Bardolino, Verona, Italy
A young family’s return to – and belief in – the authentic winemaking of Bardolino
Villa Calicantus is one of the smallest wineries of Bardolino: 8 hectares of vineyards, biodynamically farmed, surrounded by olive trees and small woods, on the top of the high hills of the Bardolino Classico area, two kilometres away from Lake Garda. But it is – above all – a family’s project to revive the distinct and age-worthy wines of Bardolino.
Location: Calmasino di Bardolino, Verona, Italy
Working with us since: 2020
Total area under vine: 8 hectares
Viticultural Standards: Biodynamic (non-certified)
Interesting fact: When Daniele inherited the small estate that would become his home and winery from his aunt he decided to name it after her favourite plant, the Calicantus – a flowering tree that produces impressive and fragrant large blossoms. It is Daniele’s way of paying homage to a family legacy that evolved in a peculiar way: once the biggest Bardolino producers, the Delaini family is now the smallest!
Villa Calicantus Wines
In the past decades the wines of Bardolino – once renowned for their fine character and ageing potential – lost their reputation of yore as producers shifted to the production of cheaper young-drinking wines so as to compete for market placements with their Valpolicella counterparts. That was true for the Delaini family, once the biggest Bardolino producers.
For many years Daniele Delaini distanced himself from the family’s winemaking legacy and went on to work in IT and banking abroad. But his true yearning was clear: to produce wines, in Bardolino, that would reflect the region’s true potential and character. When he inherited Villa Calicantus, he felt that, more than an opportunity, he had been handed a mission.
Much more than a winery, Villa Calicantus is the dream of a young family and the story of their passion, respect and love for Bardolino. Daniele Delaini, his wife and daughters, dedicate their life to their small estate, to demonstrate that it is possible to produce a “vin de garde” respectful of all the characteristics of the Bardolino DOC, using only the traditional varieties of Verona. They have revived the old winemaking traditions and the classical age-worthiness of the best Bardolino’s, without making compromises in a context that has eroded the perception of Bardolino wine in the past decades.
The morainic soils of the Bardolino Classico area has peculiar characteristics that Daniele has studied in depth in order to understand and promote the best expression of the terroir and of the local grapes. The way he farms and works in the cellar are tools to produce wines in which elegance, finesse and complexity come into balance, for a unique and authentic expression of Bardolino and of the landscape of Lake Garda. He uses the traditional grape varieties of Verona – Corvina Rondinella and Molinara – to tell a story of both tradition and innovation.