Category: harvest 2016

Slow Wine Snail and other good news in September: Prosecco Diaries

September was harvest month and it was also a period in which we received some great news.

The grapes are fantastic this year. The acidity is healthy, as are the sugar levels. The grapes tasty and even have a nearly salty flavor to them. We have really great expectations for this vintage.

Complete ripening that took place in different phases allowed us to manage our harvest with just the right pace and without any major problems.

We were thrilled to share the news that our family and Bele Casel in its entirety has won the Slow Wine Snail award for the second year in a row.

It’s hard to explain how proud we are. On October 15, we attended the official presentation of the Slow Wine guide in Montecatini, where all the winners poured their wines, including us.

September 5 – We taste the grapes to determine whether or not our impressions are correct.

glera asolo docg

September 7 – Our winery is featured in Saveur .

saveur magazine colfondo

September 8 – The harvest begins.

vendemmia prosecco asolo docg

We have some very important helpers this year. They are the third generation of Bele Casel.

vendemmia prosecco asolo

September 10 – We have the great honor of spending a day with Melissa Brauer aka The Prosecco Queen who came directly from Australia. In July 2015 she wrote that Bele Casel is one of the best examples of Prosecco from Italy (photo taken at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne), perfectly balanced, not too sweet, with notes of pear and a slightly creamy texture. “Delicious!” she wrote.

prosecco bele casel australia

September 12 – We are already getting ready for the November wine fair.

bele casel fivi

September 14 – The last load of Glera grapes for the day.

vendemmia glera

September 15 – It’s evening and another day of picking is done. The press has finished its cycle and now it’s time for it to be washed.

pressatura prosecco

September 16 – Another work day begins.

vendemmia prosecco

September 19 – Bianchetta trevigiana.

bianchetta trevigiana

And Perera from our Monfumo vineyard.

perera

It seems that working in the Monfumo vineyard has its benefits!

vendemmia manuale prosecco

September 21 – We thought this would be our last day of picking but it turned out not to be…

vendemmia prosecco

So we took time out to wash our tanks.

pulizia vasche

California and Hawaii sun, excessive rainfall back home. Prosecco Diaries May 2016

California and Hawaii were so welcoming during our May visits. Excessive rainfall back home was worrisome.

May is the month of flowering, a very delicate period for the grape grower that forces us to keep our guard up high and spend many hours in the vineyards to make sure that everything is proceeding correctly. Having rot in the vineyards during this period is a gamble that Glera grapes can’t afford. We could risk having significant damage on the grape bunches. 255 milliliters of rain fell during this year in May. That’s a lot for this time of year.

May 2 – Serving and storing temperature is so important. That’s why we believe that the choice of the right wine fridge is essential.

prosecco asolo temperatura

May 4 – Today we realized that it wasn’t the right moment to use our we torcher. The hay from the manure we spread last fall could be very dangerous.

pirodiserbio vigna bio

May 9 – From left, clockwise: Glera, Marzemina Bianca, and Rabbiosa.

glera rabbiosa

May 16 – A tasting on the Island of the Roses (Isola delle Rose) in Venice.

isola delle rose venezia

At the same time, we were also in California for the beginning of a wine tasting tour. First stop was a tasting at the Italian-American museum in San Francisco.

bele casel san francisco

And then we went to Biondivino, one of our favorite wine shops anywhere in the world.

bele casel biondivino

May 20 – Lunch Valentino Santa Monica. We had the honor of meeting Piero Selvaggio, the man who changed Italian cuisine in the United States. Here’s a perfect pairing: Our Extra Brut with fried zucchini blossoms, cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

valentino santa monica

Then we went to Sotto to say hello to Christine Veys, the restaurant’s sommelier and general manager. They serve our ColFondo by the glass.

colfondo los angeles

And we had dinner at a restaurant called Pistola, where our Extra Dry is served by the glass from magnums.

bele casel los angeles

May 23 – The first day of our tastings in Hawaii in Honolulu. How could we not wear a necklace of orchids? It’s called a lei.

bele casel hawaii

Dinner at The Pig and the Lady. Andrew Le, the chef did such a great job pairing our wines with really interesting dishes.

bele casel extra dry hawaii

May 24 – Then we headed to Kauai, another one of the Hawaiian islands where we did a seminar and tasting at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort.

colfondo bele casel hawaii

May 26 – The last day in Hawaii. Tasting at the restaurant Spago at the Four Seasons on Maui.

prosecco bele casel hawaii

May 27 – Flowering has begun in the vineyards in Caerano. If everything goes well, the harvest will begin during the first ten days of September. Here are the dates of flowering from past years:

May 21, 2015, May 22, 2014, June 6, 2013, May 29, 2012.

prosecco asolo docg

May 28 – Working in the vineyards, you always discover new life.

biodiversità

Prosecco Diaries March 2016: New stakes for the vineyards

This year, unlike last year, we finished pruning early. And so we concentrated on other work we needed to do in the vineyards, like the replacement of dead vines, replacement of broken or crooked stakes, and work on the trellises.

In terms of the swelling up of the buds, we definitely late with respect to 2014 (roughly 10-15 days later) and 2015 (just a couple of days).

