Beginning in 2007, Del Ducato is one of Italy’s most awarded breweries. It is located in Roncole Verdi, a small village in Parma County, birth place of world’s renowned composer Giuseppe Verdi and also home land of prestigious food such as Parma ham (Prosciutto) and fizzy wines such as Lambrusco and Malvasia. A land portraying a history of daily sacrifices and great passion.
Holding a BA in Food Science and Technology and a past as home brewer, Giovanni Campari is the radical and visionary Brewmaster. Manuel Piccoli is the brewery’s executive entrepreneurial mind with a precise vision for growth and development:
“Striving for constant quality improvement and the continuous research to select the best raw ingredients are the foundation of our production process. Everyone says it: we do it and you can feel it. It is not difficult for us: we could not imagine ourselves differently from we are.
We select the best raw materials, getting to know our suppliers personally whenever possible. The malts that we use have different provenances: we import some from France and Britain, while also purchasing other specials malts from Germany and Belgium. We get our hops from: Germany (some of which we select personally at the time of harvest), England, USA, New Zealand. Particular hop varieties and their terroir are very important because they confer characteristic aromas to our beers. We use select yeast strains that we propagate in-house for brewing both top and bottom fermented beers, as well mixed fermentations (with the addition of wild yeasts and lactic bacteria).
Our beers are not pasteurized, because we believe that heat treatment irreversibly compromises the freshness and the organoleptic quality of such a fragile and complex product.”
Some of our beers are saturated with carbon dioxide naturally as they finish fermentation in sealed steel tanks and they are subsequently bottled isobarically; others are refermented by adding sugar or beer wort before bottling, then stored for a given time at a certain temperature (depending on what beer is being made), hence resulting in a secondary fermentation in bottle and a natural carbonation.
In some instances, we operate mixed fermentations by inoculating wild yeasts such as Brettanomyces and lactic bacteria to create greater flavor complexity. Beers produced by this method (most of which are aged in barrels) require years of slow maturation and the results are truly exciting and surprising.
Some of our beers undergo maturation in wooden barrels for some months, mostly French and American oak barriques. We select barrels on the basis of what they used to contain:
some housed red wines, others white wines, others calvados, bourbon or whisky. During maturation in wood, beers acquire tertiary aromas of wood, they micro-oxygenate and also absorb part of what the barrel used to contain previously.