A notarial deed from the period records that the Cavalleri family were recognized as the owners of land in the Erbusco area of Northern Italy as far back as 1450.
A document uncovered during research carried out in 1905 to determine the rightful distribution of the estate of the recently deceased nobleman, Giuseppe Paolo Cavalleri, between his children, lawyers Attilio and Giovanni, makes reference to an already well-established winery, said to be one of the larger ones in the area at that time.
Until 1967 - the year in which the 'D.O.C Franciacorta' appellation came into being - the red and white wines made by Cavalleri were sold unbottled or in demijohns.
The implementation of the appellation regulations necessitated that the quality of wines labeled 'D.O.C. Franciacorta' reach a consistent qualitative standard, and so Cavalleri started to bottle and label the best of its production accordingly. Most of the wine being made by Cavalleri was still sold on site, to locals and restaurateurs operating in the area.
It was at this time that the family-run winery adopted the more formal title Azienda Agricola Gian Paolo e Giovanni Cavalleri.
Initially, Gian Paolo - with support from his son Giovanni - was responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, which, at that time, was located close to the family home, in what is now the Erbusco Municipal Headquarters. Together, father and son built a new cellar complex in 1980, situated in the center of the company's vineyards, just outside the town of Erbusco.
Since then, it is Giovanni who has been running the business on his own, and he continues - with an unflagging sense of commitment - to breathe life into the business that has accompanied his family throughout the centuries.
In 1985, Giovanni moved to Erbusco permanently, and for the last two decades he has been channeling all of his acumen into what is, for him, an overriding passion for wine and winemaking.
The cornerstone of our policy has always been our resolute refusal to purchase either grapes or wine from third parties. Today, we are one of the few remaining wineries that have stayed true to this quality-oriented principal.
Moreover, in this area, we were one of the very first wineries to produce a cru, since we have always vinified our wines separately according to the specific vineyard where the grapes were cultivated. Although often difficult and laborious, we remain convinced that this is the only way to ensure high quality, since it allows us to control everything about the wines we make. We alone are responsible for deciding on the most appropriate planting system, pruning process, pest-control treatment (for many years, we have been operating in accordance with local guidelines on the use of environmentally friendly pest control), timing and type of harvesting for each and every one of our wines.
To guarantee a consistently high standard, all work in the vineyards is done by our own employees. No part of the operation is outsourced to third parties. We have always said - and we have certainly not been the only ones - that great wine can only ever come from high-quality grapes.
Our cellar complex is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Since 1991, we have been using a Willmes press along with temperature-controlled steel fermenting vats and the finest French oak barriques. The condition of the barriques is checked, recorded and verified each time they are used to age wine. Traceability, which is now considered essential, has, for us, always been a sine qua non.
To protect the quality of Cavalleri wines, the family is often called upon to make difficult decisions, such as how much to invest in any particular project, along with myriad other decisions relating to quality control. Turning down proposals is part and parcel of ensuring that the quality of our wines is never compromised.
We are proud of the work done by our group of growers and artisanal winemakers, and we want to remain a small, specialist producer. Although it is undoubtedly true that the prevailing logic of globalization and economies of scale applies equally the world of wine, we are entirely convinced that our friend, Gino Veronelli, got it right when he said, "even the worst 'rural' wine is better than the best industrially produced equivalent".