The Calm After the Harvest



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Just 15 days after harvest there is finally a sense of calm in the air of the hills of Valdobbiadene as the grapes are quietly resting in one of Spagnol’s many tanks, and the workers are taking a much-deserved rest.

Although the abundant smell of manure met us as we entered the neat south facing rows, the sun is strong and very welcoming for an October morning.

Enrica, Spagnol’s Export Manager, explained to us not only why this region of northeast Italy is so very perfect for producing Prosecco Superiore, but what inspires the Spagnol family to work hard every day of the year to develop a series of well balanced, and much-loved wines.

These glera vines have a unique terroir to immerse themselves in. The rapidly sloping hills, with a foundation of conglomerate rock, places them on a pedestal for the world to see. For this reason, no machinery can assist with the harvest or year-round work here and the labor of love is rewarded through the rich and flavorful grapes which intertwine in the double-overturned vine-breeding growing style. The manual labor means acute attention to detail during pruning, fertilizing and of course harvesting. Each bunch is analyzed by the Spagnol family by using the Martinotti / Charmat method of harvesting as they decide which will be sent to the cantina for the first phase of production and which should be left for the plant to enjoy as it matures.

Many of these steep slopes provide the right environment for water control, as the vines are never too damp or too dry. The alps, just 50 miles away, also keep the air fresh during the long summer months to ensure each grape cherishes the right level of humidity.

Not far from where we received our first introduction to the Spagnol vines is Col del Sas. This hill in the Valdobbiadene area of Processo has been owned by the Spagnol family since the beginning of the twentieth century and forms the roots of their extended heritage. Their Col del Sas Brut is perfect for any occasion and can add an element of sophistication to any aperitif or lunch menu.