VIDEO VIGNETO RITROVATO
Intervista ad Alberto Serena
VIDEO VIGNETO RITROVATO
Montelvini continues to invest energy and passion into the recovery of “Vigneto Ritrovato” (Rediscovered Vineyard), in search of its origins and the origins of Asolo Prosecco DOCG. Exactly one year has passed since the project was introduced, when the company, a symbol of the most representative and authentic Montello denomination, announced its desire to revive this small abandoned vineyard, the only one in the heart of Asolo town, already present at the time of the Napoleonic maps.
An important new phase is now opening. In collaboration with CREA-VE (Research Centre for Viticulture and Oenology), a Glera clone typical of the area has been identified, which has practically disappeared over the years as it is not very productive. Thanks to technicians, agronomists and oenologists, the soil is now being prepared to plant the rooted grafts at the beginning of next year. The clone is the ISV VA8 clone to be more precise, a Glera selection of Asolan origin with interesting qualitative characteristics and typically representative of the territory. “The Rediscovered Vineyard is a project that requires time, resources and dedication,” explains Alberto Serena, managing director of Montelvini, creator, in person, of the project . “Each choice, every action must be carefully calibrated, maintaining the delicate balance between landscape, oenology, history and territory”.
The Serena family’s interest in researching and preserving biodiversity in this area is reflected in initiatives such as this, testifying to the desire to keep up this viticulture with a long history. A viticulture that, over time, has maintained the biological diversity of the vines, preserving minor varieties and one that was already known for its quality at the time of the Serenissima Republic of Venice; so much so that wines from this area were taxed more than other products in the Treviso area.
The project of the “Rediscovered Vineyard” recounts the special link between the company and the “City of a hundred horizons”, a symbol of culture and history, the heart of the Prosecco Superiore Asolo Docg denomination. A territory where grapes have been an integral part of the landscape, since the noble Contarini family, owner of the land, had what is now known as the “Armeni Villa” built in 1558. In fact, the “Rediscovered Vineyard” overlooks Villa Contarini and the famous Italian garden of Villa De Mattia. In this ambitious project, the Serena family is supported by a multidisciplinary working group, a real pool of professionals, made up of architects and landscape specialists, university professors, documentarians and historians, municipal institutions and experts in viticulture.
An elegant, refined gift box, embellished with golden details, designed to preserve the luxury bubbles of Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG. For the upcoming holidays, it is the Montelvini-signed, Christmas proposal that offers a packaging created specifically for the most prestigious label: the Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Millesimato Extra Brut from the Serenitatis collection; highest expression of the denomination.
A unique product of its kind, since the Prosecco Extra Brut is created solely in the DOCG territory of Asolo. A selection of excellence enhancing the fresh character of the Glera grape and the exclusive characteristics of Asolo prosecco, i.e. the citrus aroma, flavour and structure. An ideal wine for toasts and brightening up the Christmas holidays.
The owl, symbol of Montelvini, reveals close links with the territory. The area where the winery is located is called Zuitere, or “land of the owls”, because Zuita is the dialectal term used in these hills to indicate the owl, which has always been a symbol of ancestral wisdom and knowledge. A true guardian of the territory that in this new Christmas packaging, in its sparkling and magical guise, represents respect for mother earth and its equilibrium, elements that have always been synonymous with Montelvini quality.
ASOLO. 2018 WILL BE A GREAT YEAR
In recent days, Montelvini has closed the harvest season, a ritual that the company has been performing for over 130 years with the winemakers from the Asolo and Montello territory.
What will 2018 be like? We asked Stefano Nandi, oenologist and technical director of the company.
It will undoubtedly be a golden year in terms of quality and quantity, not only thanks to the favourable climatic conditions that have been with us since the first months of the year but also the introduction of new protocols for grape harvesting and for the vinification of sparkling wine bases. The wines are already showing good freshness, a good aromatic profile and balanced acidity. These characteristics are the right basis for obtaining excellent sparkling wines.
In more detail, between flowering and harvesting, what were the weather conditions like?
From the beginning of the harvest, the grapes have turned out to be beautiful, healthy, practically perfect bunches. This is because we had a balanced climate, giving us a cool spring and not too torrid a summer, with the exception of the first fortnight in August. This helped enhance the unique characteristics of the territory’s vines. The late summer thunderstorms did not cause any damage, on the contrary, they gave some breathing space to the plants that worked better at lower temperatures, not only from a quantitative point of view but also from a qualitative perspective.
