Apr 28, 2023

Villa Calicantus: Bardolino wine for passion

Villa Calicantus is one of the smallest winery of the Bardolino wine area: 8 hectares of vineyards surrounded by olives trees and small woods, on the top of high hills of the Bardolino Classico area, two km away from lake Garda (Verona). The winery works in organic since the beginning and in Biodynamic since 2014.

Villa Calicantus produce between 30.000 and 40.000 bottles per year, depending on the weather trend of the year. The traditional grape varieties of Verona, Corvina Rondinella and Molinara, are used to tell a story, as new as old as the Bardolino wine. In order to exalt at the best this incredible terroir, the owner of Villa Calicantus – Daniele Delaini – decided to work following a parcel selection: in this way every vineyard has its wine and every wine has its vineyard.

Organic since the beginning and in Biodynamic since 2014

Daniele Delaini, Villa Calicantus’s owner, explains how the choice of working in biodynamic took place: “The Villa Calicantus’s adventure started in 2011, when I decided to quit a not bad job in abank in Paris to dedicate myself completely to a small vineyard my aunt Teresa gave me some years before. At that time I didn’t have a lot of experience in wine: I only had tasted many different wines and read many books about it. So I didn’t know yet which kind of wine I’d have produced, how I’d have done it and above all where I’d have done it, because I didn’t have a winery at that time. But between all those uncertainties, I was sure of one thing: I’d have worked in organic! This choice was based on three simple reasons:

– because I’d have worked personally in the fields, so I didn’t want to be poisoned by any kindof chemical products;

– because, even if I didn’t know yet how my wine’d have been, I knew that I wanted it full of
life and healthy, made with the grapes and not with the miracles of chemic or enology;

– because I always liked the dream to be able to give a better world to the next generation and,
for those who really believe it, to “fight” in organic is also this.

For these simple reasons, since the first year of production (2011) I didn’t use any pesticides in the vineyards, if not copper and sulphur in small doses .

A year goes by, we are in winter 2012 and the bank seams a bizarre and far memory.I start to taste more and more biodynamic and natural (without soulfits) wines.

One day in Paris I take place at a vertical wine tasting of a winery that passed during the years from a chemical agriculture, to an organic and then biodynamic one. During the tasting I immediately felt the difference when we start to taste the wines produced in biodynamic. It was a revelation! In those wines I felt the vitality, the strength and the mineral taste of the soil in which the vines’ roots are. And I realized that the organic approach was no more enough, that I had to go beyond it. It was no more enough to say: “No chemistry”. I had to go deep in the comprehension of my land, starting from the soil and from the ongoing balances in my vineyards. And so in 2014 I decided to convert all my property to the biodynamic approach. Thanks to Biodynamic I think to be able to produce wines that are a true expression of a complex territory like the Bardolino Classico, enclosed between lake of Garda, the Alps and the Adige River”.

Villa Calicantus 2

A new/old idea of Bardolino Wine

For us a new idea of Bardolino is based on three elements: balance, love of Nature and respect of the “terroir”.

Balance – The final goal of all the tasks we conduct in the vineyards is to have every vine in balance with the soil in which it’s rooted, with the other vines and with the grapes it produces. For this reason we labour the soil between the rows, we let grow the grass until it flowers and we reduce the quantity of grapes on every vine, depending on the weather trend, on the age of the vine and on the kind of wine we produce with it.
Love for Nature – A wine maker is nowadays considered more as a businessman the as a farmer. We have instead to rediscover the beauty and the energy that comes from Mother Earth: it has to be respected and cultivated with good judgment and foresight. Who take care of the land have to safeguard its healthiness and its fertility for the next generations. For this reason our vineyards have been worked in organic since the first year of production, 2011. Thereafter we started to work in biodynamic in 2014, as a result of a new awareness of the necessity to complete the natural path started few years before. Respect of the “terroir” – The morainic soil of the Bardolino Classico area has peculiar characteristics to understand and to promote: this soil doesn’t permit to produce rich body and high alcohol wines, characteristics too often confused with a wine’s complexity. This is why our strictness is aimed to obtained wines in which elegance, finesse and complexity dialog each other to obtain a unique and authentic expression of the Bardolino wine and lake of Garda.

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More information

To learn more about organic wines and experiences at Villa Calicantus, visit the website or follow the on Facebook or Instagram.

Learn more about Great Wine Capitals Verona 

Courtesy of Villa Calicantus