For our last wine tour in Italy, we journeyed 2 hours northeast of Verona to the province of Treviso & home to one of my favorite wines to drink…Prosecco! We spent nearly the whole day with the wonderful Nardi family, who owns & operates La Farra, a Prosecco producer and one Jens’ direct imports. Brothers Innocente & Guido along with their sister, Adamaria, own & operate La Farra (named after their village Farra di Soligo) which began in 1997. Though the winery is young, it has become well-known internationally for its superb quality and excellence. (Innocente is the current President of the Prosecco consortium.)
Most of you are familiar with the delicious Italian sparkling wine known as Prosecco. I myself started drinking it many years ago, purely as an affordable option for bubbles. Don’t let the price tag fool you! Prosecco is a very serious sparkling and with its DOCG status for the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region as of 2009, it’s considered one of the great wines of Italy.
Our tour began with a tasting of several of their Proseccos including their Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore along with some local salumi & cheese. We then visited their modern production facility where both Adamaria & Guido Nardi explained the process of making prosecco. Pictured below, Guido explains the bottling line for their prosecco.
The main difference between the Italian method and Champagne method of making sparkling wine is that with prosecco the secondary fermenation takes place in steel tanks versus in the bottle for Champagne. (Also the latter is often aged for years in the bottle.) Prosecco must be made with at least 85% of “Glera” the primary grape of prosecco, with a maximum of 15% of any of the other approved grapes, which includes Verdiso, Perera, Bianchetta, Glera Lunga, Pinot or Chardonnay. Note: La Farra uses 100% Glera for all of their Prosecco.
The landscape of the Prosecco region was breathtaking, with its many steep hillsides and valley floor covered with vineyards. The production zone extends over an area of 20,000 hectares (nearly 50,000 acres) with altitudes ranging from 160 to 1600 feet. All this equates to one stunningly beautiful and impressive wine region! Here are some photos from our day:
Cartizze Vineyard – The famous Cartizze hillside located in Valdobbiadene is a Cru zone with only 262 acres. Considered one of the most expensive terroirs in Italy, prosecco from the Cartizze zone is truly special. I was thrilled to be seeing it with my own eyes!
Collagu Vineyard – After a 15 minute drive straight up a windy road through the forest, we came upon the small commune of Collagu, home to La Farra’s superiore vineyard. It’s also their steepest at over 1200 feet. Innocente explained due to the steepness of these vines, it takes 20 people over 2 days to harvest only 2 hectares.
Steep vineyard – This is just a random vineyard in the Valdobbiadene region. I wanted to show how steep the vineyards are. Everything is hand-harvested. Even if they wanted to use machines to harvest, it’s impossible due to how steep the vineyards are!
With Adamaria – Our gracious host! We are standing on the ledge of where their Superiore Vineyard (Collagu) is located. Thank you to the Nardi family for such an amazing tour of their beautiful region and winery. I cannot wait to visit again!
There are many levels of dryness for Prosecco including Brut, Extra Dry and Dry which are distinguished by the quantity of residual sugar in each. Here at Portalis we are proud to offer the following La Farra Prosecco Brut, Extra Dry & Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG. My personal favorite for only a few dollars more is their Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. We currently pour the La Farra Extra Dry at the bar, so stop by for a glass!