Category: Prosecco diaries

Prosecco Diaries: September

No need to tell you that September is the month of harvest, right?
This year it has been very challenging, we focused on finding the best timing to pick grapes, as acidity was decresing day by day. Frenetic times for almost 3 weeks
Two rainy days have interrupeted the working rhytm and forced us to review our plans
Healthy and rich grapes. The expectations are very high

 

 

 

 

3 September: Weather has been forgiving today, we covered the trailer just in case it rains on the way home

 

4 September: Her majesty, Glera

 

The steepness of the vineyards of Monfumo is always tough


We’re worried about the weather situation, can you blame us? We thought a hurricane was going to strike our vineyards, in the end it just drizzled

 

Rain forced us to take a break from harvest, so we did everything we couldn’t do during those days

 

The nights spent in front of the press. This is a vacuum system press, that crushes the grapes in a much more gentle way than the usual presses

 

6 September: harvest in the vineyard of Cornuda continues

 

in the meantime in the afternoon, while the rest of the group continued picking Glera grapes, I spent some time with a couple from the US who decided to get engaged in our vineyard in Monfumo. Who would have thought we’d become part of one of the happiest days of these guys’ lives?

And for this reason, we decided to do something special. We customised the label of our Extra Dry with their names

 

8 September: Work in progress in the Longon vineyard

 

10 September: Precious mascot in Monfumo

 

15 September: Grape marcs ferment in the vineyard, it will become a natural fertiliser

 

17 September: The last bunch of Glera grapes of the season

vintage notes italy

 

18 September: Our Extra Dry poured at the Mayfair Restaurant in Melbourne

 

19 September: Time to concentrate on the soil. We’re getting ready to plant the cover crop

 

21 September: The very last bunch of harvest 2018. Rabbiosa grapes

 

Chestnut trees remind us of our history and heritage: Prosecco Diaries August 2018

August saw a lot of rain and it made our work even harder.

Caring for the chestnut trees (below) makes us remember our history and heritage. It was just one of the highlights from a challenging but rewarding month in the 2018 vintage.

August is the month when you begin to feel the harvest approaching.

It’s the time when you concentrate on preparing the vines and making harvest easier by mowing the grasses between the rows, trimming the canopy, and removing the weeds around the vines.

As you can see from the graphic below, at the end of the month, there was a concentration of rains, just a few hours before the beginning of the most difficult period of the year.

The grapes will be inundated with a lot of water. We will put off the beginning of the harvest for a few days so that the soil can dry and so that the vines get some light and some warmth from the sun.


August 13 – Our ColFòndo appeared in the pages of Vanity Fair (Italian version)!

August 17 – Weed management during the first year after planting is somewhat delicate. The small cuttings need light and they need to be unencumbered by competition from other plants in order to grow well and quickly.

Because we are an organic estate, we cannot use herbicides. So we have to remove all the weeds by hand. As you see, certain patches remain but they will be removed soon thanks to a second pass with a harrow.

August 20 – The vines planted on steep slopes need to be constantly cared for and maintained. This was the second time we went through the vineyards with a small tractor specialized for difficult-to-work vineyards like this.

August 24 – A photo from our Prà Grande vineyard in Monfumo. It’s time to figure out how the Bianchetta Trevigiana is doing and it’s time to mow the grass.

August 29 – The thing that makes a small winery stand apart is the fact that it never considers anything or anyone to be just a number. One of the nicest things for us is to welcome people who come to see us, even if just for a little while, without expecting anything in return. It was wonderful for us to receive these bottles of English sparkling wine directly from England. They were sent as a thank you for the time we spent together. We know we will really enjoy these, Charlie! Heartfelt thanks!

August 30 – The chestnut trees that surround our Cornuda vineyard have been there for hundreds of years. We are working to preserve them. The are an important part of the history and heritage of this place.

August 30 – In just a few hours the rains will come. We need to trim the canopy and mow the grass because next week we will begin harvesting and we need everything to be in order. This means that we are going to have to put in some serious over time.

August 31 – Thank you, Giulia, for this fantastic article on Scatti di Gusto.

Solidarity is what we needed in the very challenging month of July. Prosecco Diaries 2018.

July was one of the most difficult months we can remember.

Solidarity in the form of Solidarietà, a local business, was a bright spot in an otherwise extremely challenging months in the vineyards.

