Category: Bele Casel

Thanksgiving wine recommendation: Bele Casel Extra Dry gives the holiday the right amount of sweetness.

When it comes to Thanksgiving wine, you need something that will be a crowd pleaser and will also go with the many different dishes in the meal.

Especially now that the Bele Casel Prosecco Colfòndo and the Bele Casel Prosecco Extra Brut have become so popular among wine lovers in the United States, our American friends sometimes forget how well the Prosecco Extra Dry can pair with a meal like Thanksgiving.

The menu for the America holiday includes such a wide range of flavors, from the very sweet to the very savory: Cranberry sauce, sweet potato topped with marshmallows, roast turkey (dark and white meat), stuffing (cornbread dressing in the south), mashed potatoes, gravy (brown and white), and, of course, a whole gamma of pies, from the classic pumpkin and pecan to the chocolate. And that’s not even a complete list! Lots of folks will add green beans, salad, and a wide array of winter vegetables (and we still aren’t including the appetizers: charcuterie, cheese, crudités, etc. etc. etc.).

There’s another issue in play as well: At Thanksgiving, you need a wine that will appeal to a extremely broad range of guests, most likely including wine connoisseurs and wine novices (not to mention people who don’t generally like or drink wine).

And that’s why Extra Dry is so perfect. The gentle, elegant sweetness of the wine will not only pair exceedingly well with all the flavors and dishes above but it will also appeal the widest range of guests — even those who do not generally drink wine at a meal.

Many Americans are still “new” to wine (we know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true!). And the balanced sweetness of a wine like this is the perfect introduction to fine wine (especially for someone not accustomed to drinking wine).

Of course, there’s another reason why a wine like this is so perfect: It doesn’t break the bank! We are all for Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Taurasi, Etna, etc. But when you are feeding a large group of thirsty people, you need something that won’t overburden your budget.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends in the United States!

Value wine award from Slow Wine: The fifth time we have won!

Value wine is one of the Slow Wine guide’s top prizes.

We were so thrilled to learn that we have, once again, been awarded a Vino Quotidiano (Daily Wine) prize by the editors of the Slow Wine Guide to the Wines of Italy.

The fact that we have now one this prestigious award five times puts us in a special “club” of winemakers selected by the editors of the guide.

Here’s a little history of the guide by its editor-in-chief Giancarlo Gariglio, one of our favorite wine writers working in Italy — and the world — today.

Thank you, Giancarlo, and thank you to all the Slow Wine editors!

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The Slow Wine project was born eight years ago when Slow Food, the international foodways movement, decided to publish its own guide and break away from the Gambero Rosso and its Vini d’Italia (Wines of Italy), which the two groups had co-published for 25 years. At the time, it was Italy’s most important wine guide.

Our editors had come to the conclusion that the Gambero Rosso guide no longer aligned with the Slow Food mission: We wanted to create a guide that would not only describe the wines but also tell the stories behind the wineries themselves. The idea was to focus not only on tasting notes. Instead, the goal was to give greater weight and importance to the estates’ production methods: How do they grow their grapes and how do they vinify their wines? It would be a totally new type of guide, something that everyone could be proud of.

In just eight short years, Slow Wine has become Italy’s most popular wine guide, with more than 40,000 copies printed and sold. And the response has inspired us to head down roads previously untraveled. First off, we decided to share Slow Wine with the world by organizing numerous tastings in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. At every event, it seemed like the public’s interest for this new form of wine criticism was wholly palpable.

Congrats Rossoblu and Chef Steve Samson: One of the Top 10 Restaurants in LA according to Jonathan Gold and the LA Times.

Rossoblu was named one of the 10 best restaurants in Los Angeles by Pultizer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold.

It’s not every day that a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic calls your restaurant one of the “10 best restaurants in Los Angeles.” But that is exactly what happened this week when Los Angeles Times food critic made Rossoblu, Chef Steve Samson’s new restaurant, number 10 on his list of “101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” for the Los Angeles Times.

Click here to see the Pultizer Prize page on Jonathan Gold, including his works of gastronomic criticism that won him the title.

Click here for the preview of Gold’s list.

It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to share Gold’s complete review. For that, you need to visit to the Los Angeles Times website and subscribe to get past their pay all.

But here’s a preview of what he had to say about the restaurant, which Chef Steve launched in the spring of 2017.

“The fresh tagliatelle is thin and floppy, almost alive under a pale, meaty Bolognese sauce. The tortelloni, stuffed with the traditional mixture of ricotta and chard, could illustrate the concept of Italian dumplings in a textbook.”

And he makes a really interesting point. It’s not hard to find great Cambodian food in Los Angeles, for example, because there are plenty of Cambodian “grandmothers” who live there and who teach their children and grandchildren how to make great Cambodian food. They also set a standard for what good Cambodian cuisine is by virtue of their own skill and experience.

But Chef Steve’s cooking, notes Gold, is “Bolognese grandmother cooking introduced into a city with no Bolognese grandmothers.”

Pretty cool stuff!

Congrats to Chef Steve and the entire team at Rossoblu. We couldn’t be more proud or thrilled that our wine is poured there by-the-glass.

Lupa Pizza Bar, a new wine and pizza bar in Brisbane, Australia

Lupa Pizza Bar in Brisbane is part of the new wave of super cool and groovy wine and pizza bars opening across the world!

Every day, it feels like there are new and hip Italian-themed food and wine bars opening all over the world.

We were thrilled to find out that the newly opened Lupa Pizza Bar in Brisbane, Australia had added our wine to their list. So great to see our Prosecco Colfòndo make it Down Under!

It’s incredible to think that just 30 years ago, people across the English-speaking world were still arguing about the differences between “southern” and “northern” Italian cooking. It’s in our own lifetime that most people outside of Italy thought of Italian food solely as “spaghetti and meatballs,” “baked ziti,” and pizza. Most of what people thought was “Italian” food was actually a corruption of Italian dishes that had been transformed by the countries where Italian immigrants settled (no one in Italy eats spaghetti with meatballs!).

Today, that’s all changed. Everywhere you go now (and we’ve seen it with our own two eyes), you find restaurateurs and barkeeps that are truly in touch with contemporary Italian cuisine. And it’s not just that they follow contemporary cookery. They also seem to know SO MUCH about the history of Italian food and Italian gastronomy and wines in general. It’s really incredible, actually.

At Lupa, like so many cool wine and pizza bars that are opening these days across the world, they focus on Neapolitan-style pizza. We simply cannot wait to check it out! Maybe worth the trip all the way to Australia.

Thank you SO MUCH Lupa Pizza Bar for including us in your awesome wine list. We are so proud to be part of your wine program and your awesome new place. Rock on! It just keeps getting better and better and better…

Lupa Pizza Bar
3/321 Montague Rd.
West End (Brisbane ) QLD 4101
Australia
+61 7 3532 3875

Image via the Lupa Facebook.

Glass of Bubbly, the popular British blog devoted to sparkling wines, visits Bele Casel

Glass of Bubbly is one of the world’s most popular sites specialized exclusively in sparkling wine from across the globe.

“Family grower is certainly a correct description of Bele Casel,” wrote wine blogger Christopher Walkey this week for the popular British site devoted to sparkling wine, Glass of Bubbly.

“A warmness and closeness in how they work with family members helping to produce the wines which are now exported internationally. A farming tradition and being in the right place at the right time which led to their brand evolving since its creation over 40 years ago by working hard, learning from mistakes and seeking to make improvements in every step of their business. Maybe it is wrong to call them entrepreneurs, but it is the source of what makes a business success from a simple idea, the journey of countless mistakes to learn the craft of your business like no other and after years of trying you suddenly shine through from the quality of the work you produce.”

Click here to read the complete post, including a wonderful video interview.

Veneto wine on the rise, write the editors of Slow Wine

We were thrilled to be chosen as one of the “new generation” Veneto winemakers for a special tasting this weekend in Montecatini.

The following has been translated from a recent post on the Slow Wine blog by our blog master. For information on the Slow Wine tasting this weekend and a list of all the Veneto winemaker who will be pouring their wines, please visit the Slow Wine website and blog. Here’s the link to the post.

