The name Cambrago relates to a wine estate located near the hilltop town of Colognola ai Colli, east of the city of Verona in the Classico zone for the production of Soave. The estate was already famous for its wines in the 12th century, and, besides Soave, includes the associated regions of Valpolicella, Bianco di Custoza and Bardolino. Like its neighbor Valpolicella, Soave became an important Veronese white wine over the centuries, and like Valpolicella went through a transitional slump with mass-produced wines a generation ago. Now Soave is benefiting from a new group of estates that are working hard to restore its traditional reputation, and Cambrago intends to be in the forefront of that group.
The estate was officially incorporated in 1887 under the direction of the Bruno family. Today it is managed in a partnership with Emanuela Facco and Cesare Sambugaro, and the vineyards now stand at 35 acres. Many of the best vineyards are in the hilly Colognola ai Colli area, and represent the ultimate potential for Soave. Yields are deliberately restricted, through severe pruning and from a rigorous green harvest, and the Soave is now 100% Garganega, the local variety – the lesser Trebbiano di Soave has been eliminated. Cambrago honors its long heritage with a series of wines called “Vigne Maiores,” referring to wines mentioned in an official document dating back to 1193. The Bianco di Custoza, produced closer to Lake Garda, has 15% of a local variety, Bianca Fernanda, along with 15% Chardonnay; the reds Valpolicella and Bardolino follow the traditional Veronese blend of Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. Cabernet del Garda D.O.C. and Merlot del Garda D.O.C. round out the range of quality red wines.
There is also a select portion of Soave sold as “I Cerceni,” which are grown on predominantly volcanic soil immediately around the town of Soave itself: the Recioto di Soave (obtained by drying the grapes after the harvest, resulting in a sweet wine – the pride of the estate), Soave Classico (from the central and best part of the region), Soave Superiore Classico D.O.C.G (which benefits from three months in barrique, and some bottle age prior to release), Brut di Soave (a sparkling wine), and a premium blend of Bordeaux varieties, the Rosso del Veronese IGT. This last wine combines the best of both worlds: the typical Veronese spice of Corvina, with the smooth, luxurious fruit of Merlot (70%) and Cabernet (20%). It is barrique aged for a year and released about six months later, but improves brilliantly with some bottle age.