We will remember the month of July for its high temperatures and its hailstorms. There were two extreme events that were combined together and the amount of rainfall was truly significant.

We tried to limit the impact as much as possible by leaving the grapes covered by the vines’ leaves. By doing so, we hoped to avoid exposure to too much burning sunlight and what would be a subsequent drop in acidity.

This year, the vines are particularly lush and the canopy management will be crucial to getting the grapes in good condition at the end of the vegetative cycle.

Rains and high temperatures have brought on an attack of peronospora on the suckers, especially in our Monfumo vineyard. We’ll have to see if there will be an effect on the sugar level since the new leaves have been compromised and they won’t do much photosynthesis.




July 5 – Hail and rain. The vineyard in Maser was the one most impacted by the hail. In Monfumo, there were problems only because of the massive amount of water that fell in such a short time period.

Here’s a video from our Cornuda vineyard.

Luckily there wasn’t any major damage.

Vigna Vecchia di Monfumo: Video

No damage. These are old Bianchetta vines.

Video from our Prà Grande vineyard.

Here the hail definitely struck harder than in the other vineyards. But the damage was still light.

Video from Vigna Monfumo Longon.

Nearly 100 mm of rain in just 20 minutes or so. The damage is owed to the city road here.

Video from Maser.

This is the vineyard that suffered the most.

July 11 – The leaves tell us a lot about the health of the vines. Here, for example, there is a clear lack of magnesium.

July 16 – Another big rainstorm. This time Monfumo was the vineyard that got the most rain. Luckily, there was no damage to the vineyards.

Just to give you an idea of how severe the weather was, here are screenshots from the Bassano and Pedmontana del Grappa weather forecast.

July 31 – This was a truly special day for us and it really touched our hearts. The people from the cooperative Solidarietà came to visit us. They’re based in Treviso and they have been making our neck takers for our ColFondo for years. Solidarietà, which means Solidarity in English, has been working in our area for 35 years. Their goal is to “make a cultural contribution through social inclusion.” It was a great pleasure for us to show them our winery and spend some time with them and get to know them better.

Bees in the vineyards: Prosecco Diaries April 2018

As always, there’s a lot of important work to do in April, especially when the rains interrupt the rhythms of the day and they make it impossible to use our tractor. We have a lot of catching up to do in terms of replanting and the spike in temperature at the end of the month is going to make us go without sleep for weeks.

Bees in the vineyard were one of the highlights in the month of April (see below).

April 5: You can definitely feel the biodiversity in our vineyards. Those flowers are wild arugula. You can’t begin to imagine how wonderful it is to smell their fragrance as you walk between the rows. Smells like honey.

April 6: When you walk through our vineyard in Monfumo, you can find seashells like this one.

April 7: We work in the rain as we prune our little Bianchetta Trevigiana vines. They are enjoying the spring!

April 8: “How do grape growers get so strong?” Have you ever tried walking with a ton of dirt stuck to your shoes?

April 9: “Every Prosecco vineyard can be mechanized!” Is that so? Here’s proof. Here we are pruning in our Monfumo vineyard.

Have a look at what we’re doing here. Are we working fast enough in your opinion?

13 Aprile: E’ arrivata la primavera…

April 15: Vinitaly is here!

April 17: Work in the vineyard never ends. Here we are cleaning up between the rows in our Cornuda vineyard.

April 20: The famous break following Vinitaly! It’s time to substitute the vines that have died with new plantings of Glera in our Cornuda vineyard.

April 21: Anyone who’s ever met Luca will understand how tall these flowers are! This is our vineyards in Prà Grande. We have decided to let the flowers grow and let the bees collect their nectar for as long as they want. It’s perfect because we can’t use our tractors in this vineyard anyway. Everything has to be done by hand. You have no idea how wonderful it is to walk through this marvelous site when the only sound you can hear is the buzzing of the insects. There’s a reason why they call these hills the “Silent Hills.”


April 22: The bees are so important to the well being of our vineyards. Here’s a bee in our Prà Grande vineyard, enjoying our cover crop flowers.

April 24: Due Rocche will come by to see us tomorrow at our Cornuda vineyard.

April 25: Happy (Italian) Liberation Day!



ALMA was pouring our 2015 ColFòndo when we visited last November: Prosecco Diaries

November 2017 was a busy month for us!

ALMA, the cooking school in Colorno (Parma), was a highlight this month.