There’s nature and then there’s man. Has the company used any new technical measures in the harvest this year?
We have put in place even stricter actions and parameters, not only for the grapes produced in our own vineyards but also for those from the local winemakers, with whom we have been collaborating for over ten years, often handed down from generation to generation. We have already begun this work in recent years and technically accompanied the winemakers towards a gradual, constant increase in production quality, thanks to technical advice on vineyard management and assistance in the field.
If you had to choose a wine or variety, which product from the 2018 vintage would be in first place?
The 2018 vintage has all the prerequisites for achieving a high level of quality in the final product for all productions. In particular, Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG will have a strong personality, also enhanced by the new sparkling wine protocol, and will be even more surprising for its elegance, finesse and perlage.
The curtain has come down on the 75th edition of the Venice Film Festival, which this year saw some of the most acclaimed celebrities of the film world on the red carpet, including Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Naomi Watts, Paz Vega, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and many others. Montelvini was also a star at the Centurion Palace gift room, the 5-star luxury facility of the SINA chain, a “suite of gifts” dedicated to actors, actresses and all the main stars in the entertainment world. The artists had the opportunity to taste the Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut on the luxurious terrace overlooking St. Mark’s Square, and had fun signing the “Prèt à Porter” bottles by Montelvini, in miniature version.
Looking ahead, Montelvini will be present at Horeca Expo 2018, the largest Belgian trade fair for the catering industry, to be held from 18 to 22 November at Flanders Expo, Ghent.
Greater body, more flavour and increasingly intense fruity aromas. These are the elements enhanced by the new sparkling wine and vinification process developed for the 2017 vintage of Asolo Prosecco DOCG Serenitatis from the Serena family. Such measures are able to preserve and enhance the qualities of the wines originating from the particular terroir of the appellation, where viticulture is a lasting tradition that has maintained the biodiversity of the vines, even preserving the minor varieties over time. Already during the period of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, this viticulture was known for its quality, so much so that wines from the Asolo and Montella territory were taxed more than other products in the Treviso area.
Applied to all the wines of the Serenitatis Line, the process requires a careful selection of vinery and raw materials, cutting-edge technology with the latest-generation presses, and a state-of-the-art laboratory that allows more than 90% of routine analyses to be effectuated within the company. The main strategy of this approach is to reduce the enrichment of oxygen in the wine during production as this compromises the quality. In this way, the wine is enhanced along with the richness and fruity aromas, due to the changes in temperature between day and night in the hilly environment and even the structure, a characteristic almost never associated with prosecco, but which is determined by the content of minerals in the soil in the Asolo area. It is precisely the medium-textured soil composed of marlstone and clays, at times rich in iron oxides, that helps confer greater body and persistency.
Montelvini, dedicated to research and the conservation of biodiversity, is continuing to invest in the restoration of the “Rediscovered Vineyard”, in collaboration with CREA-VE (Centro di Ricerca per la Viticoltura e l’Enologia – the Research Centre for Viticulture and Œnology), currently the only small-scale vineyard, already present on Napoleonic maps, within the Italian-style garden of the beautiful Villa De Mattia in the heart of the town of Asolo. At the beginning of next year, a clone of the typical Glera found in the area will be planted, after having virtually disappeared over time due to its very low productivity.
ALLEATI IN VIGNA 2018
In July, the second edition of the Montelvini tour will take place, dedicated to the discovery of Asolo’s sparkling wine, the most exclusive label from the Prosecco world. After the success of last year, the most famous venues in Italy will organise soirees, during which it will be possible to become acquainted with the selection that represents Montelvini’s excellence: the Serenitatis collection, created to celebrate the exclusive charm of the Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, produced today by Montelvini by following a new protocol developed to confer even greater finesse and flavour and enhance the freshness and character of the glera grape variety.
Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Millesimato Extra Brut Serenitatis
It is the finest expression of Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, a culmination of excellence that celebrates the exclusive charm of DOCG sparkling wines, fully exalting the freshness and character of the glera grape variety. The denomination Asolo Montello is the only label of Prosecco that can lay claim the Extra Brut typology. It is also ideal for gastronomic pairings. The wine is characterised by a pleasant fruity fragrance, pale straw yellow in colour with green reflections and featuring fine perlage with excellent consistency and persistence. The aroma, after an initial floral nuance, becomes broad and fruity, maintaining the natural elegance typical of the variety of grapes it is derived from. It is a complex wine in terms of the quantity and quality of olfactory sensations it offers, most notably Nashi, a fruit with characteristics resembling both Golden apples and pears, and a delicate mineral note. The taste expresses its intensity, good structure and pleasant acidity.
