Shakespeare recounts in Romeo and Juliet the story of two warring Veronese families, whose children are unable to bridge the divide. At Cesari, however, three families are working very well together, and their successful work has resulted in many award-winning wines.
The Amarone, a strong, velvety-dry type of Valpolicella, is known and appreciated throughout the world today. It is made from dried grapes of the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara variety and it is said that it was created by accident in the 1930s, when the cellar master forgot about a barrel of Recioto (this is what the sweet version is called). As a result, it was able to fully ferment. The Cesari vineyard was founded in 1936, and is about as old as the Amarone. In the following 30 years, a busy export trade developed due to the hard work of Franco Cesari. Soon, the name Cesari became synonymous with “wine from Verona”; in the 1970s, the Cesari Amarone could be found in all continents. It can therefore be rightly claimed that the Amarone owes its victorious conquest of the world mostly to Cesari. The modern cellar in Cavaion Veronese, where the wines mature and are bottled, currently produces 1.6 million bottles, but this includes not only Amarone, but also other wines from Verona, ranging from the Bardolino and the Soave to the Valpolicella and various IGT grape variety plants. The company exports to 44 countries throughout the world. A second cellar in San Floriano is used to air-dry the grapes, the so-called “appassimento” process, which can take four to five months. There, the grapes are also pressed and vinified. Approximately a 100-hectare vineyard area is cultivated, including the four outstanding single vineyards Bosan, Bosco, Jèma and Centofilari.
The company is currently owned by three families. In addition to Franco Cesari, Rinaldo Corvi and Annibale Materossi determine the vineyard’s fate. The Corvis have held shares in the company for the past 30 years, and the Materossis joined the company 15 years ago. The secret of the successful model is the good, harmonious cooperation: all important decisions must be unanimous. “The group can function as a group precisely because of its individual parts,” says Franco Cesari, when explaining the community of three families. By the way, the workers are also considered part of the family. In 2007, an interesting incentive system was created, which promotes the commitment of the staff working in production toward safety, the environment, and quality. This way, everyone can share in the success.
It is quite understandable, therefore, that Cesari wines continue to win high and highest awards. At the MUNDUSvini International Wine Award, the 2004 Bosan Amarone della Valpoicella DOC won a gold medal. This single vineyard Amarone comes from a vineyard at a high elevation and matures for a long period of time in large oak barrels and in the bottle. Silver medals were awarded to both the 2006 Il Bosco Amarone della Valpolicella DOC – another single vineyard Amarone from the top segment of Gerardo Cesari – and the 2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC. A nice reward for three Amarone wines, that each expresses its terroir in a special way. The Bosan had previously received the “wine of the year” award for two consecutive years at the same competition. Another wine, the Jèma, a single-variety Veronese, whose grapes must dry for 20 days before they are pressed, was most recently referred to by a Brazilian wine magazine as the best international wine of the year.
Such quality can only be achieved with the help of motivated employees, who have made the quality claim their own, and with the best-kept vineyards. Gerardo Cesari holds two important certifications (BRC: Global Standards for Food Safety of the British Retail Consortium; and IFS: International Food Standard, developed by the National German Retail Association and the Fédération des Entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution), which is only one of many testimonies to the ambitious goal the three business families have set themselves. In the meantime, the company has also started setting sustainability objectives. It strives to consume as few resources as possible. Recycling, energy savings, and waste and water management are optimised wherever possible. As a result, Cesari became one of the first Italian vineyards to be certified according to the international environmental management standard ISO 14001. The vision: All Cesari wines should be produced through modern means, but with the necessary respect for tradition, and as sustainably as possible, at the customer’s full satisfaction.
The mentioned respect for tradition can also be experienced at Cesari even without visiting the modern cellar. Its product offering includes a series of great Amarone vintages from the past 25 years. Even today, it is possible to still enjoy 2000, 1998, 1997, 1995, 1993 and even 1990 vintages: a piece of preserved tradition, albeit in limited editions, because a natural product such as wine is always finite.
Gerardo Cesari S.p.a.
Loc. Sorsei 3
37010 Cavaion Veronese (VR)
Tel.: +39 (045) 626 - 0928
Fax: +39 (045) 626 - 8771