The secret of the success of the Ca' dei Frati property is the Dal Cero family's outstanding vineyards. 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 100 hectares.
Their investment in their model winery has meant that the increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality, and today they are undoubtedly the best producer in Lugana. The first reference to Ca' dei Frati, is a censor dating from 1782 which refers to today's winery as 'il luogo dei frati' or house of the monks. In 1939, Domenico Dal Cero and his son, Felice, moved from more general farming activities in Montecchia di Crosara in Verona to Sirmione, where they started to cultivate vines. Thirty years later, Pietro Dal Cero produced and bottled the entire production under the name Ca' dei Frati and now his children run the estate and make the wines. At Ca' dei Frati, the vines are trained low, newer vineyards have a higher density of planting, and yields are well below the average for the zone. The quality of the fruit is accentuated in the modern winery, where Igino Dal Cero is not afraid to lose simple, primary perfumes if he gains weight, texture and complexity on the palate by allowing some of the vats to go through malolactic fermentation.
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