Crown Jewel: Ca’ del Bosco

Quest readers are known for their taste, so consider this a P.S.A. for those versed in attending—and hosting—events: Champagne has been usurped, and we don’t mean by Cava or Prosecco. Enter Franciacorta, which marries the harvest and the heritage of Northern Italy into a symphony of a sparkling. And among the 113 producers of Franciacorta, Ca’ del Bosco is king (or, well, re).

Ca’ del Bosco was established in concurrence with the introduction of Franiacorta in the 1960s, when Annamaria Clementi Zanella purchased a home in Erbusco, enticing her son, Maurizio Zanella (chairman of Ca’ del Bosco), to the creation of wine. The region was evolving, with producers (including Bellavista and Berlucchi) competing to innovate in the name of Franciacorta. In 1979, André Dubois (of Moët & Chandon) was invited to Ca’ del Bosco to offer his expertise as a producer of Champagne to Franciacorta. (His customs were so entrenched in France that he insisted on communicating in French.)

That said, Franciacorta differs from Champagne in a variety of ways, like geography, which results in a wine that’s less acidic and sweeter. Winemaker Stefano Capelli, who trained under Dubois, maintains, “The wine that we make is not a result of the method that we use, because wine belongs to those who produce it. For us, Champagne is just an alternative to Franciacorta.”

The winery at Ca’ del Bosco is, at once, an emblem of invention and an homage to tradition—a synthesis that capitalizes on a wealth of knowledge. (For example, the grapes are picked by hand, which enables them to be washed in bunches by a machine known as the “berry spa.”) Zanella attests, “Ca’ del Bosco has been the engine of the Franciacorta train. We are never satisfied, so we continue to pursue a higher quality.”

Ca’ del Bosco has defined itself as a brand with influence and provenance—an accomplishment, considering its 47 years of existence. Today, a bottle of Ca’ del Bosco is sold throughout Italy for more than a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Zanella explains, “For me, this was always the dream—something that was thought to be impossible. Now we have to do this in the United States.”

Quest believes that Ca’ del Bosco is primed to flourish in New York and beyond, with its Franciacorta boasting a crisp, honeyed taste and delicate bubbles. Ca’ del Bosco offers eight Franciacortas, including the Cuvée Prestige (with its golden packaging), as well as two white wines and four red wines.

Dom Pérignon said, of Champagne, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars.” But, had he been tasting Ca’ del Bosco, we believe he would have referenced the universe.