March 3 – A new project is underway. In a few months, we will have a new head stake for our vineyards that is truly unique.

palo testata vigna prosecco

March 3 – The skies are ablaze!

luci asolo docg

March 11 – Is there anything more beautiful to see that flowers that bloom between the rows?

monfumo fiori

March 15 – Planting vines in our vineyards in Cornuda.

pianto vite prosecco

March 15 – The first signs of spring in Monfumo.

primule asolo docg

March 16 – With the backdrop of Mount Grappa (a mountain that holds a sacred place in Italian history), the famous Canova Temple (located in Passagno, designed in the early 19th century by the famous sculptor Antonio Canova) and our super Cinquecento.

fiat 500

March 21 – They say that the grape grower’s master is the sky. We head home because of a sudden and unexpected rainstorm.

vita da vignaioli

March 23 – Our work in the vineyard continues. We have finished replacing the head stakes with stakes taken from our woods.

pali testata

March 24 – New life in the Asolo DOCG.

nuova vita asolo docg

March 29 – The vines don’t really care about our worries and our fears. They continue to follow the rhythms of nature. The vines have been working for us for millennia. All they ask in return is a little bit of respect.

gemme asolo docg

Prosecco Diaries February 2016: Pruning in extreme conditions is tough work

Pruning in the vineyards in the cold, wet month of February.

February was an unusual month, alternating between spring temperatures and humid, cold days.

The buds continue to fatten up and they make us pruners a little worried.

Our work proceeds rapidly. We’re devoting all of our time to pruning and making the arched canes. Our whole family is busy working in the vineyards.

February 2 – We begin each day by sharpening our shears with a blade so that we can make clean cuts and go easy on our wrists.

forbice vignaiolo

February 4 – A funny thing: The left glove pulls away the shoots and is getting worn through; the right glove holds the shears and remains intact.

guanti vignaiolo

February 5 — Our Colfòndo in San Francisco at Biondivino

colfondo san francisco

February 19 – The first meeting with our Wine Brother Mirco and Samantha in our Monfumo vineyard. Thank you, Grazie The Winefathers!

winefathers monfumo

February 24 – Prosecco Extra Dry heading to the U.S.A.

prosecco usa

February 25 – Asolo Prosecco DOCG Superiore was featured on the local news broadcast.

bele casel rai

Feburary 26 – It’s so damp that you can feel it in your bones.

potatura

The air is cold, too. There is light rain and our hands are frozen. We dry our gloves over the fire and we drink a little bit of hot tea to warm our bodies and souls.

potatura break

Prosecco Diaries January: brusar a vècia!

Brusar a vècia, a classic tradition of winter in the Veneto.

Luckily, the warm temperatures of early 2016 began to come down. The weather factor is very important during the budding of the vines. The hotter it is, the faster the buds swell up. And that’s a big problem because a lot of time is needed to complete pruning.

gala asolo

January 3 – What’s the best way to start 2016 off right?
Asolo Matinée a gala event that brings a little bit of Vienna to Asolo.

After the show, a toast with our Extra Dry.

pan e vin

January 5 – Just like every year, it’s traditional to “brusar a vècia,” in other words, “burn the old lady at the stake.” You don’t actually burn an old lady but you do make a bonfire and then make predictions about the harvest according to the direction of the flames and the smoke.

“Se ‘l fumo va verso sera (if the smokes moves toward the sunset)
tanta poénta s ‘a calièra! (there will be plenty of polenta [food] in the pot = the harvest will be bountiful)
Se ‘l fumo va a matìna (if the smoke moves toward the sunrise)
ciote el saco e va a farina!” (go get your sack and harvest some flour = the harvest won’t be one of the best)

colli asolani

January 15 – The hills of Asolo illuminated by the morning light.

gemme glera

January 15 – That film on the buds seems to indicate the bud break is close. This is worrisome.

prosecco winter fancy food sf

January 18 – We are showing our wines together with others from the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers (FIVI) at the Winter Fancy Food Show 2016 in San Francisco.

temperature potatura

January 19 – Now we can really get to work. Pruning at 6° below zero strengthens your body and your mind. Too bad the thermometer was below zero for just a few days!

potatura pausa

January 19 – This is the only way to warm your fingers when they are frozen!

prosecco quotidiano

January 21 – Great to see coverage of Bele Casel in the local papers.

vecchi grappoli

January 25 – Old bunches.

tralci

January 27 – Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s a grape grower’s spoon!

Pruning in the winter. Prosecco Diaries December 2015

Pruning and vineyard work in December.

This year we began with our vineyard in Monfumo. Generally, we save that parcel for last because it’s the coldest part of our appellation and it’s the most likely to freeze.

But this year we had spread composted manure there already. And the dry soil made it possible to move through the vineyard with a small bulldozer in order to “facilitate” our work.

It took three persons to prune the whole vineyard in four days. Had this been a vineyard on the valley floor, it would have taken us half a day.

December 2: Again this year, we will make our rooted Glera cuttings using wood from the old vines in Monfumo.

barbatelle glera

December 4: We spent two days in the Langa hills of Piedmont and we stopped to take a look at a parcel that had just been tilled. It was great to discover the soil in Serralunga d’Alba is identical to that in Monfumo. The former is one of the great crus of Barolo, the latter is one of the great crus of Asolo Prosecco.

terreno barolo

December 7: This is the type of day that reminds of the differences between the hilltops and the valley floor. Dry and humid air in the lowest part. Dry and higher temperatures in the higher part of the vineyard.

vigna monfumo

December 12: A winning pairing!

ferrari colfondo

December 18: We begin spreading manure in the vineyard in Monfumo using a bulldozer. Then we finish our by hand using a pitchfork.

motocarriola vigna

December 19: We teach the children about the importance of the land.

terra monfumo

December 28: A frozen good morning! But we continue pruning nonetheless.

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The same day: Fog on the valley floor, sun and ice in the hills.

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