The grapes are harvested by hand in small crates and then are delicately selected and destemmed on a sorting table. After being crushed, the must is transferred using gravity flow to cement tanks. Maceration with skins is carried out for 2 days with occasional pumping over and punching down. Spontaneous fermentation follows.The wine then rests over the winter, with clarification, tartaric stabilisation, and protein stabilisation all occurring naturally – no fining or filtration here. The second fermentation occurs spontaneously in the bottle, generating gentle fizz and sediment in the bottom (or fondo) of the bottle. The bottles spend a further 3 months stored horizontally to ensure that the wine gains further harmony through this contact with the cork and oxygen. This is a light and refreshing style of fizz and a fantastic Prosecco. Lovely texture and super vibrant. This is good stuff.
Notes on the Producer
“Family” is a buzzword you hear in all businesses, but after a couple of minutes with Christian Zago, the 5th generation of the eponymous natural Prosecco winery in the heart of Valdobbiadene, you realise that in this particular case it’s not a marketing cliché. Family is naturally present in virtually everything this athletic-built farmer points out while showing you around. Even the bottle of their flagship Col Fondo has barely changed since Christian’s father designed the label in the 1970s; the current Zago generation only added their signatures.
The most important part of this family legacy is the vineyards—now 6.5 hectares in total—and the way the Zagos treat them. Since the beginnings as a mixed farm in 1924, they have never used chemical fertilisers, an approach that Christian is taking even further as an avid practitioner of biodynamics. “Nature is stronger than you. If you break the balance in the vineyard by trying to control it, you can’t recreate it in the cellar, only temporarily coerce the wine into a fake, short-lived equilibrium,” he asserts.