underground and climate-controlled, holds the barriques and tonneaux.
Tenuta di Corte Giaccobe is sitiated on the slopes of the Lessini mountains, just a few kilometres from the town of Soave. On their 40 hectares of estate vineyards, they lavish special attention on the Garganega grape.
There are two extinct volcanoes on the estate, Calvarina and Crocetta. The site of Runcata, the winery’s finest vineyard, is extraordinary, since it lies right on the crest that divides these two volcanoes and is actually sited directly on top of a very ancient stratovolcano. The soils are mostly weathered clays and volcanic-origin lava and tufa. They are rich in micro-nutritive elements that exercise a unique influence on the mineral compounds and other components in the grapes themselves, contributing significantly to the wines’ aromatic and mineral qualities.
Yields are kept very low, thanks to the age of the vineyards and to quality-selection of the clusters that is extremely rigorous. Painstaking attention is given to the temperatures during fermentation, whilst an old winemaking practice has also been revived: Hand-picked grape clusters are allowed to ‘rest’ for a period of time, which encourages the breakdown of certain aromatic molecules and consequent formation of a high-quality, unusual must that boasts great concentration and complex aromatics.