Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Col Fondo, not Sur Lie"

That was the kind admonishment from the galleries as my young friend Paolo Bressan was showing the wine from his winemaker friend Christian Zanatta’s Cà dei Zago farm. The young winemaker was a few minutes in coming, but when he arrived, with the sun on his face (“We just finished pruning”).

A short entry as day two of Vinitaly is crashing upon my pillow. All this to say many great wines tasted and too many to mention here. But looking back over the first day, an emotional one for many reasons, the simple mission of the young winemaker sticks in my mind. Let him tell the story.

“I found myself making wine in the Prosecco region, where I come from, and making it in a large facility. I then spent a year in New Zealand and looking back across the planet I saw what I wanted to do was to go home and make wine the way my great grandfather did. No additions, only my soil, the vines, no extra energy. Only my hands. So I went home and that is what I did.”

His hands are the hands of a working man. No apologies there. The sun on his face, the face of a young Paul Newman, shines, bursts with happiness found from doing what his heart tells him. Oh, how I wish all people, young and old could find what this young man has found, for it is true happiness.

And the wine? The Prosecco is bone dry, delicate. The energy is molecular, from within, and is better with a year in the bottle (we tried the 2011 and the 2010). There is captured sparkle inside the wine, but in the most natural way. Really a gorgeous wine.

I have to go now. But there will be more about wine like this and young people like this young man from Cà dei Zago. I promise...

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