Cescon wines from Piave
The Piave area is dotted with companies that have always produced simple, straightforward wines, and that today have thrown themselves headlong into the Prosecco business. But the area also hides several gems, such as the Cescon family winery. Domenico, Gloria and Graziella Cescon have chosen a different path, which involves the vineyard expansion, the adoption of organic practice, the enhancement of vineyards through the choice of vines that are best suited to the soil conditions. In short, research and precision work that has led to increasingly high quality results. “Our father founded the company in 1957,” Domenico tells us, “and from the very beginning he said it was imperative not to sell bulk wine but to bottle the entire production. He was a pioneer here in this area, where winegrowing meant mostly large quantities”. The few vineyards along the course of the Piave have now grown to around 272 acres, 40 of which were converted to organic farming in 2009: “another pretty good challenge, given that in some areas of our territory humidity sometimes stagnates and organic farming becomes difficult. We didn’t lose heart: we put together a great team and strict protocols, and today we are very satisfied with the results and with the fact that once again we have been pioneers”.
Native grape varieties
In addition to the classic international grape varieties traditionally grown in the area, Cescon also relies heavily on native grape varieties: Raboso and Manzoni Bianco. “The former has always been grown here, while the latter was our father Italo’s bet, who decided to plant some vineyards in the 1980s”. It was a safe bet, considering that the Madre, a pure Manzoni Bianco and winery’s flagship label, was awarded its fifth Tre Bicchieri with the 2019 vintage. “Special attention is paid to the production of this wine,” Domenico reveals, “first of all, a meticulous care of the vineyard is required: the pruning and the determination of buds and shoots, the maximum quantity of fruit, the grape ripening, the thinning and so on”. Then the whole bunches are crushed and only the free-run must is used, long fermentation (about thirty days), aging in steel tanks, a short period in tonneaux and then in concrete, bottling without filtration. The bottle aging does the rest. The result is a white of extreme elegance. The 2019 vintage, awarded the Tre Bicchieri in the Vini d’Italia 2022 guide, puts in a performance to be remembered. The light veil claims the absence of filtration, intense on the nose, exotic, citrusy and fresh flowers, while on the palate is explosive, rich and perfectly supported by the acidic backbone that lengthens the sip.
And how did things go with the pandemic?
“When the Covid-19 pandemic started, our world crumbled; we don’t sell to large-scale distribution, but only to restaurants and wine shops, and with their shutdown sales were sharply slowed down. It was a terrible few months, but slowly things settled down. We reinvented ourselves with the distribution, including online sale, and we regained confidence. Abroad, there were also countries that slowed down sales, but by 2021 we had recovered well almost everywhere. We are present in 38 markets, the main ones being the USA, Canada, Australia, Russia and, obviously, all of Europe. Thanks to the Gambero Rosso events, we also established three years ago a new partnership with China. We are satisfied: the Cescon name is traveling the globe”.