Case Paolin Pietra Fine Asolo Prosecco DOCG

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The ancient town of Asolo sits about 40 miles northwest of Venice in Italy’s province of Trevino.  The Museo Canoviano is situated here, home to some of the works by  Antonio Canova (1757-1822).  Canova was the son of a stonecutter and grandson of a stone mason, and was an Italian Neoclassical sculptor famous for his marble sculptures. Indeed, he is often regarded as the greatest of the Neoclassical artists.  Pietra Fine is Italian for Fine Stone, an homage to the work of Canova housed in Asolo, as well as the grey stones of one of Paolin’s vineyards that was once a riverbed.

In the early 1970s, Emillio Pozzobon, a farmer from a long ling of farmers, bought the estate where his father and his grandfather had worked as sharecroppers. Although the property had largely been used for the cultivation of  silkworms, he devoted himself entirely to growing grapes there. Continue reading “Case Paolin Pietra Fine Asolo Prosecco DOCG”

Mionetto Cartizze DOCG Prosecco

Mionetto Cartizze DOCG Prosecco
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In 1887, master winemaker Francesco Mionetto opened his own winery in Valdobbiadene, in the heart of the Prosecco area, just north of Venice.

In Mionetto’s vineyards, some slopes roll gently towards the valley, others are much steeper. For protection from the prevailing cold alpine winds and icy rains from the north, vines are on southeastern slopes. They face the morning sun, benefiting from the early sunlight and a morning jolt of carbon dioxide, needed for sugar production. The soil characteristics are mainly alluvial, calcareous, and marly (a crumbly mixture of clays, calcium, magnesium carbonates, and remnants of shells).

The climate is generally temperate here. The area is protected by the Alps to the north and warmed by the winds of the Adriatic Sea to the east, mitigating temperatures in summer and producing rainfall that favors the proper growth of vines. In late summer, the area is characterized by great temperature variations between day and night, enabling the growth of aromatic substances in the grapes as they mature.

The Prosecco DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin) area was established in 2009. The DOCG area is located in northeastern Italy and comprises five provinces of the Veneto region and four in the Friuli region. Grapes are grown between 50 and 500 meters (165 to 1650 feet) above sea level. The highest-quality DOCG production is in the historic “Superiore di Cartizze” micro-area, which is only 107 hectares (264 acres) in size.

Mionetto has always prided themselves on innovation, and in 1982 they introduced autoclave fermentation (also known as the Charmat Process). There is a temperature-controlled first fermentation that takes place at the facilities of their producers to create the still wine. Then the second fermentation takes place in autoclaves (large sealed tanks) instead of individual bottles. This additional temperature-controlled fermentation creates Prosecco’s characteristic bubbles, and is intended to help maintain the freshness and aroma of the grape in the bottling phase.

Mionetto Cartizze DOCG Prosecco

This Mionetto Cartizze DOCG Prosecco is bright gold in the flute, with a nose reminiscent of apple and pear, plus hints of citrus. It is soft and creamy on the palate, with an aftertaste of sugared almonds. It also features fine bubbles and a lively floral aroma,

This wine would make an excellent accompaniment to desserts, cakes, pastries, fruit salads, and tarts.

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Nino Franco Winery

Nino Franco WineryTiny bubbles, in the wine
Make me happy (make me happy)
Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)
Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
Make me warm all over.

Don Ho certainly appreciated sparkling wine, and I’m here to encourage you to do the same. There are plenty of reasonably priced bubblies available, so there is no need to save them for a special occasion (although that works too).

First, some clarification. Legally, only those sparkling wines produced in France’s Champagne region, a viticultural area 90 miles northeast of Paris, can be called Champagne. All other sparkling wines, i.e. spumante, prosecco, crémant, sparklers from California, are well…sparkling wine.

And that’s what Nino Franco Winery makes in Valdobbiadene in Italy’s Veneto region. Vines are grown only on the most sunny parts of the hills, at altitudes varying between 150 and 1500 feet above sea level, while the north-facing slopes are covered mainly in woodland.

The climate throughout the area is mild, with not excessively cold winters and warm summers, which is when the nobility of Venice likes to visit.

The Franco winery was founded here in 1919 by Antonio Franco. Under his son Nino the winery expanded its operations and markets. Primo, the third generation proprietor, currently oversees operations with his daughter Silvia.

Primo Franco took his diploma of oenology at the Scuola di Enologia in Conegliano (Veneto). He then decided to develop his own approach to the growth of the vines and the production of prosecco at this modern winery. Since October 1990 Primo has utilized non-traditional cultivation techniques combined with the use of old varietal clones. He also invested in the production process in order to eliminate all those wines that were atypical for the area.

Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG NV

This is a brut, or quite dry, prosecco. It is very pale yellow in the flute, with rather coarse bubbles that quickly dissipate. It features flavors of traditional green apple and a hint of ginger ale. With a medium body and a clean finish, this would be excellent as an apertivo. Drink this young and lively prosecco soon after purchase.

This wine wants to be served with appetizers, such as a classic Bruschetta, Tomatoes Stuffed with Shrimp, or Grilled Mussels and Clams on the Half Shell.

Nino Franco Faìve Rosè Brut Spumante NV

Faìve [fieEEve] is Italian for those sparks and tongues whipping about at the top of a fire, which gives this copper-hued wine its name. Another product of Primo Franco’s restlessness, Faìve is an untraditional blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, both cold soaked on the skins.

The nose appropriately recalls dried red rose petals, with a bit of vanilla and honey. The taste is nicely balanced: dry, with lively acidity, black cherry fruit, a hint of tannic bitterness, and plenty of bubbles, of course.

Despite its color, this is a wine for savory dishes, like Risotto with Clams, Fricasseed Chicken with Egg and Lemon, or Frittata with Tomato, Onion, and Basil.

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