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Prosecco Tasting on an Escape From Venice


Another secret of this vineyard is that they make the only bubbles in the world to come from grapes harvested by full moonlight in early September. The cool night air locks in the flavor and aroma of the grapes and prevents their early fermentation. To us, it was like drinking ethereal moonlight.

Continuing along the Prosecco Road past Revine Lake, we took in the small, quiet villages. Here prosecco is the main industry, and life remains traditional. It made sense that our next visit was to a family vineyard that has been making wine for 54 years.

Cristina Gatto welcomed us on a tour of the Campion cellars where her brother, educated at prestigious Conegliano's School of Oenology, is the winemaker and only 170,000 bottles are produced each year. We saw the old cement casks where her grandfather made prosecco and the steel tanks that they use now. In one area of the cellar hung packages of sopressa, a cinnamon-spiced salami that we found to be a marvelous complement to our tasting.

Outside again, Gatto walked with us to the family's vines and reverently touched one that she said was at least 85 years old. Next to it was a baby that she smiled at indulgently; it won't be able to produce fruit for three years, but it is the future of Campion. Gatto said that they never clear an entire vineyard -- they only replace what dies naturally and keep the old vines as long as possible.

"We want to preserve our land and our tradition," she explained.

Later, as she poured wine and offered us snacks, Gatto extolled more benefits of the undulating landscape and told us that there are at least 10 microclimates in their property alone. It is from those that her family selects their best grapes to become Cartizze, the champion of proseccos.

"My brother is able to perceive the different personalities of our land; he can taste the shadows."

There is no public transport available to reach the vineyards in the UNESCO World Heritage area where DOCG prosecco is made. One must hire a guide or rent a car. But without Rossano, we would have missed out on understanding that tradition so special here. Like the winemakers, he speaks of the vines, the grapes, the land and the wines with a special tenderness. It was his skilled guidance that allowed us to taste the moon and the shadows in the bubbles.




La Vigna di Sarah: www.lavignadisarah.it

Campion: www.campionspumanti.it/en

Riccardo Rossano: www.italytoursandmore.com


Lesley Sauls Frederikson is a freelance writer. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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