- and focus on their vineyards to raise quality even further
Cavit are quietly, confidently and consistently producing wines of great quality. For a winery of their size and capabilities, they’re remarkably unshowy.
That’s one reason why you may not have heard much about their mapping project, an incredible feat, one that’s taken them several years to perfect, and has been responsible for much of their success.
So what’s it all about?
If you’ve had the good fortune to visit Trentino, you’ll know a little about the fantastic landscape that takes in a full spectrum of terrain, from the shores of Lake Garda, through the gentle plains of the Adige Valley and the imposing Dolomites. This is a large region with complex eco-systems, and altitudes ranging from 80m to 800m. The Cavit team and their 5,300 growers manage an astonishing 6,200 hectares of vineyard.
The thing is that Cavit really do care, a lot, about quality. They realised some time ago that in order to produce the best possible wines from this varied territory, they needed to build in-depth knowledge of each part of it – from village-level down to each individual plot.
There is more than one Trentino!
A ‘one size fits all’ policy wasn’t going to work. In order for their growers and viticultural team to employ the best methods to produce optimal quality grapes, and for the winemaking team to craft the best possible wines, they needed to get their hands dirty!
That’s where PICA* comes in (probably best that we stick to the abbreviation) – the result of several years of research, PICA is a software tool, the first of its kind, and exclusive to Cavit.
*Piattaforma Integrata Cartografica Agriviticola – meaning Integrated Agricultural mapping platform
Super-charged 3D mapping!
PICA holds incredibly detailed information about each plot, such as soil types, slope gradient, amount of sun exposure, altitude, age of vines, training system employed, grape variety grown etc etc – combined with historic and current solar radiation and weather information. PICA is a great communication tool across the whole Cavit team. It works on hand held-devices (tablets, mobile phones) so the viticultural team and growers themselves can update data and access real-time advice in the vineyard.
This incredible tool has mapped 60% of the Trentino region is glorious detail.
All of this combined data means that they know which grapes will perform best at each site, and which sites have the most potential, not only for their most premium wines, but for the best quality for each varietal at each style and price-point.
As it can also predict optimum maturation for each variety, at each site, it can also tell the growers when to harvest.
Andrea Nicolini, export director at Cavit, took some time out at our latest Portfolio tastings to explain how it works, and has helped to improve quality – using these two wines as examples:
Brusafer Pinot Nero Superiore – an exceptional Pinot Noir produced in tiny quantities from Cavit’s very best vineyards. Bright berry and redcurrant fruit with herbal notes and fine tannins.
Terrazze della Luna Marzemino – a variety indigenous to Trentino and perfect for those looking for lighter, juicier reds. Fresh and elegant with bright sour cherry fruit.
Listen to what Andrea had to say – click here.
So it’s about quality, but not just about quality…
In order to minimise the environmental impact of any treatments and water waste in the vineyards it sends text messages and emails to the growers directing irrigation and treatments only where and when needed, depending on the weather conditions and terrain.
Cavit invested time and resource to develop this fantastic tool which, combined with the important winemaking traditions of Trentino, the skills of the winemaking team and knowledge of their growers, has allowed them to manage production across their many and varied vineyard sites…
Consistently improving quality, selecting the best sites for each variety, at each price level – whilst working with the maximum respect for the environment, and in the process protecting Cavit’s greatest asset, their vineyards.
Louis Thomas of The Drinks Business caught up with Andrea at this year’s Vinitaly too – to read his article about PICA click here