November, as always, is the month when we stay away from the vineyards in order to concentrate our efforts on the wines and our clients.

Every day, we taste the wines in our cellar and we compare notes as we determine what’s the best path forward.

The wines are taking a lot of time to clarify this year. But there are doing fine otherwise.

They have a lot of structure and balanced mineral character, the two common denominators for this vintage.

The other thing that we will remember about the 2017 vintage is that this year, we have a few empty tanks because of the spring frost.

As always, we wait until November to talk about how are wines are doing. And we are happy to report that we are really pleased with this year’s results.

November 1: The beloved hills of Asolo, the Colli Assolani.

colli asolani asolo docg

November 2: We were mentioned in Spirito di Vino!

“We recommend tasting the 2015 Prosecco ColFòndo by Bele Casel. It has aromas of pear and white peach. Very approachable in the mouth, this light wine has a savory and fruit flavors. Made using Glera grapes and other varieties native to the Asolo hills like Bianchetta, Perera, Rabbiosa, and Marzemina Bianca, this wine is farmed organically. And it has the classic cloudiness.”

spirito di vino bele casel asolo

November 3: We just rack once. The wines are taking a while to clarify. But they will get there in time.

base spumante asolo prosecco docg

November: Monfumo in all its splendor.

monfumo bele casel

November 8: Thanks to Seth for this wonderful photo, taken in one of our favorite restaurants in Honolulu, The Pig and the Lady.

colfondo honolulu bele casel

“Wait, what? At first glance, this was a curious pairing. Prosecco, native to Veneto in northern Italy, is a light, dry sparkling wine with bright expressive aromas and flavors of green apple, honeydew melon, pear, and honeysuckle. With all of this fruit bursting from the glass, prosecco usually presents rather sweet. Not the first wine to come to mind for this rich, earthy, creamy course.”

“This wine, however, was no ordinary prosecco. The Bele Casel Colfòndo Prosecco uniquely utilizes a fermentation process similar to the Champagne method, with secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle (rather than large tanks typical for prosecco). In a diversion from the Champagne method, the yeast is not disgorged and instead remains in the bottle until consumed. As a result, the wine possessed complex flavors of fruit and earthiness, with a texture that paired excellently with the creamy mushroom filling and flaky pastry. In typical prosecco style, the finish was dry, cleansing the palate and leaving you ready for the next course.”

The above comes from the blog Musings by the Glass.

November 10: We had a magnificent evening with Saggi Bevitori (the “Wise Drinkers”). We were able to share Bele Casel’s story with more than 60 wine lovers.

Thank you, Saggi Bevitori!

November 19: Unearthed wines, 2017, Helsinki. People seemed to love the ColFòndo 2016 and the Extra Brut.

bele casel helsinki

Thank you Vinonostrum!

November 20: Bele Casel and Aqua Crua at ALMA in Colorno. An evening hosted by the international culinary school there. They happened to be pouring our 2015 ColFòndo, which was showing beautifully.

bele casel alma colorno

November 21: We start pruning in our Caerano vineyard. We can see the damage created by the spring freeze. It’s going to be the thing that this vintage is remembered for. That’s a cane ruined by the freeze when it had 3-4 buds on it.

 

November 25: The Mercato dei Vini is finally here! It’s the biggest fair we take part in and so we need some big wheels!

mercato fivi bele casel

Harvest is over but there’s plenty of work to do in the vineyard: Prosecco Diaries October

Unusual weather conditions have added to the work we need to do in the vineyard.

Harvest is finally over but that doesn’t mean that everything slows down at the winery and that we can look forward to long days with nothing to do but relax. In fact, this year, things got really busy right away.

We spent numerous days working in our Pra’ Grande vineyard this month. We shored up the rows and we planted cover crops. We fixed up the stakes and iron wires. And we fixed the anchors and the ties.

We were a little worried because we are experiencing yet another dry month. The plants will have trouble budding and the ground needs to be damp. Instead the soil is totally dry.

Unusually high temperatures have caused the grasses to grow. And we were forced to mow very late in the year.

We continue to fertilize using only manure. And this year we scattered the manure through the vineyard. We decided to do it like this because we want to compare the results with those from last year when we only distributed the manure beneath the vines themselves.

