A Visit to Cavit

Pinot Grigio and beyond -- way, way beyond!

 


Yes, that Cavit. And what the hell am I doing writing about Cavit, you might ask? Well, the truth is, being a Trentino boy, there’s some hometown pride involved here, as well as a bit of honest-to-goodness wine curiosity. Why should anyone be curious about Cavit? Good question thanks, let me answer that.

Simply put, Cavit is, has been, and will remain a very important player in the wine scene in Trentino, whose very fine higher-end wines helped pave the way for some smaller producers' wares and continue to help define the style and possibilities of Trentino wine. If you have any doubt about the role Cavit has played here, just take a walk through its bottle museum and consider some of the relics, like the 1969 4 Vicariati Reserva -- certainly, along with Mori Vecio, one of the top wines of its day. Interestingly, they were both Bordeaux blends, varieties that have a long history in the region, but I digress.

We all know Cavit. It makes Pinot Grigio, right? Yes, but that’s not the whole story, and the whole story is more interesting than you think -- which can also be said about the wines, once you find them, and give them a chance.
Slideshow
7 Surprising Wines from Cavit
Related Imagery
Big botte

It may come as a surprise to many, but Cavit continues to age much of their premium wine production in big botte, and there's even Slovenian oak!

But it is a large-scale, modern winery

Most of the winery is in fact very modern and clean. Long rows of state-of-the-art fermentation vessels ensure that the Cavit wines are made in the clean, fresh style the winery strives for.

There's more than Pinot Grigio

Cavit has long been at the forefront of Trentino's fine wine production. 4 Vicariati has been its flagship wine for decades, and it maintains a well deserved reputation to this day. Even as more regions fall to a modern, international style, Cavit continues to remain true to its region and its roots.

Click to see a slideshow on 7 Surprising Wines from Cavit

Cavit, the Cantina Viticoltori Consorzio Cantine Sociali Del Trentino Societa Cooperativa, was founded out of the turmoil in the immediate post-WWII era. Much of Trentino serves as a funnel, leading from Italy up to the Brenner Pass, with Austria and northern Europe beyond. It’s not surprisingly that this chokepoint was in difficulty immediately after the war, and the logical move for many to make was to band together and enjoy the power of numbers.

Unusually for this time period, the founding members that did band together in 1950 opted to pursue a strategy of quality in addition to quantity. It may sound silly today, but implementing modern viticultural techniques in clean, modern facilities was not at the fore of many minds of the period, let alone an economic possibility. While progress in the early years was slow, the members did create a vision that the company has since followed.

Simply put, that vision was to fix what needed to be fixed in the vines of Trentino through the exploration of vine training methods, terroir, and how best to use the various grape varieties and clones then available in the region. That may sound like a fairly simply mandate, but Trentino is one of the most complex regions in Italy, with perhaps the most diverse selection of grape varieties planted anywhere in Italy. That may just sound like boastful pride, but consider that even today Cavit produces wine from some more than two dozen varieties in still sparkling and sweet formats. It was, in fact, a big deal.

In an effort to make the most of the work that they had done, the members of Cavit built a cellar in order to create a climate of control for their wines. Completed in 1957, it further revolutionized winemaking in the region. It would be thought of as quaint and antiquated today, but in its day it was state-of-the-art, and some of the tools used then, like the big botte Cavit still uses for its wines, would bring a smile to even the most jaded wine geek.

In 1965, Cavit paced another milestone, vinifying the first vintage in its present-day headquarters located just across the river from the provincial capital of Trento. Though in those days Trento’s limits were not quite as close as they are today. In fact, the face of the region has undergone a fairly radical transformation in the intervening years.


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Comments

  • Snooth User: Mark Angelillo
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    2 6,432

    Thanks for this, Greg. I have to admit I didn't give Cavit enough of a chance to impress me. I should go back and take another look!

    Mar 03, 2011 at 12:47 PM


  • The Altemasi Riserva Graal actually garnered Tre Bicchierri in the 2010 Gambero Rosso and even bigger than that, sparkler of the the year from the same publication!

    Mar 03, 2011 at 1:46 PM


  • Snooth User: Wishpeop
    183038 3

    I checked out the slide show of the Cavit wines - not one of them was available. Not sure what the purpose is of telling us about wines that aren't available.

    Mar 03, 2011 at 6:53 PM


  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    ..there are some wines that are really good but it's only 5% of the wines produced by Cavit, it's enought to say that Cavit it's a good Producer?

    Mar 04, 2011 at 2:29 AM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 222,083

    Well, there are 5% of the wines that I am impressed by, but you know what, many other people seem to love the other 95% of the wines.

    For whatever reason, value, because they actually like it, Cavit's wines have found a big audience. Who am I to say those wines are not good, or that all those people are making a mistake. They are not.

    I would say that yes, you can say Cavit is a good producer. They sell a lot of wine that people enjoy, the produce some very distinctive wines, and they support the region.

    While many people hate to admit it, wine is a business. If it wasn't for companies like Cavit there would be fewer people drinking wine, fewer people making wine, and far less potential for those that remained.

    Being a 'good' producer can reach far beyond making wines that appeal to the most sophisticated, knowledgeable, and affluent consumers.

    Mar 04, 2011 at 6:32 AM


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