Prosecco Colfòndo is the traditional wine of our hills. When my parents were children, Prosecco grapes (which are now called Glera) were harvested at the end of October. Some even remember picking the grapes with snow on the ground.
Once the grapes arrived in the cellar and the grapes were crushed, fermentation was stopped by the cold temperatures and the wine remained sweet.
During the first months of the new year, the farmers would bottle the wine. And then, as if by magic, with the arrival of warmer spring temperatures, fermentation started up again and the wine re-fermented in the bottle.
The fermentation process is the same one that is used for the most famous Champagne. The only difference is that in our case the wine is not disgorged. The yeast remains in the bottle until you decide it’s time to drink the wine.
I could keep you glued to your screen by telling you tales of people who drunk colfòndo that was thirty years old and who were amazed by the wine. I’m confident that I wouldn’t be telling you a lie.
I could tell you about how the small farmers in these hills won’t offer you a Charmat-method wine when you go to visit them. They’ll pour you a colfòndo and they’ll probably decant the wine. It’s unlikely that they’ll let you drink it cloudy.
But when you come to visit me, you’ll be obliged to drink it cloudy because that’s how I like it. I believe that the sediment — the “fondo” — is the soul of this wine and it shouldn’t be separated from the wine with which it has spent so much time.