Casa Coste Piane

Now those flatlands are full of vines, and commercial prosecco with a capital “ P”, that insipid, slightly cloying, and frankly disgusting wine, is the main economy of the region.Thanks to his father and grandfather, Loris and his two sons have never had to plant a vine. This is a good thing because their vineyards are absurdly steep and the soil is very shallow, hitting solid limestone or sandstone rock in a few centimeters. As a result, they have only 60 years or older vines, planted in high pergola on steep hillsides. In high season, the vineyards give the impression of a primaveral vine forest. The Folladors are well aware of this fortunate legacy and treat it with the

This is a readily drinkable style of very dry prosecco that has backbone, breed and evident minerality.

Loris Follador is from a long line of farmers in Valdobbiadene. His family had vines on the steep hillsides when the flat areas of the valley were still pastureland and turnip fields and the main local industry was the nearby pottery and tile factories.

Now those flatlands are full of vines, and commercial prosecco with a capital “ P” -that insipid, slightly cloying, and frankly disgusting wine- is the main economy of the region.Thanks to his father and grandfather, Loris and his two sons have never had to plant a vine. This is a good thing because their vineyards are absurdly steep and the soil is very shallow, hitting solid limestone or sandstone rock in a few centimeters. As a result, they have only 60 years or older vines, planted in high pergola on steep hillsides. In high season, the vineyards give the impression of a primaveral vine forest. The Folladors are well aware of this fortunate legacy and treat it with the reverence and respect it deserves.

No herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers are used. It’s impossible to plow here, but it’s really not necessary with vines of this age; they’ve long ago found their sources deep within the stone formation below and are not in competition with any surface vegetation. The harvesting is, of course, by hand and would seem, especially in the steepest spots, near impossible. Most importantly, the focus on the vinification and the cellar work is to express, as simply and directly as possible, the potential minerality and the terroir of these vines.

Loris follows a tradition of winemaking that was handed down to him from previous generations without adopting any of the methods and “improvements” that followed the economic boom of the 60’s, but with a certain regard for technological innovation. The grapes are immediately pressed using a pneumatic press (a relatively modern invention that is more efficient and allows for cleaner, fresher juice than a vertical press.) The must is then partially fermented and the lees and juice are separated and the lees cleaned through filtration. At one time a cloth membrane that resembles a very large tea sack was used, but these days they use a paper membrane. The cleaned juice and filtered lees are reintroduced together in bottle in the late winter and referment by early to mid-summer, creating its own bead and a carbon dioxide environment that prevents oxidation without the use of sulfur. There is no disgorgement, so the expired lees remain in the bottle adding further complexity, but also some cloudiness. The wine can be decanted off of the deposit or poured as is with its natural harmless turbidity. Either way, the flavor is unchanged and the minerality unmistakable. This is a readily drinkable style of very dry prosecco that has backbone, breed and evident minerality.

Coste Piane was founded by his grandfather; in those days, all sparkling wine from the village was made completely dry, with a méthode traditionelle secondary fermentation in bottle. But at some point in Loris' lifetime, two major changes occured: people began to develop a taste for a much sweeter style of Prosecco, and cave cooperatives began dominating local production. Today, almost all Prosecco is chaptalized and carbonated in the chermat method. By the time Loris took over the estate in the late 70's, things were taking a turn for the worst. Since most vigniaoli were selling their grapes to a coop, the more they had to sell the better, which led many to aim for the highest yields possible (Loris then explained that Prosecco vines are already incredibly high yielding, and that you really need to act responsibly if you want the juice to retain any complexity). And with the dominance of chemical agricultural practices that began post-war (which became the norm in the region in the late 70s early 80s), chemical fertilizers were incredibly popular to beef up yields. But Loris was unfazed: he's always worked the vineyards organically and made the wine naturally. When he started, only 3 producers in Valdobbiadene worked traditionally. Now there are about 20, which makes him happy.

Prosecco di Valdobbiadene "Sur Lie" : Grapes are direct pressed, then racked to stainless steel and cold fermented until completely dry. The wine ferments for about 12 days then settles in tank for 4 months. A must (which is usually purchased) is then added to the wine and bottled immediately, where it re-ferments in bottle.

 

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