Cà dei Zago

Location: Valdobbiadene, Veneto
Year Established: 1924
Size: 6 hectares
Varieties: Bianchetta, Glera, Perera, Verdiso
Viticulture: No herbicides or pesticides EVER used in the vineyard. Biodynamic since 2010.
Vinification: Gravity pressed. Natural yeast fermentation in small cement amphora. Col fondo is not disgorged.

Christian Zago carries on the farming traditions that he and his sister Marika learned at the knee of their grandfather, who founded Cà dei Zago in 1924. Christian is a devoted practitioner of biodynamics, saying “Nature is stronger than you. If you break the balance in the vineyard by trying to control it, you can’t recreate it in the cellar, only temporarily coerce the wine into a fake, short-lived equilibrium.” At least half of the vineyard plots are far too steep for tractors, requiring the work to be done by hand. Soils are clay, sand, quartz, and limestone. Aging is in concrete tanks and old vats made from local chestnut; no stainless steel, which Christian feels makes the wines too reductive. Racking is done three times with the waning phases of the moon, but no filtering or fining. The two sparkling wines, both 100% Glera, are made by spontaneous refermentation in bottle. One is the local traditional col fondo style, not disgorged, so the sediment remains in the bottle. The other is metodo classico, disgorged as in the champenois method.  Both are very dry and absolutely delicious. We brought large quantities of these wines in just before COVID impacted our ability to show them, so we still have 2018 Col Fondo and 2016 Metodo Classico to sell – with the advantage of having had a few years additional temperature-controlled aging in our warehouse!