The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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Page 73 of 124

{ }  73 THERE WAS ONCE A HOUSE in a forest of chestnut trees in north- eastern Italy. The locals called it "ca' del bosc"—the house in the woods. Today, thanks to the efforts of Maurizio Zanella, whose mother planted the first vines on the property in Ebrusco, midway between Brescia and Bergamo, Ca' del Bosco is one of the most respected win- eries in Italy. In early May, The Somm Journal had a chance to encounter Zanella and rediscover his wines at a leisurely lunch at Spago Beverly Hills. Zanella, a dapper, energetic man with trademark black horn- rimmed glasses and a ready smile, greeted guests, many of them old friends, in well-practiced English (and, occasionally, Italian) with a perfectly chilled glass of the Ca' del Bosco 2009 Vintage Collection Brut, a full-bodied sparkler with leesy depth and a whiff of wood smoke. As the wine that Zanella feels best expresses both the terroir of Franciacorta and the vintage, it was the perfect introduc - tion to the Ca' del Bosco experience. "In the New World, people talk about the varietal," Zanella explained. "In the Old World, we talk about where the wines come from." Located in Lombardy, Franciacorta—from the Latin franchae curtes, a region exempt from paying tribute in the Middle Ages—was made a DOC in 1967 and elevated to DOCG status in 1995. Ca' del Bosco was founded in 1968, but it was the young Zanella—inspired by a trip to Champagne— who was determined to make the best metodo classico sparkling wines in Italy. By all accounts, he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Throughout the journey, he Bubbling Over Bubbling with Maurizio Zanella, longtime champion of Italy's Franciacorta region, presents his Ca' del Bosco wines at Spago Beverly Hills. The Ca' del Bosco 2009 Vintage Collection Brut— a perfect introduction to the Ca' del Bosco experience. Maurizio Zanella (left center) toasts guests in Beverly Hills. WE GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH MAURIZIO ZANELLA AT A CA' DEL BOSCO LUNCHEON IN BEVERLY HILLS by David Gadd / photos by Cal Bingham ENTHUSIASM { personalities }

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