Thursday, May 19, 2011

Featured winery of the month: Castello di Roncade

Castello di Roncade is one of the most unique examples of living Renaissance architecture in Northern Italy, anchoring the town of Roncade, in the Veneto countryside between Treviso and Venice. The Giustinian family, original owners of the Castello, were important figures in the history of Venice, producing two Doges, many senators and even saints, as well as St. Lawrence Giustinian, the first Patriarch
of Venice. The Castello was designed as a working vineyard as well as country villa, and it has been continually in operation for over 500 years. The Castello sits on the ruins of a Tenth Century castle built by Emperor Ottone II.

The walls, towers and moat of the Castello were constructed in 1490 at the end of the Medieval Age, while the enclosed villa, built 20 years later, is representative of the early Renaissance. The stately villa was designed by renowned Venetian architect Mauro Coducci, who built the clock tower in the square of San Marco in Venice. The elegant lines of the Roncade villa were studied in the early 1500’s by a young architectural student named Andrea Palladio, who was clearly influenced by Coducci’s design.

The castle is entered by driving across a surrounding moat, through an iron gate set in a large portal between two round towers. With special permission one can still ascend the towers and stand on the battlement over the gate, where defenders would have once been prepared to confront an attacking force. Beyond the gate the grounds open into a beautiful courtyard dominated by four huge cedar of Lebanon and magnolia trees, which have stood for centuries. The statues in the courtyard represent Venetian soldiers, and date from the early 1800’s. The surrounding wall is anchored by four large towers, three of which have been restored as living quarters, offering comfortable lodging for guests of the Castello.
Our family, the Ciani Bassetti, has its roots in the agricultural nobility of Trento. We have remained closely tied to the historical traditions of the area, and the image of the Castello itself appears on all our wine labels.
The soil, or “terroir” in this area enhances the production of great wines, clay with a layer of ancient and rich “caranto” sediment a few
inches underground, resulting in varietals and perfumed whites, full bodied and aging reds.
The vineyards are located in Roncade, one is called “Pantiera” and is known for its vigorous vines, the other is close to the 1500’s barn
called “Teson”, which represents a wine culture rooted in the most authentic tradition.
The aim of our company is to produce only prestigious wines, as it did when Venetian Doges were the owners. We take care of the ancient maturation cellar and vineyards, keeping the noble origins of Castello di Roncade alive.

From the Roman age and Serenissima Republica to nowadays, our terroir, characterized by a particularly dry microclimate, scarce rainfall and a medium-textured clay soil with a layer of “caranto”, a calcareous stone residue 15 inches underground, favored the success of Roncade as an excellent wine area.
From the 1950s the family of Baron Ciani Bassetti has grown the vines of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec imported straight from Gironde, the heart of the Bordeaux wine region, giving birth to our famous blend Villa Giustinian, the flagship wine of Castello di Roncade.
Our vineyards are all within the Roncade municipal area, comprising a total growing area of over 120 acres. Wine production, aging and bottling occurs in the Castle, as it has since the 1500’s. The cellars of the Castle are home to 400 and 1100 gallon oak barrels, as well as French barriques and tonneaux, in which red wines gently age under
constant temperature and humidity.

The winery
The Bassetti family is rooted in Trento,with noble agricultural origins. We settled in Roncade at the beginning of the 1900’s, restoring the Castle and the Villa and planting new vineyards. Since then the
family has been dedicated to the care of the historic estate and the continued improvement and expansion of wine production. The current family in residence includes Baron Vincenzo Ciani Bassetti,
Baroness Ilaria, and their son Claudio Ciani Bassetti

The Wines
We have always put all our commitment into wine making. Our range has been growing decade after decade; the first was Villa Giustinian, the top of the line, joined later by varietal reds and whites and sparkling. We currently produce 13 types of bottled wine, each one

Villa Giustinian, a Bordeaux-inspired masterpiece.
Rosso IGT Veneto
Rosso dell’Arnasa - Merlot DOC Piave (100%)
Raboso dell’Arnasa - Raboso DOC Piave (100%)
Bianco dell’Arnasa - Chardonnay DOC Venezia
Merlot - DOC Piave
Cabernet - DOC Piave
Novello Pantierino - 100% Merlot
Pinot Grigio - DOC Venezia
Chardonnay - DOC Venezia
Patriarca - Pinot Noir spumante Extra-dry VSQ
Prosecco Brut - Spumante DOC Treviso
Prosecco Extra-Dry - Spumante DOC Treviso
Prosecco Frizzante - DOC Treviso (100% Glera)

Five elegant flats have been constructed in the ancient watchtowers. Here nothing is left to chance, care for the visitor plays the most important role. Each apartment is equipped with kitchen area, bathroom, heating and air conditioning and wireless internet connection, merging our love for tradition with modern hospitality. Castello di Roncade is the perfect base to explore the Veneto, with easy access to Venice, Treviso and the incredible alpine scenery of the Dolomites.

Business meetings and conventions find their ideal location in the large Castle rooms. Marriage ceremonies and casual events are often held under the arches of the loggia in the ancient walls, near the beautiful Castle courtyard. We welcome you to visit Castello di Roncade, whether for a tour of the grounds and the opportunity to buy some wine directly from the source, or as our guest for an extended stay in the castle.

Guided Tours and Wine Tasting Tour
The tour will introduce you to the history of Castello di Roncade, a walled Venetian Villa, walking through the fascinating world of Venetian nobility to wine production. The stroll in the vineyards and the visit to the wine making and ageing cellars will involve you in
the secrets of the nectar you will taste at the end of the tour.
_ Visit to the Vila and Private Chapel
_ Visit to the Vineyard
_ Visit to the wine making celar
_ Visit to the ageing celar and barels
_ Guided tasting , 5 wines of your choice

Castello di Roncade
Via Roma, 141 - 31056 Roncade -TV
T. +39/ (0)422 708736
F. +39/ (0)422 840964 <>

Luiz A. G. Alberto


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