A dream among the vineyards. Interview with Alberto Serena
The Serena family, owners of Montelvini, have been dedicated to the production of wine with skill and passion for 137 years. They hold the utmost respect for the land and nature. Alberto Serena, the CEO, explains the values on which the alliance, which has lasted five generations thus far, has been founded.
Alberto, when did you first dream of breathing new life into a vineyard abandoned in such an evocative and historically significant place as Asolo?
Two years ago in summer, at a wine tasting at Locanda Cipriani, I met the owners of Villa Contarini who told me about an old abandoned vineyard that rose above a garden and their desire to restore it. At that moment, I imagined the restoration of the vineyard in all its glory. Our family has always been deeply linked to the territory of Asolo: we have been making wine since 1881 and this project represents a gift we give to ourselves, to our family, to our ancestors, as well as a tribute to our land, to Asolo and to the community. The vineyard, a stone’s throw away from the ancient city walls, is a priceless garden that we have “rediscovered” and that we want to become a shared heritage for everyone.
A pact with the land, a promise to be kept…what does “Alleati in Vigna” (Allies in the Vineyard) mean?
It means daily commitment, that which characterises our work on a daily basis. Ourselves, our employees, our agents and distributors and the restaurateurs who offer our products and who believe in the philosophy of Montelvini. We are all “allies in the vineyard” because we are called upon to become interpreters of the territory of Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, to promote it and safeguard it.
In addition to these projects, what are the actions put in place by your company to promote and safeguard the area?
With regard to the environment, we try to preserve resources, curb energy consumption and the exploitation of the land, while also guaranteeing consumer interests. In the vineyard, the use of pesticides is minimised and replaced by the use of selective low or non-toxic substances. The grass covering the land planted with vines helps to counteract surface soil erosion of the hilly terrain and maintain the balance of minerals in the soil. The sub-irrigation prevents water dispersion. We apply this principle to all production stages, including waste disposal and packaging, and we favour the use of renewable energy.
Furthermore, in 2018, we started a significant phase for the qualitative enhancement of the production of Asolo Prosecco, by introducing a new vinification and sparkling wine production protocol. This has made it possible to optimally control the oxygen enrichment of wines, with the objective of exalting selected characteristics in our wines, in particular in the Serenitatis line, such as longevity, flavour and olfactory elegance, conferring elevated perlage and body to the product and reducing the amount of added sulphites.
Together with the beautiful Eleonora Pedron, the Serena family presented a corner of the “Rediscovered Vineyard” (Vigneto Ritrovato) at the fair.
At Vinitaly, Eleonora Pedron the beautiful Venetian showgirl and former Miss Italy, toasted, together with the Serena family and the Montelvinicompany staff, to the success of “Vigneto Ritrovato”, the ambitious project to restore a small vineyard plot located in the historic centre of Asolo.
Eleonora herself cut the ribbon and inaugurated the dedicated virtual exhibition that illustrated the various phases of the project and celebrated one of the most beautiful places in the city: the greenery, the vineyards and the ancient fortress that dominates the silhouette of the hills, were the real protagonists of an exciting experience thanks to projections, images and narratives. Eleonora Pedron expressed her enthusiasm for this initiative, which speaks of beauty and conservation of the typically Italian productive, historical and artistic heritage: fostering a vineyard in the heart of the beautiful town leads to greater recognition of the name of Asolo DOCG.
In 2017, Montelvini was also awarded the prestigious Special Award for this project at the fourth edition of the Vini & Consumi Awards.This is an initiative judged by a panel of 21 experts within the retail sector and supported by Tespi Mediagroup that serves to reward the commitment of companies in the wine industry that have distinguished themselves in the conception and realisation of commercial marketing activities and product and communication innovation.
In anticipation of the first bottles of wine to be created with the grapes of the “Rediscovered Vineyard”, scheduled for 2022, visitors were able to taste Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG from the Serenitatis Collection, following a new production protocol that was developed to confer even greater finesse and flavour.