Col fondo, or its more familiar term in French “sur lie”, is the traditional way to ferment sparkling wines in Veneto, but like so many winemaking traditions is now an outlier. Riccardo Zanotto, a furniture maker by day whose family used to sell off their grapes, is bringing it back.
His family’s vines are located in Resera, a small town in the hills close to Valdobbiadene and Conegliano. This is the Prosecco heartland where glera thrives, but where few are producing the col fondo way.
For his throwback style the alcoholic fermentation begins in tank and then the wine is bottled along with the remaining yeast and residual sugar. This semi raw juice finishes its fermentation under a crown cap while it releases its c02. Since there is no added sugar are yeasts, the wines are not disgorged or filtered.
He also makes a fizzy, traditional red wine that is a blend of marzemino and cabernet sauvignon, which is also harkens back to a more rustic time in northern Italian winemaking.