"Wine is sunlight held together by water." Galileo Gallilei
The first time we tasted the still developing wine from the tanks happened about a dozen years ago on our first trip to Valdobbiadene in search of a Prosecco to import to California. As I have mentioned previously, a chance encounter at the hotel directed us to the Zucchetto winery, and the rest is history. That was the day we first met Carlo Zucchetto. And, when he took us into the cellar, he filled glass after glass with the immature wine from various tanks. Jim still remembers this event with a smile and some nostalgia. For, as he drank the proffered juice from the tank, he blissfully believed there was no alcohol in it. So, he chugged down each glass full, first the Extra Dry, then the Puro Fol, then the Cartizze. Unfortunately, as Carlo advised him after he drained the glasses, there is alcohol in the juice at this point in the process.
Perhaps it is this misconception that made the first time so memorable for Jim. For me, it was more about the significance of the event itself. It was a confirmation that we were indeed wine importers and Prosecco would be the first wine we would import. Today, we reside in Italy and no longer import wines to the US, but that fact did not preclude Jim from wanting to taste from the tank on our recent trip to Valdobbiadene. And our friend, Carlo, needed no prompting to accommodate Jim's wish.
We arrived at the Zucchetto cantina, greeted Carlo and his father, Paolo, and then followed Carlo straight to the cellar. Jim's eyes lit up when Carlo pulled out a couple of glasses and started to pour the wine from the tanks.
We sat at the table in the cantina with Carlo, Paolo, and a local wine writer and waited as Carlo popped the cork on the PuroFol Brut.
To learn more about the Zucchetto winery, visit them at http://www.zucchetto.com. Zucchetto Prosecco is available at http://www.chigazolamerchants.com/products/zucchetto-prosecco-cartizze-docg.
For those of you wondering about the derivation of the name Zucchetto, the word has several meanings in Italian. First it is a little pumpkin from the word, Zucca. However, the more prevalent meaning of zucchetto is the little skull cap worn by priests which is said to resemble half of a pumpkin. I have no idea how this relates to Carlo, his family and the winery. It is just some trivia.