I use to write about small excellence but also large companies. I like to find small producers, the little-known wines with enormous potential but I never forget those which have made the history, the big companies that have carried the name of their country around the world, those which have recovered native varieties and without which the small ones could not exist in many cases. (read something here)
And I know to raise quite a mess proposing a long-standing topic of discussion: can the great companies, the ones which produce million(s) of bottles, to produce a great wine? Lots of experts wonder how does big wineries handle the control over their own land and on every single bottle?
Once, during one of my tours, a well-known character of the wine world whispered to me, “Piero Antinori will probably need the GPS to go around his estates” but there are no rare examples of big names (with large numbers) known for the quality of their products, is that possible?
Last but not least the renowned company of Franciacorta wine area (in Lombardia, north of Italy) “Ca ‘del Bosco”. It has been a protagonist of one of the challenges of “The Apprentice” talent show where a famous business man (the italian F. Briatore) was looking for a potential collaborator. Ca’ del Bosco is shown with all its charm from the gate that introduce yourself in a fairytale kept.
There are art works in the garden and a Japanese garden where you can really feel in another dimension. Then, entering the gate, an interactive map welcome you allowing – without GPS! – to identify the areas of production by clicking a button that light the different areas. (see pic)
And the tour can only start from here with the hospitality manager, very professional and welcoming. The tour continues smoothly as the route is actually driven by signs on the path (see pic below): you cannot miss it. And so on going through the production, refining, secondary fermentation areas, with all the attention that a company like that puts in the smallest details: see for example the color change lights as you move from top to bottom and temperature level changes according to the needs … of … it, his majesty … the “wine”, the protagonist of my stories, our evenings and our events since Bacchus’ time!
But I have not forgotten to answer the question suggested by the title and then, instead of individually reviewing the good wines of the company (there are great sommelier who have done it in every detail), I like to do a couple of examples to answer the question. Large numbers also means more investments that will (probably) help the fateful control. Ca’ del Bosco renowned company of Italian bubbles of Franciacorta (one of the most important italian areas of production for sparkling wine – read more about franciacorta here) is keen to stress that our regulation is undoubtedly more rigid than that of Champagne (critics, sauced). From their vineyards they produce sparkling wines but also white and red wines but the most of the production is dedicated to their flagship: “Cuvée Prestige”, their so-called “basic” franciacorta (75% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir 15%) in an elegant bottle.
Well, they are the ones with the largest vat in Franciacorta (about 3000 Hl) used just for the Cuvée Prestige; the calculation is simple with 2 rounds they produce the entire quantity of the product and this allows not to have differences of production in individual bottles (the ones we would have producing the wines in several different vat or barrels and so on). They also tell me to be among the few wineries which have a machine for washing the grapes.
There is another forethought, Ca’ del Bosco is one of the few companies that produces magnum bottles from the outset. I mean, the second fermentation takes place already in the 1.5-liter bottle (the Magnum which is the double the classic bottle of 0.75).
Stay tunned and I will review their top wine soon!