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The Veneto wine scene is redefining itself. Actually, it might be better to say that it is really coming into focus.

It’s been some time that we have been witnessing the arrival of new generations of producers. And they already have a couple of vintages under their belts.

They are grape growers with a lot of training (many of them have studied enology). They speak English well. They travel frequently. They are curious about the world and they like to trade notes with colleagues in other parts of Italy and beyond Italy’s borders. They follow the wine world carefully and with open minds. But they still maintain close ties to the appellations where they were born. And they are proud of their winemaking traditions.

And it’s thanks to them that “farmer’s pride” continues to grow, also thanks in part to the proliferation of phenomena that you could call “underground” trends. We believe that this new generation is really finding its identity and it could very well serve as a breeding ground for the future.

… [In Prosecco], it seems that producers are gradually moving away from excessive sugars in the wines. The Extra Dry Proseccos are less taut and less cloying than they were in the past. The quality is rising and more high-quality wine is being made. Brut, Extra Brut, and wines re-fermented in bottle on their lees are becoming the top categories among the younger generations.

Click here to keep reading (in Italian).

A stormy month in Asolo: August weather had us working hard and had us worried (Prosecco Diaries)

Storms in August had us worried that we would lose our crop.

August was a very hot month. It really put us to the test as grape growers in terms of working in the vineyards and keeping it together emotionally. There wasn’t a lot of rain but when it fell, it wreaked havoc across Treviso province.

The high temperature threatened to “burn” the acidity and dry the grapes that were exposed to the sun.

That’s why we decided to wait to top (trim) the vineyard canopy so that the grapes would be protected from the sun. We were wise to do so. We made the right move.

The early samples we gathered at the beginning of August confirmed that the first week of September would be perfect for the beginning of the 2017 harvest.

August 3 – A gorgeous bunch of Glera in Cornuda.

glera prosecco superiore asolo

August 6 – This year the weather forecast gave us little sleep. We were concerned that we would lose the harvest to the storms.

meteo asolo prosecco grandine


The same day, a few hours later. Yet another storm and just as strong.

meteopanico asolo prosecco superiore

August 7 – Hail damage was luckily less than 10 percent of the crop.

August 11 – The damage incurred over the course of a “windy” night. We added wood stakes to help support the vines. We’ll replace the bent metal stake only after we prune.

August 14 – There’s a reason why the Hills of Monfumo are called the “Silent Hills.” It’s so peaceful there.

monfumo colli silenziosi asolo prosecco superiore

August 18 – You can really feel the heat. The bunches exposed to the sun are definitely warm.

August 21 – Meet Bepi, the guardian of our vineyard in Prà Grande in Monfumo.

guardiano vigna asolo prosecco monfumo

August 25 – We’re almost there. The harvest will begin soon.

rifrattometro asolo prosecco

August 28 – Our in-house wine expert!

August 29 – Yet another storm has us worried.



Venice and its favorite wine: Prosecco, of course!

Venice and the Venetians love Prosecco. And there’s a reason why.

Anyone who has spent time in Venice, the city on the lagoon, knows that Prosecco is the city’s favorite wine.

Venice cuisine, not surprisingly, is based on seafood. And Prosecco, with its fresh aromas and classic salty flavors, is the ideal pairing for salty fish and seafood. Whether we’re talking about fried gobies (a Venetian classic), cuttlefish risotto, frutti di mare (assorted shellfish and seafood), soft-shell crabs, or any of the wide varieties of food from the sea, Prosecco is a traditional and delicious pairing for the dishes.

But there’s also a historic reason why Prosecco is the city’s most popular wine.

One of the reasons is that historically, Venice has always been a party town. Ever since the Middle Ages, it’s been a vacation and tourist destination thanks to its spectacular views, its beautiful architecture, and its rich collection of art works. Napoleon famously called Piazza San Marco “the most beautiful” square in Europe. And for good reason!

With its low alcohol and bubbly nature, Prosecco makes for the perfect wine for celebration and relaxation.

