Wine with lees
Wine with lees “col fondo” or “sur lie” means bottle-refermented wine, on its yeasts, according to the traditional method. This is the most ancient way, used in the whole area of Prosecco, to keep enhancing to best wine of a certain year, the one that should be stored for a nice time, to sell or to give to a special persone, to be consumed after one or more years. With the traditional method of winmaking, the first fermentation lasts a few days (3-5) and then, until December, the wine is poured from a jug to another almost 3-4 times (based on the grade of turbidity). When the second fermentation begins in March/April, the wine is bottled and kept at a temperature of 12-14°C. According to the tradition of Conigliano, Valdobbiadene and Asolo area, all the wine was bottled the week after Easter Day, when thanks to the first warm days, the wine would show the clear signs of the beginning fermentation.
The second fermentation takes place in the bottles, on its natural yeasts and it it’s the most natural method to produce sparkling wine: it’s the same technique used for the champagne, no matter the grapes. The main difference between them is that, in the case of the wine with lees, the “degorgement” operation is not used to remove the yeasts from the bottle.
There are two ways to taste the wine with lees, trying not to muddy it: you can either remove the lees by pouring slowly the wine in a glass or crystal pot, or to leave the lees on the bottle by pouring the wine slowly in every glass.
There is also the possibility to drink all naturally, even if in some glass the wine is not so clear. If the yeasts are the right ones and if the condition of fermentation was the best one, it will be a positive experience anyway to drink a fresh wine with lees, maybe with a burger with homemade bread, still hot, filled with headcheese.
Within the range of 77vintidò wines, there are also some edition of wine with lees of high quality and specificity, for example the award-winning Térmen by Romolo Follador, the Capo degli onesti of Bastìa, the “cartizze” sur lie of Casali, the Native of La Fuìta. A particular edition of sparkling white wine with lees is the PerEra produced on Col Miotin in Solighetto, from old grapevines of Perera, Bianchetta, Verdiso e Glera. It’s the grape from the tradition used on the hills of the DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene.