“In the very beginning, I just meant to make a ‘good wine for my friends’, then my passion took over…”
It all started in 1996 when Paolo Radici, an entrepreneur from Bergamo, looking for a quiet retreat somewhere in the nearby hillside while still playing a key role in the family business, “Radici Partecipazioni”, came across an unexpected opportunity in Franciacorta.
At a stone’s throw from Erbusco, the old estate belonging to Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, one of the finest musical talents of the 20th century, was up for sale.
The building is situated on a hill overlooking a beautiful morainic amphiteatre: that is the vineyard kingdom, ten hectares, a unique cru. A persuasive image that rekindles his boyhood dream: to make wine and grow from being a fervent winelover to a real wineproducer.
Near the house, at the feet of the hill, Paolo radici built a traditional and environment-friendly cellar, focusing on the integration with the surroundings. The spacious underground cellar offer the best technological devices and guarantees the best conditions for vinification and fermentation, while the ground floor is devoted to offices and to cozy wine tasting rooms.
Paolo Radici is supported by a remarkable team of experts: Leonardo Valenti, helped on the local field by Pierluigi Donna, is both Agronomist and Oenologist for Ronco Calino, Lara Imberti is the Sales Manager while Alessandro Locatelli and Graziano Buffoli take care of vineyards and cellar.
The company philosophy is characterized by ongoing research for excellence. Several features foster this challenging aim: the variety of the soil in the vineyard, poor yet variegated; the exposure to north-west that delays the ripening of the grapes so that the harvest can occur in a cooler period; the dislocation of the vineyards which are a unique cru, offering evident productive and logistic benefits.
No compromises concerning the yield per hectare: the highest limit is fixed at 55 quintals of grapes. Work in the cellar is carried out respecting the specific organoleptic qualities of each single variety and technology, as absurd as it may sound, is conceived as a means to avoid excessive manipulation of the product itself rather than the contrary. Among the other things, the acidic freshness due to delayed ripening facilitates the correct biological evolution of the grapes and perfectly fits with the choice of converting to organic viticulture, completed in 2016.
The result is in the bottle. Thanks to their ageing period of at least twenty-four months on the lees, Ronco Calino Franciacorta are striking for their aromatic complexity; among the still wines, the red ones remarkably come out on top, in particular a Pinot nero of uncommon delicacy.
Nowadays, Ronco Calino produces 70 thousand bottles a year. Both the still wines and the Franciacorta release a subtle, complex and understated elegance reflecting somewhat the placid temperament of a man who produces without the pressure of time respecting the land, the vineyard and the most demanding wine-taster.