But perhaps the most significant reason why Prosecco became the city’s semi-official wine is that Venice lies not far from the mouth of the Piave river. The Piave made it possible to bring tree trunks down to the area from the saw mills to the north. They needed the lumber to shore up the islands over the centuries.

But it also made it easy to ship demijohns of wine from Vittorio Veneto and Treviso where Prosecco is grown and vinified. That helped to reduce cost and it also ensured a steady supply of wine even during snowy months.

You have to remember that before the industrial age, most commercial transportation was done by waterway. In fact, there were canal systems that ran all the way from Treviso to the Adriatic. Some are still viable today.

DOCG or DOC? When it comes to Prosecco there’s a big difference.

The creation of the 2009 DOCG in Prosecco reshaped the Prosecco map.

Consumers in Italy and the United States are still often confused by the differences between Prosecco DOCG and Prosecco DOC.

It was back in 2009 when the Prosecco DOCG was officially recognized by the Italian government’s agricultural ministry and the National Committee for Italian Wines (which regulates the DOCG and DOC systems).

With the creation of the new designation (DOCG means designation of controlled and guaranteed origin while DOC stands simply for designation of controlled origin, without the guarantee), the production area for top Prosecco was limited to the provinces of Valdobbiadene (the most famous), Conegliano (the historic center for Prosecco production, which stretches back to the 1700s), and Asolo (the least known of the top townships for Prosecco production, where Bele Casel grows its wines).

To add the “guaranteed” to the labeling, the grapes used to make the wine must be grown in one of those townships.

The DOC, on the other hand, was expanded to included a wider swath of the Veneto region and it also included Friuli-Venezia Giulia (known simply as Friuli), where Prosecco and vinified has been grown for some time now.

The bottom line is the following: Prosecco grown in Asolo, Valdobbiadene, and Conegliano is hillside Prosecco while the Prosecco grown in the greater Veneto and Friuli is valley-floor Prosecco. The hillside Prosecco has to be hand-farmed because the slopes of the hills in those township are famously steep. Valley-floor Prosecco is generally machine farmed.

There’s a lot more wiggle room in terms of quality control and farming regimens in the valley. In the hills, on the other hand, the quality tends to be much higher because of the more rigorous farming practices.

There’s nearly always a difference in price. But as any well-informed wine lover knows, you get what you pay for.

Surf is up! FIVI announces October 25 preview dinners for its 2017 marketplace (November 25-26).

Surf is up for the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers.

“A Big Wednesday for Grape Growers”: One month before the FIVI Fair (November 25-26), FIVI member wineries will be hosting 12 dinners at 12 different restaurants in and around Piacenza (where the fair is held each year). 24 presenters will speak about the 60 FIVI wines they will be pouring. SAVE THE DATE.

Each year FIVI — the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers — holds its annual marketplace and trade fair in Piacenza, where hundreds of wine lovers converge to taste the new member wineries’ new releases, interact with the producers themselves, and — of course — purchase the wines.

Here’s a link to information on the fair (in English).

This year the association has introduced a new element: One month prior to the gathering (on Wednesday, October 25, to be exact), the member wineries will be hosting dinners at 12 different restaurants in and around Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna).

They are calling the event “Big Wednesday for Grape Growers,” taking the name from the famous 1978 film “Big Wednesday,” which celebrated the California tradition of surfing at the peak of its popularity.

In the story of the film, the characters — the surfers — head out to ride the wines on a Wednesday when the cycle of the moon has created the highest tide of the month. Hence name “Big Wednesday.” In Italy, the film was released as “Mercoledì da Leoni,” in other words, “A Wednesday for Lions.” That the play on words in the FIVI title for the event: “A Wednesday for Grape Growers.”

Counting more than 600 members, the ever expanding Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers is an activist lobby that works to protect the artisanal grape grower in Italy. In order to join the group, wineries must: grow their own grapes, make their own wine, bottle their own wine, and sell their own wine directly to the consumer (and foreign importers).

Bele Casel is a member and Bele Casel grape grower Luca Ferraro is a member of the body’s technical advisory.