Making wine in Cantrina
Since the beginning of our story, we have always aimed to make the highest quality wine with full respect of the environment and the territory where we operate.
All agronomic choices (variety, plant density, breeding form, vineyard management, production load) and enological (harvest, fermentation and aging management, wine setting) have always been made in order to faithfully reflect the soil originality, which is where the roots of our vineyards lie.
From 1999 - Cantrina's foundation year - we have been trying to reduce our environmental impact. Year by year, the vineyards have been covered by spontaneous herbs and we have been cutting on pesticides, chemical fertilizers and wine additives.
This is why in 2014 we simply and naturally adhered to the organic wine production protocols, which allowed us to start the first organic harvest in 2017.
Pruning, green management, thinning are carried out manually, and if necessary, we proceed with local fertilizations with on-site manure.
In our winery we have always had an ethical approach, thus avoiding intrusive enological practice; we managed to halve the use of sulphites compared to legal limits and to use natural products for clarification only.
Our red wines ferment with indigenous yeasts and they are bottled without filtration and often without clarification. In this sustainability project, we also pay attention to packaging: local suppliers, recycled or recyclable paper, avoiding bottle weight or oversized caps are just some of our tricks to reduce the impact on the environment..
Our future goal is to keep on growing and searching for a naturalness concept to be applied to our lively, true and local wines.
An open-minded “exercise de style"
Cristina Inganni's philosophy: wines enclose the nature of the territory of origin and the personality of its people. This was the starting point to give our wines a creative and consequently unique footprint, thanks to my artistic background too. Our beautiful Valtènesi territory dominates the scene. It overlooks Lake Garda, whose soils are extremely diversified and where glaciers and the river have been shaping the landscape for thousands of years.
Cantrina is a tiny rural village in Valtènesi located in the municipality of Bedizzole, in the Brescia hinterland of Lake Garda in Lombardy.
“When, at the beginning of the 1990s, I created the estate that I run today together with Diego Lavo, I decided to give it the name of our little village, Cantrina. The Estate is small and completely family-run. In all we cultivate just under 8 hectares of land, split up between three different sites. We have planted 45,000 vines, initially concentrating mainly on international varieties, although we are now “rediscovering” some local vines as well. Following out first (somewhat experimental) bottles in the 1990s, the wines began to take on a distinctive style with the 2000 vintage.
Our goal is to express in our wines the unique characteristics that our small plots of land confer on the various types of grapes that we grow. We like to interpret our work in the vineyard and in the winery as an open-minded “exercise de style”, that is to say free from preconceived ideas or conditioning of any sort, but with maximum respect for the singular characteristic the nature bestows on the fruits of our vines. Our wines convey the character of their terroir and of the people who make them, based on these elements and on my past experience in the sphere of the arts, I have sought to give our wines a very creative-and consequently unique-imprint.
The dominant factor in our wines is our splendid territory, with its extremely varied soils in which the glaciers and the river have left an obvious trace of their movements over the course of thousands of years. We have soils of medium texture and with a high clay content, which yield wines of considerable structure but also notable freshness, two characteristics that guarantee the remarkable longevity of our products”.
The Valtènesi constitutes the last outpost of the Mediterranean in the heart of northern Europe. This area displays, in fact, a unique local climate, one conditioned by Italy’s largest lake, and the northernmost area where the olive tree, capers, and citrus trees still grow and flourish. Optimal viticultural conditions are historically the result of the local soils as well; although derived from different geological formations, they are predominantly from alluvial and morainic deposits, lying atop largely limestone soils.
The DOC designation Valtènesi won official approval in 2011; it had an important objective: to give its wines the name of the growing area that yielded them.
This was, yes, a new development, but at the same time a viticultural development vaunting a rich tradition boasting already-historical denominations: Garda Classico, Benaco Bresciano IGT,… and others small DOC, all of them expressions and interpretations of a winegrowing area with few peers.
Groppello is the viticultural jewel of the Valtènesi. So-named because its close-packed berries can resemble clumps or knots (groppi), it is a delicate grape with noble characteristics. It is also quite rare, since its vineyards number a scarce 400 hectares, grown right here on the Brescia side of Lago di Garda. Only here, rooted in its chosen terroir, is this grape capable of developing to the fullest its distinctive characteristics of elegance and cellarability. Two sub-varieties of groppello are cultivated, gentile and mocasina, both acclimatised to this area’s individual soil and weather conditions. Both make Groppello wine the very soul of the Valtènesi DOC.