Around 40 years ago Italian winemaker Maurizio Zanella was living with his parents in Milan when his mother decided she wanted a rural weekend escape where she could grow her own vegetables and raise livestock. There just happened to be a couple of old vines on the property the family purchased about an hour from Milan in the province of Brescia near the shores of Lake Iseo.

Zanella, just 17 at the time, wasn’t terribly interested in winemaking, but he signed up for a school trip through the vineyards of France for a chance to escape the classroom and see Paris. While in Burgundy young Maurizio had an opportunity to taste some iconic Domaine de la Romanee-Conti wines that would ultimately change his life. Back in Italy the following year, Zanella’s mother Annamaria Clementi co-signed a loan for Maurizio to start his very own winery on the property in Brescia, Ca’ Del Bosco, which means “house in the woods”.

Today Ca’ Del Bosco’s Franciacorta Cuvee Annamaria Clementi is a lovely tribute to Maurizio’s mother. Lauded by critics as the very best wine available from Lombardy, a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot blanc grapes is expertly hand-selected and processed using a traditional Champagne-style method and bottle-aged for six years on their lees. The resulting semi-sweet sparkling wine is enticing in its complexity; unlike a straightforward Prosecco this is a sparkling wine to make you think. With an aroma of peaches, citrus, and dried fruit and a palate of Golden Delicious apples and bright citrus notes that is all at once creamy, fruit-forward, and beautifully refined. Grazie mille, Maurizio and Annamaria.

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