Sommelier sessions with Simone Cecchetto

12 Oct 2015
3 min read
As an expert oenologist and owner of the Ca’ di Rajo winery in San Polo di Piave, in the Province of Treviso, Italy, Simone Cecchetto produces both still and sparkling wines and some even through the ancient “Bellussera” method of planting vines. Set deep within the valley of the beautiful Piave area, this sommelier knows a thing or two about fine Venetian wine and how to enjoy it…

Where did you grow up?

Well, I grew up in Rai di San Polo di Piave just few kilometers from Valdobbiadene and Treviso. A wonderful countryside place where winemaking tradition meets history. Few meters from our winery you can see the rests of a Roman Tower “Torre di Rai” and a XVI a.c. century church belonging today to our family. This context surrounded by the ancient Bellussera vineyards makes an unforgettable and unique experience for those who visit our winery.

What did you aspire to be when you grew up?

Me and my brothers grew up in a long tradition winegrowers family. My grandfather Marino who is currently a tireless and passionate worker with his 86 years old thought me that the value of the land is not only about money, it is rather about taking along a “secret”. That is when I understood something precious belonged to me and I realized I had to keep that secret and take into a new dimension respectfully.

How did you find your way to wine and spirits?

That was very easy! As I told you I grew up in a winegrowers family and in a region where wine culture is deepened in people. I just felt I wanted to carry on with my family tradition and identity. Alea Iacta Est!

Tell us a bit about being Chief winemaker forCa’ di Rajo winery?

Sometimes I’d like to say it is a boring activity. I am obviously joking! It is not boring at all, on the contrary I must say it is quite committing. Other than Prosecco and Raboso grapes we grow several traditional and “experimental” grapes. Last born wine is “Manzoni Rosè Spumante Extra Dry” a fine and seducing rosé sparkling 100% made from high quality Manzoni Rosa grapes. I think that quality and innovation represent the ticket to take you into the future and can help you not to get bored at the same time.

Can you tell us a bit about the ancient”Bellussera”method of planting vines that you use at the winery? And how you think this affects the overall taste of the wine?

Bellussera is a winegrowing system invented at the end of XIX century A.C. from Bellussi Brothers in a small village named “Tezze di Piave” just 5 km far from our winery. This system became quickly diffused not only all over the Piave area but also in other italian and foreign regions because of the winegrowing advantages it represented. The high upkeeping costs make this system is not popular among the producers today, and it is everyday harder to see it around. In my mind Bellussera is a symbol of our history and culture to be preserved. This is why we partially still grow up our wines this way. Moreover it is impressing to see and our visitors love it.

What makes the new roseversion of your Venetian wine so special?

The famous Luigi Manzoni, the most famous principal of the prestigious “Scuola Enologica di Conegliano“ experimented Manzoni Rosa Grape, a winning cross from Trebbiano Toscano and Traminer, a local grape from Treviso area. Ca’ di Rajo new “Manzoni Rosa Spumante” is a great expression of this grape. The flavor is rich and fine at the same time with hints of small berries, peach and grapefruit while the smooth and creamy bubbles complete a round and well balanced taste. Definitely a seducing wine suitable for any occasion.

What are your FOUR indispensable wine collection favourites?

  • Prosecco Superiore DOCG Valdobbiadene Millesimato “Cuvée del Fondatore”
  • Raboso “sangue del Diavolo”
  • Marinò
  • Manzoni Rosa Spumante

What is another of your favourite tipple?

I would go for Scotch Whisky

Do you cook at all? What kinds of things do you like cooking at home on your days off?

I am a real master in cooking “Radicio e fasioi”, a beans soup with Radicchio di Treviso. A typical recipe made with local fresh products. Easy and tasty!

Find out more about the Ca’di Rajo winery and Simone Cecchetto here…