In the DOCG Area of Valdobbiadene, a province of Treviso is Bellenda! A winery that’s absolutely stunning with views, wines, and a great on site B&B. I had the pleasure of visiting them on my recent trip to Italy where I enjoyed an afternoon exploring their wide range of Prosecco styles before going sightseeing to some of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Views.
I met with Umberto and Lucrezia Cosmo of Bellenda who welcomed me with a wonderful tour of the vineyard. In 1986 they founded Bellenda in the gorgeous hills of Carpescia, which is a small town overlooking rural buildings and the beautiful hillsides of the Prosecco producing area. “Wine is not a recipe, and we have a moral responsibility to produce wine well”– Umberto Cosmo. They have 35 Hectares of vines and produce around 30,000 cases from their own vines. The area used to be covered in ice and glaciers believe it or not, you’ll now find really big rocks in the soil still from those earlier tines. While touring we met Mageherita and her babies, some very adorable sheep who have more responsibilities than just being cute. They let them out to till the vineyard soil and do almost everything by hand because they strive to take care of their land, vines, and animals to create harmonious wines.
The winery is beautiful and has such great energy. The wines are really gorgeous, each and every one has a personality very fitting to the area in which they take such great care of. They don’t use pesticides, herbicides, and the land is worked. They also pay attention to biodiversity and have solar panel and other energy efficient protocols to help with their environmental footprint. They are not new to the Prosecco world but they take a really cool unconventional and creative approach to the category with some pretty stellar wines!
We began our tasting with the Metodo Rurale a delicious sparkler thats aged on the lees and has an ideal finish. Its vibrant and playful on the palate full of brioche, citrus fruit, and lemon peel. It’s fresh and delicious with brief maceration and is made in an Old World style; a bit more rustic. I loved this for an aperitif and think this would be lovely with some smoked cheeses, bruschetta, and light fish dishes.
After we enjoyed the Radicale is the “soul of prosecco” and is a robust style with no disgorgement, no sulfites, and is stored neck down. This one was really cool and my husband said this one was his absolute favorite, but then again he loves really bold, unique styles of wine. You can really taste the flowers from the area it’s grown and what glera as a grape gives off. It has a nice honey note that follows through to the finish and is really lovely. I enjoyed its finesse and character, it had a great texture and a mouth full of fruit and complexity with a bit of spice. It’s a cool wine that should be served with something layered and flavorful like pasta or a charcuterie board.
Up next was the Bellenda San Fermo, which is their most well-known Prosecco style. This Prosecco Superiore DOCG was their first wine and remains their classic winery style today. It’s bright and refreshing with a bread like nose and an elegance that just is Prosecco. The bubbles are consistent, tiny and dry, yet the wine is complex and friendly and really wonderful with food. This is an ideal wine for oysters and sushi, as well as prosciutto and melon. We went to a gorgeous restaurant in the hills and I enjoyed a Trout Panzanella with Tomato, Cucumber, Fennel, and Onion; and this wine paired perfectly!
One really unique wine was the Così È (Col Fondo) which is produced how Prosecco was produced so long ago. This ancient method for producing the wine is really a second fermentation in the bottle, however it produces more of a funky style of Prosecco. The wine is cloudy and aromatic with noticeable sediment and a pleasant finish with a touch of bitterness. It’s more of a Frizzante style and really is such a great food wine to pair with interesting cheeses, cream sauces, game meats, and even ethnic dishes outside Italy would pair well.
After the funky side of Prosecco we sipped the Sei Uno which goes back to a method of having the second fermentation in the bottle but with disgorgement after 12 months. This wine was bright and lovely with nice acidity, fresh floral and fruit aromas, and a clean soft finish. This is a shippable approachable Prosecco for anytime of day, and is great with brunch as well as the pasta dish I had which was the Homemade Bigoli with Venison Ragout, “in saor” with raspberries and wild berries!
The final wine of the tasting we enjoyed was the Bellenda S.C. 1931 Pas Dose which is a Metodo Classico 24 months aged, and one of their first wines to be made in this style. This is a modern style that’s charismatic and unpredictable and they really nailed it with this style. It’s so delicious and elegant with bright fruit, a nice mineral nose that follows through to the palate and has a harmonious finish. This wine would be great with fish dishes, vegetarian dishes, sushi, but it’s also good for the end of a meal for after dinner with a cheese course!
The grand finale was a special surprise the 2012 Bellenda S.C. 1931 Pas Dose which was disgorged 6 years ago, and has a stunning petrol and honey nose. It was amazing to see how incredibly these wines age and can be aged, and its due to their quality and acidity levels.
If you’re looking for some incredible Prosecco and a wide range of styles then look to Bellenda where you will find so many to love. I can’t wait to go back and visit, but for now I can sip them here in the USA because they’re available throughout the country in various locations.
Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!