The Dal Maso family’s recent foray into sparkling wine and the production of high quality traditional method Durella in the Lessini Durello DOC will ensure that we hear far more about this winery in the coming years.
Officially founded in 1919, the history of this family wine company starts on the rolling hills of Montebello Vicentino in the province of Vicenza. Towards the end of the 19th century Serafino Dal Maso, great-grandfather of the current custodians planted vineyards in what is now the Gambellara DOC, laying the foundations for four generations of dedicated wine production.
When Luigino Dal Maso took over in the late 1960s, the business started to make investments in new properties and land in Gambellara. Today there are eight hectares planted with the area’s important Garganega grape. In 1985 further vineyards in the Berici hills to the South West of Vicenza were added to the portfolio, an expansion which coincided with the first explorations of foreign markets.
Today Nicola, Anna and Silvia Dal Maso oversee operations. Nicola completed his wine studies at the San Michele all’Adige Technical Agricultural Institute in 1991 and joined his father in the cellar.
In 2002 the company invested in an upgrade again and started work on the construction of a round winery and tasting room to compliment the historic underground cellar. Shortly after, in 2003, the first vintage of a passito style Garganega went into small barrels known in Italian as Caratelli for a long maturation. It would finally be released in 2014.
2004 saw the release of the first vintage of Colpizzarda, a wine that confirmed the family’s belief in the Tai Rosso as a variety of extraordinary potential in the undulating Berici hills. Although production would remain low, vineyards in the Lonigo and Alonte areas of the DOC produce outstanding wines. Dal Maso’s seventeen hectares focus on Tai Rosso but also on Cabernet and Merlot, both of which have long standing histories in the area. The rocky limestone has evolved into skeleton-rich red clay soils, which give structure to the wines, while volcanic soils enhance the aroma and flavours.
The most recent initiative has seen the release of a highly rated Lessini Durello. In a small vineyard plot of about five hectares located in Monte Calvarina, the high acid Durella grape grown in the local volcanic soils provides the basis for a range of sparkling wines that offer freshness, minerality and subtle fruit notes. In just a few short years since the first vintage in 2015, Dal Maso’s traditional method Lessini Durello DOC has become one of the key references for the appellation.