Documentary evidence dating back as far back as 1782 tells us “of a house with a cellar located in Lugana in the Sermione area known as the place of the Friars”. In 1939, Felice Dal Cero, son of Domenico, former wine grower in Montecchia di Crosara, moved to that house, immediately sensing the high viticultural potential of the area. In 1969, after 30 years of work in the vineyard and in the cellar, his son Pietro participated in the birth of the DOC by starting to bottle his first label of Lugana Casa dei Frati, later called Ca 'dei Frati.
In 2012 Pietro Dal Cero passed away leaving the cultural heritage to his wife Santa Rosa and his sons Igino, Gian Franco and Anna Maria who run the winery today. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but since then the Dal Cero family has transformed the Ca’ dei Frati property into one of the best known estates in Italian wine. Further expansion took place in 2008 and today there are over 160 hectares.
The estate grows a handful of different grape varieties but Turbiana is the most important. Vines are trained low, on single or double guyot and the company’s newer vineyards have a higher density of planting. Yields are well below the average for the zone. In Lugana, the Turbiana grape is grown on the glacial soils just to the south of Lake Garda. The warmer days give wines with more weight and intensity than those from 60 kilometres to the east. The cool nights, thanks to the moderating influence of Lake Garda, ensures the grapes retain nice aromas and acidity.