October 5: The work in the Pra’ Grande vineyard continues.

vigna pra' grande monfumo

Shoring up the iron wires in the rows.

lavori vigna pra' grande

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the “yellow soil of our Pra’ Grande vineyard”…

terra gialla pra' grande

October 6: Fall/Winter Collection 2018. Bepi, who guards our Pra’ Grande vineyard, gets a new look.

bepi monfumo pra' grande

October 10: Regular maintenance.

bepi guardiano vigna pra' grande

October 14: The annual Slow Wine tasting where the award-winners present their wines.

slow wine bele casel montecatini

October 20: A ColFòndo tasting presented by Stefano Caffari.

degustazione colfondo ais caffarri

degustazione prosecco colfondo

October 20: When you look carefully at the landscape in Asolo where we grow our grapes, you realize that Asolo and Valdobbiadene have more things in common than you would think.

morfologia colli asolani

25 Ottobre: Sfalcio erba a Monfumo, come sempre manual

October 25: We mow between the rows in Monfumo. As always, the mowing is done manually.

sfalcio erba monfumo

autunno vigna monfumo



Spring freeze and fall rainfall aside, September delivered a solid harvest. Prosecco Diaries…

The 2017 harvest turned out better than we expected.

The spring freeze had us really worried. But in the end 2017 turned out to be a very good vintage for us.

With the arrival of September 2017 came the harvest and the wonderful satisfaction of a new vintage in the cellar. Despite the fact that we lost an entire vineyard with the April freeze, the harvest went a lot better than what we expected. After the rainfall during the first week of the month, the grapes were plump, full of flavor and mineral character.

We started earlier than usual on September 1 and we finished on September 14 just before the rain started to fall again. Had we not picked when we did, the rain could have caused problems in terms of mildew and rot in the vineyards.

It was a very swift harvest with acidity levels dropping quickly day after day. We worked as hard as we could to get as much fruit to the cellar as possible in the shortest amount of time. It was a complicated vintage but not as difficult as the 2014 harvest, which was affected by rain, the 2015 vintage, which was affected by drought, or the 2016 vintage, when there was an outbreak of peronospora.

September 1: The 2017 harvest begins.

vendemmia 2016 prosecco

September 4: There’s no greater reward than a beautiful bunch of Glera grapes!

grappolo glera asolo prosecco

That afternoon we began picking by hand in our Cornuda vineyard.

September 6: When we saw the weather forecast, we shifted over to our Alessandra vineyard, in Castelli di Monfumo.

le pendenze non sono di certo d’aiuto

September 7: We had to take a break because of rain. What’s better than a game of cards to bolster our team spirit?

pausa vendemmia prosecco

September 8: A bucket of Glera grapes.

secchi glera prosecco asolo superiore

We stayed up all night long working the press.

September 13: For the second year in a row, we received word that we were awarded the Snail prize by the editors of the Slow Wine Guide, their top prize. We also won a Slow Wine prize. We couldn’t be happier!

bele casel chiocciola slow wine

In the meantime, we continued to pick grapes in Monfumo.

vendemmia monfumo bianchetta

vendemmia manuale monfumo prosecco

September 14: We finished harvesting the 2017 crop just 5 minutes before the rain started to fall!

vendemmia pioggia asolo docg

September 22: We returned to our vineyard in Monfumo. This time we weren’t in a hurry. ☺

September 27: The period following the harvest is relatively slow for us. We took advantage of the lull to work on farm machinery and our tool shack.

manutenzione post vendemmia prosecco

manutenzione post vendemmia bele casel

Rainfall in July made us hold our breath! Prosecco Diaries

Rainfall, when heavy, can wash away a year’s worth of work in the blink of an eye.

July was a warm and particularly dry month that kept us holding our breath. We were very fortunate: The month’s heavy rainstorms only did limited damage in our vineyards.

Being a grape grower means being conscious of the fact that a year’s worth of work could be washed away in just an instant. This is why every time there is a forecast for rainfall, our anxiety levels climbs and everything in our family’s life comes to a halt. We all hold our breath until the worst has past.

