For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Isaac Newton’s third law remains as true today as it was when it was first written 300 years ago.
Because it’s very easy to get distracted by all the Prosecco merchandising on Pinterest and Facebook, you might have missed the underground resistance movement which is Prosecco col fondo.
Only a handful of winemakers held out against the advances in technology and the ease of producing good (but generic) wine that the arrival of Charmat (tank) method permitted. Instead, they continued to allow the wine to referment in its bottle and didn’t degorge or decant – col fondo.
The Costadilà winery started in 2006 as a wine-child of a group of friends, who wanted to protect and propagate this col fondo tradition.
Their philosophy – single vineyards at varied elevations, indigenous yeasts, no added sulfur – was an instant success. They were sold through the most reputable of natural wine distributors (Velier in Italy, LMDW in France and Louis Dressner in the USA) and I saw personally how their wines took Paris’ most pioneering restaurants and wine bars by storm.
It was THE col fondo Prosecco in Paris and the Costadilà wines opened the door to other atypical wines in these second-wave bistronomy establishments.
That I hadn’t written about the Costadilà winery on this blog before was a deliberate omission. I had a visit scheduled with Ernesto Cattel (the man behind these enigmatic wines) in March 2015, to meet in a café just off the Vittorio Veneto Autostrada but I waited an hour just to realise that I’d been stood up.
This morning, like most mornings, I scroll through Facebook to see what’s been going on and woefully, I learn that Ernesto, after a battle with cancer, has died.
I mentioned before that the Costadilà brand (the real company name is actually Ederlezi) is made up of a group of similarly-minded wine folk. At the beginning, they all had full-time jobs and this was just a side-project. Ernesto was the one to give up his day job and throw all the hours in the day into making and selling these bubbles.
But, with Ernesto’s sad quietus, will one of the other partners step forward to take the winery forward? Or will they bring in someone from outside and how would that affect the company’s dynamic? The loss of Ernesto means one less proponent of a style of wine that I’ve come to love.
Other producers of prosecco grapes vinified in the col fondo way include: