Ca’ di Rajo

Ca’ di Rajo


In the heart of Prosecco County in Veneto, three brothers, Simone, Alessio, and Fabio Cecchetto, run their beloved family winery Ca’ di Rajo. Originally founded in 1931, it has become internationally recognised for growing lesser-known native varieties such as Raboso and Marzemina Bianca, alongside the more famed Pinot Grigio and Merlots. 

If you had a bird’s eye view of Ca’ di Rajo vineyards, you’d see a vast, geometrical pattern of interwoven vines that resembles a beehive; this is thanks to an ancient cultivation method called Bellussera. At the end of the nineteenth century in the province of Treviso, another pair of brothers from a farming family invented the ‘ray system’, which elevated the vines into an embroidered canopy high in the air, to protect the grapes from diseases created by downy mildew. 

Back then, vines were married to Mulberry trees, which nowadays have been replaced by four-meter-tall wooden poles driven into the ground. The vines are trained up around the pole, before spiralling out like spokes on the wheel, on interconnecting iron wires that give these vineyards their distinctive geometric look.

This also creates a huge amount of space at ground level, with large corridors along which other crops can be grown, poultry can graze and (astonishingly) silkworms can be cultivated from the leaves of the old Mulberry trees. Back in the nineteenth century, this helped sustain peasant farmers and their families, the majority of which only kept a third of their crops, with the larger percentage given to their landlords in a sharecropping system. While this somewhat exploitative arrangement has all but vanished, the winery has become a hot spot for wine lovers and tourists to glimpse the past.

Today, the Cechetto brothers are also looking to the future, so in 2017, they started their Sustainable Project, ensuring the preservation of the environment, using minimal intervention, and supporting the local community. This has allowed them to certify 50% of their vineyards as sustainable. If you are lucky enough to explore this beautiful area near the Garda coastline, try to visit in September, where you’ll be able to try these wines among international enthusiasts and locals at the annual grape festival.

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