Prosecco Col Fondo: Differences and similarities with other sparkling wines

The category is more popular than ever but many are still confused about how it is made.

Prosecco Col Fondo is widely considered the new generation of Prosecco. That’s ironic because it’s actually the oldest style of Prosecco production. But like so many new trends in wine today, people — like us — are looking to the past for inspiration.

Here are some Prosecco and sparkling wine basics.

Nearly all sparkling wine is made by fermenting it twice, the second time in a pressurized environment.

Classic method wines and Champagne method wines (Champagne) are made by re-fermenting a still wine in a bottle.

Conventional Prosecco is made by re-fermenting the wine in a pressurized vat. The so-called Charmat or Martinotti method.

Prosecco Col Fondo is made by re-fermenting the wine in bottle.

But there are a couple of big differences with respect to classic method wines.

Classic method wines are made by: 1) making a base wine; 2) provoking a second fermentation in a bottle; 3) aging the wines on its lees in the same bottle; 4) disgorging the wine of its lees and then adding a sweetner (dosage).

Prosecco col fondo is made by making a base wine and then provoking a second fermentation in the same bottle and then sealing the bottle. The wine is never disgorged of its lees and no dosage is ever added. This method is also known as the ancestral method.

Some people confuse pétillant-naturel or pét nat wines with ancestral method wines. Pétillant-naturel wines are made by bottling the wine while it’s still fermenting. So only one fermentation takes place. Not too as for other sparkling wine production methods like those that we have described above.

Here are some links for recent articles about the category.

A great article by Zachary Sussman, one of our favorite wine writers, for Saveur.

Wine Folly, one of our favorite wine blogs, on the “Funky side of Prosecco.”

Leave a Reply