A noted American wine writer, Meg Houston Maker (one of our favorites), recently tweeted to me asking about the correct spelling of col fondo.
“Jeremy, is it Colfòndo, Col Fondo, Col Fòndo, Col Fóndo, or other? I see it all different ways. Thank you!”
My answer to her was Col Fondo. That’s the correct Italian spelling of the designation, which means with its sediment (col is an articulated preposition of con and il, meaning with the, and fondo means bottom or sediment in Italian).
But that doesn’t mean that it’s not correct for producers of Prosecco Col Fondo to write it in a different way on the label, like Bele Casel, who writes Colfòndo.
In the official appellation regulations for Prosecco DOCG (denominazione d’origine controllata e garantita or controlled and guaranteed origin designation), there is no mention of Col Fondo. There is only the inclusion of a clause that allows for refermentation in bottle and bottling of the wine without disgorgement.
Professor Michele Fino of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, an expert in food and wine legislation, has proposed language that would include the option for winemakers to write Col Fondo on their labels. While under review and likely to be adopted, the proposed amendment has not yet been approved.
In the meantime, many of the Prosecco Col Fondo producers display the designation Col Fondo in different ways, just like Bele Casel, who, I believe, uses Colfòndo because they find it to look more attractive on the label.
So while my answer to Meg was correct, I would have also included the above explanation in my tweet (if I weren’t limited to 140 characters!).