July 1 – We need to manage the vegetation. It becomes a problem when a plant falls on a vine following inclement weather.

cura del territorio

July 2 – Today is our Fiat 500’s 60th birthday! 60 years since this popular car was introduced, a symbol of the economic revival in Italy after World War II.

fiat cinquecento asolo prosecco

July 6 – OpenDream was an art, culture, food and wine festival in Treviso. They used an abandoned industrial space for the event.

area ex pagnossin treviso prosecco

July 7 – Tilling our Prà Grande vineyard in Monfumo.

fresatura vigna bio asolo bele prà grande

Speaking of the anxiety that comes when there are rainclouds on the horizon, an awful storm literally grazed the hill where we have our vineyard in Cornuda. The photo comes via Meteo Bassano e Pedemontana del Grappa.

grandine prosecco

July 12 – Labels for magnums of our Extra Dry are always applied by hand.

etichette a mano prosecco extra dry docg

July 13 – It’s not just about vines! One of the important things about “zero kilometer” foodways is teaching future generations about the importance of the land. Just like our parents and grandparents taught us. It’s thanks to them that we are here today to tell our story.

non solo vigna

July 17 – As our friend Camillo likes to say: There’s a difference between Prosecco with a capital P and prosecchino. Only a fool would think otherwise. (Pure, playful, confident, and ready to go. A beauty!)

colfondo bele casel

July 24 – The sky over Monfumo after the umpteenth storm.

cielo monfumo

July 28 – Today’s harvest was celery, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers from our garden.

orto biologico

July 31 – Save the date! FIVI Wine Fair in Piacenza November 25-26.

mercato fivi bele casel

Climate change is making our work more challenging every year: Prosecco Diaries June 2017

Climate is changing in our neck of the woods. The rapid and extreme changes in weather are examples of that.

June was a very warm month, with temperatures higher than average. Conditions in the vineyards are relatively stable and there aren’t any major problems with vine disease.

At any rate, our work is becoming more and more challenging, year after year. We are learning to live with long periods of drought and sudden storms with lots of rainfall. At least that’s what it feels like.

June 1: That’s Terry and Greg Moore. Terry is Greg’s son and Greg is one of the founders of Moore Brothers Wine Company. They presented our wines at a tasting held at their wine shop in Brooklyn (Industry City) in New York.

Moore Brothers colfondo

Terry & Greg Moore: “ColFondo from Bele Casel was a huge hit!”

June 4: 50mm of rain in our Cornuda vineyard fell over just a few hours, after a long period of drought.

pioggia asolo docg

June 10: The Porta San Tomaso (Gate) in Treviso, one of the most beautiful city gates along the 16th-century walls of the city.

It was a real honor for us to be invited to the Telegraph Prosecco Festival, which was organized by Susy Atkins, a writer for the Sunday Telegraph’s “Stella” magazine. She has authored numerous books and she appears regularly as a wine expert on the BBC show “Sunday Kitchen.”

telegraph prosecco festival

June 12: Colfòndo tasting at the Banca del Vino (Slow Food Wine Bank) in Piedmont.

Bele Casel Asolo Prosecco Colfòndo 2015: “The vineyards, surrounded by pristine woods and landscapes, express all of their distinct character through this savory wine with delightful citrus notes.”

June 14: Our beautiful vineyard in Cornuda.

rose asolo docg vigna

June 22: Glera bunches in Cornuda.

grappoli di glera docg

June 22: A death’s head hawkmoth caterpillar that will soon transform into a moth, known for its “skull of death” marking on its torso. This type of moth is becoming more and more rare because of the insecticide used here and because of the light pollution that apparently disturbs its reproduction and its sense of direction.

Acherontia atropos

June 23: Tomorrow the Rally della Marca race will pass by our vineyards. And so we’re revving our engines in the meantime!

rally della marca monfumo prosecco

June 27: Our Colfòndo was chosen as wine of the week by Cronache di Gusto.

The FIVI fair is one of our favorite events of the year: Prosecco Diaries November

Just like every year, November is a month when we recharge so that we can begin one of the most important parts of our work: Pruning. And without a doubt, the best way to recharge is to participate in the FIVI wine fair. It’s one of those homes away from home for us, a place where we catch up with many of our friends. Here’s what else happened in November.

November 8: The sky over our vineyard in Cornuda.

vigna prosecco docg

November 18: Our Prosecco Extra Dry at Kona Wine Market in Hawaii.

prosecco bele casel hawaii

November 21: Nice coverage of Bele Casel by the Italian national daily newspaper Il Giornale.

stile il giornale

bele casel stile il giornale

November 26: The Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers (FIVI) fair in Piacenza.

bele casel fivi

November 30: We begin pruning in our Cornuda vineyard.

potatura asolo docg