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PROGETTO VULCANO

The power
of the past

A job done with mind and heart

The unique geological composition of the area of Roncà, east of the city of Verona, originated in the remote past from a warm, life-filled ocean that at one point, some 50 million years ago, was torn open by 3 enormous volcanic eruptions, whose creative force eventually gifted us the distinctively-shaped mountains we know today as Duello, Calvarina, and Crocetta.

 

These nature-rich heights with their hearts of basalt and dressing of clay comprise the enchanting countryside lying at the foot of the Monti Lessini. In the distant past, the Cimbri were the first to settle here, their history blending in with and yielding to the Scaligers, as well as the Venetian Republic. Today, it is the meeting-point of the Verona and Vicenza area dialects.  

 

The history and farming traditions that imbue this landscape form the very DNA of the men and women of the Zambon family, and have forged their indissoluble link with this land over four generations of vignerons. Thus, the family embody today their own personal interpretation of their corner of earth, now personified by Federico through the Volcano project.

The Volcano Project
"A personal path through pragmatism and folly"

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The Volcano Project is the fruit of Federico’s dream to comprehend and interpret Roncà’s volcanically-derived surrounds as a geological unicum from which he can utilise and promote, using experimental practices in the vineyard and in winemaking, the one-of-a-kind qualities that this zone offers.

 

“I have always believed that the vigneron has the responsibility of expressing the qualities inherent in a terroir by respecting the diverse characteristics that compose its complex makeup, from the well-being of the soil to the optimal ripeness of the grapes, all the while paying careful attention to the microclimate of each individual parcel, and searching out and utilising the most innovative natural practices that will protect both the vines and terroir biodiversity.”

Just as a work of art transforms material into emotions, I want to do the same thing—pour into the glass my place of origin, my terroir, and all the power of the Volcano.”

Federico Zambon

THE ULTRABIUM
"The power of working in synergy with nature"

The overarching concept of our vineyard management practices is based on encouraging the vineyard to sustain itself, with the first element being soil vigour.

The vine’s root apparatus is advantaged, first of all, by reduced use of machines in the vineyard, while the sub-soil is enriched by practices that encourage growth of microflora and biodiversity both in the vineyards rows and in the larger surrounding environment.

Striving to reduce invasive species of plants and insects reflects many of the practices of biodynamics, although its full scope is broader than that system. 

Careful attention is paid to avant-garde natural approaches in agronomics, without, however, neglecting fundamentals that the traditional farmer culture has learned and passed down.

The grapes ripen slowly and gradually, and remain sound and healthy even while waiting for a relatively late harvest, thanks to the contribution by the traditional pergola veronese method of vine-training, which offers solid advantages even in the presence of climate change. It is effective against hotter temperatures, for example, since it shades the clusters, preventing sunburnt berries, and protects the soil from over-heating.     

The soils are helped, too, by green manuring, which has the twin contribution

of protecting and fertilising the soil. Combined with adding to the soil the grape skins and stems after pressing, this natural fertilisation allows a virtuous circular economy in both vineyard and winemaking.  

All these ideas and practices that we use can be summed up in one single concept, UltraBio.

Winemaking cellar
"Volcano in a wineglass"

The winemaking approach in the cellar literally follows hard upon what happens in the vineyard.

The first step takes place right there, since a few days before the harvest of fully-ripe grapes, the best grapes are selected to create the pied de cuve, or fermentation starter. 

A selection of the ambient natural yeasts is taken from the vineyard as well, to use in the fermentation, which optimally is started during the full moon. 

The pied de cuve is then brought into the cellar, where it reaches full operational activity, after which it can be used to inoculate the fermentation of the other grapes.

Full understanding of the prime ingredients, the yeast and the grapes, must be the fruit of continuous research, and the overall vinification processes must faithfully reflect the natural expression of the grapes, with no manipulation, additives, or forcing. In fact, one of our “cellar slogans” is that

of knowing chemistry so that we can avoid it.

Additives, whether natural or synthetic, are prohibited here, except for a small quantity of sulphur when the growing year requires it.

Study, expertise, and experimentation in winemaking practices all have the same goal, that of maximising the expression of the innate qualities of our grapes through vinification processes that help us to ensure that all our various wines fully express our extraordinary volcanic terroir.

The entire process is assisted by the use of technology--such as, for example, temperature control--, which has the role of helping us to avoid situations that might lead to defects in the wine, 

The practices of winemaking, on the other hand, are ours to use, which vary in accord with the types of grapes and wines we wish to obtain, so thus different processes and different modalities, including lengthy maturations, with continuous bâtonage, brief or protracted macerations, various containers, such as steel, concrete, and oak barrels.  

 

Work performed with the mind and with the heart, in order to convey to you all the exciting power of the Volcano in your wineglass.

"In my career as a vigneron I have always been guided by three components: instinct, rationality and madness. The more something seems unknown and misunderstood to me, the more it attracts me so I push myself further to discover it in its most hidden sides."

Federico Zambon

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