Houston, we have a problem. A big problem, actually.
Bele Casel wines are not currently available in Texas (where we live). And that means that I have to buy the wines in California when I visit my family there and ship the wines to myself.
You buy the wines, you ask? Yes, even though the Ferraro family has been very generous with us and has gifted us bottles on many occasions and hosted us in their home and has taken us out to dine in some of the best restaurants in Treviso province, I can’t expect them to subsidize our weekly consumption of their wines. That’s how much my wife Tracie P and I love them — the Colfòndo in particular.
(If you’re new here, I’ve been the Bele Casel blogmaster for the last two years. We’re now embarking on our third year working together and I love it.)
At our house, wine is nearly always part of our dinnertime meal. Although we love to drink wine in celebration as much as the next person, moderate wine consumption at mealtime is very important to us. We believe that wine’s acidity and balanced alcohol are important elements in healthy digestion.
And that’s probably the number one reason why Bele Casel Prosecco Colfòndo works so well at our dinner table. Winemaker Luca’s style is acidity-driven, the natural expression of the Glera grape. And the wines alcohol is always very restrained, delivering just enough to help stimulate the body’s natural stomach acids.
I’m no doctor or scientist but I do know that I feel good when I drink Luca’s wines. And I believe that this can be attributed to the fact that the wines are as wholesome as they can be.
Although I don’t believe he would ever refer to himself as a “natural winemaker,” he doesn’t add or take anything away from his wines, which are made from grapes that are organically farmed (i.e., without the use of pesticides or herbicides or other chemicals).
And “wholesome” isn’t just important to us because we like to feel good. We have two little girls at home, Georgia (age 3) and Lila (age 1.5): although Georgia has almost weened entirely (these days she only nurses when she has a boo boo and needs mommy’s comforting), Lila still nurses almost every day.
Tracie is very careful about what she puts into her body because she knows that whatever she eats and drinks will also affect her breast milk. That’s why we watch out for the so-called “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables that might contain higher levels of pesticides. And that’s why we shop at stores that feature organically farmed foods. And that’s why nearly all the wines we drink at home are produced from organically farmed grapes like Luca’s.
But there’s yet another very important reason why we love the wines so much.
Yes, the wines are delicious. You don’t need me to tell you that. You just need to taste the wines.
To my mind, wines aren’t just a product of farming and winemaking. They are also a cultural expression that reflects the place where they are grown and the people who make them.
As much as I love Luca’s conventional wines (for all the reasons, above), his Colfòndo is particularly dear to my heart because it reminds me of the Prosecco I drank when I was first a student at the University of Padua in 1987. That was before the Prosecco boom of the 1990s, when the old-school, “ancestral method” Prosecco all but disappeared as producers shifted to large format Charmat-method autoclave fermentation.
There’s nothing wrong with the clean style of Charmat-method wines. I enjoy many of them, including Luca’s.
But the bottle-fermented, undisgorged Prosecco Colfòndo represents a red thread of continuity with Prosecco’s past and the traditions from which it emerged. It’s a wine that is conscious of being a wine and the people who make it — the Ferraro family — are as thoughtful as they are hard-working.
And so yes, if you haven’t noticed up to now, I love the Bele Casel Prosecco Colfòndo and we drink it every chance we get. It’s cloudy, crunchy, salty, and its fruit aromas and flavors are as delicious as they are wholesome.
Thanks for reading.
aka Do Bianchi