CUSTOZA, BARDOLINO E CHIARETTO DEL LAGO DI GARDA
ORGANIC AS LIFESTYLE
The passion for the vineyard and its fruits have been a real turning point for Massimo Ronca, who has made the winemaker’s profession his reason for living
Since the winery was founded, the idea, to which all people working in the company follow, is to produce grapes and wines reflecting and respecting the beautiful territory we are part of and in which we live in. The starting point was the most obvious, but often overlooked: the vineyard.
After arranging the pergola plots of the ’70s, others have been created with guyot. From the beginning the classic chemical weeding was abandoned in favor of a less impacting mechanical weeding. In 2013 the experiment began without the use of insecticides against the most harmful insect of the vine, the tignoletta. Given the enormous success, the use of chemical pesticides has been eliminated.
At the same time we also worked to improve performance in terms of pollutant emissions in the cellar. In 2012 a photovoltaic system for the production of electricity was completed, allowing us to save about 30t of CO2 emitted per year. The energy of the sun is also used for the production of hot water, which covers about 85% of the needs of the cellar.
In 2015, the evolution of this process aimed at minimizing chemical products and a higher environmental respect, the company converted from conventional to organic farming.
The hills where our cellar stands have a thousand-year history.
The moraines of the Lake welcome the vine from the end of the Pleistocene, a geological era between 126 thousand and 11,600 years ago, characterized by repeated glaciations. During this period, the area that today is occupied by the Benaco, the original name of Lake Garda, was covered by the southern extremities of the ancient Atesino glacier.
The erosive process induced by the glacier caused on one hand the birth of Lake Garda, and on the other the formation of the morainic hills on which today the vineyards lay. These hills have an altitude between 50 and 350 m s.l.m. and the slopes are strongly inclined, ranging from 6 to 20%. The plains that lie between a moraine and the other, were the site of ancient marshes. The landscape is therefore very discontinuous and fascinating. Equally variable are the soil and subsoil that pass, within a few meters, from gravely/stony to clayey and compact.
Another factor that strongly characterizes the terroir is the climate. The currents coming from the lake, mitigating the temperatures, create a microclimate which tends to be atypical Mediterranean for an area of northern Italy. Thanks to these climatic characteristics, the Garda area becomes particularly suited for the cultivation of wine vines and olive trees.
With this background information in mind we can now look at the composition of the two most important Denominations of the area: the DOC Custoza and the DOC Bardolino. For the exact composition of the disciplinary specifications, you will find the official Custoza one here, and the Bardolino one here-
Both use grapes that are a collection of several varieties that may have very different maturation periods, from early to late.
With Custoza the varieties that make up our wine are Tocai Friulano (early), Riesling (normal / early), Trebbiano (normal / late) and Garganega (late); for Bardolino the specifications call for the assembly of Corvina and Rondinella, which have similar maturation periods.
In our 20 hectare vineyard there are therefore different varieties of grapes, which have different needs depending on the specific type of grape and/or soil.
When the passion overcomes what it takes to grow vines.
The history of the Ronca winery is not the traditional story of land handed down from father to son for generations, but it is nevertheless linked to what it takes to grow vines: the land.
In 1946 the founder of the family, Ulderico Ronca, left to his wife and children a plot of land in the province of Verona. Ten years later, Walter Ronca and his brothers sold this plot of land to obtain the necessary funds to start an industrial activity that developed and flourished over time.
In 1976, when they returned from industrial investments, the Ronca brothers decided to buy land in another area of the province of Verona, in Sommacampagna, where the winery stands today. They dedicated the newly established farm to their father, who with this entrusted land made the start of their business possible. The Nonno Ulderico farm was born, which produced both grapes and fruit.
In 2000, Massimo (Walter’s son) who had worked in the family business before, discovered his love for the countryside, for the outdoors and a life closer to the rhythms of nature. He had ambitious projects for the farm. He took over the company from his uncles and with his father, Walter, dedicated himself to the organization of the company according to the most modern viticulture. Some vineyards were renewed and new vines were planted to increase the production area to reach the current size of 20 hectares of vineyards.
The big step was finally made in 2005: the construction of the winery. Built almost completely underground it keeps the temperature of the wine constant while not having a negative impact on the environment. It is also equipped with all the necessary technology and remains extremely functional.
The 2006 vintage was the first time we saw the Ronca brand on the market making all the sacrifices worth it.
All started from a piece of land.