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Loris Follador is from a long line of farmers in Valdobbiadene. Thanks to his father and grandfather, Loris and his two sons have never had to plant a vine. Their vineyards, featuring 60+ year old vines, are absurdly steep and the soil is very shallow, hitting solid limestone or sandstone rock in a few centimeters. 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. 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 “improvements” of the 60’s, but with a certain regard for technological innovation. The grapes are immediately pressed using a pneumatic press. The must is then partially fermented and the lees and juice are separated and the lees cleaned through filtration. The cleaned juice and filtered lees are reintroduced together in bottle in the late winter and re-ferment 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. Either way, the flavor is unchanged and the minerality unmistakable.
For approachable explanations of this traditional col fondo style of Prosecco, check out these articles: