Domini del Leone

Organic Prosecco Pioneers

 

Location: Cona, Venice area, Veneto, North-Eastern Italy

Owner & winemaker: Emilio Fidora

Vineyard area: 140 hectares in the Veneto area (70 ha of which are under vine; the rest are pastures, ponds, forests and fields), estate-owned

Vineyard management: certified organic since 1974, biodynamic since 2018

Soils: clay with sand and chernozem, rich in organic matter

Main varieties: Pinot Grigio, Glera

Winemaking: spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel, Col Fondo Prosecco made with secondary fermentation in bottles

Annual production (approx.): 300,000 bottles

 

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Guido Fidora, the current owner’s grandfather, was a true pioneer of organic agriculture in the area. He saw how detrimental the use of pesticides and other agrochemistry was to the biodiversity of his vineyards, and decided to fight this by certifying his estate organic as early as 1974, placing him among the very first in Italy. It was at a time when most European winemaking and viticulture were still under the spell of systematic treatments and enological additives, and the notion of organic wine was far from established (and hence a challenge to explain to the market). But, fueled by his vision, Guido insisted and toured farmers’ markets and Slowfood events with his wine and other farm products. Nowadays, even the neighboring estates around their “Civranetta” estate are organic.

His grandson Emilio, who’s now at the helm as the fourth generation of the family, has been converting the estate to biodynamics since 2015. It’s now a true mixed farm consisting not only of vineyards, but also woodland, ponds, pastures for horses, cattle and chickens, and fields of grains and other crops.

The estate is located only a couple of miles from the Lagoon of Venice – this proximity to the sea and its constant winds, together with the particular soil of Alpine-glacier origin give the grapes distinct mineral notes and aromatic richness.

The winged lion referred to in the estate name and on its bottles is the symbol of the city of Venice, once one of the most powerful and wealthiest republics in the Mediterranean. The lion symbolizes majesty and power, while its wings are a symbol of spiritual elevation; the book expresses the concepts of wisdom and peace.

Besides the 140 hectares of land near Venice, the Fidora family also has a tiny plot up in the hills of Valdobbiadene, as well as 65 hectares of vines and forest in the Valpolicella region. All of these estates are certified organic as well as biodynamic (Demeter).

 

Prosecco Frizzante Col Fondo — Back to the top

Prosecco Col Fondo, literally “with the bottom” is characterized by the deposit of the yeasts on the bottom. It is made according to the traditional method, which was used since ancient times, of second fermentation in the bottle and no disgorgement. The result is a dry, fruity, cloudy and refreshing wine, with more present notes of yeast and bread compared to the Charmat-method produced Proseccos, courtesy of the longer contact with lees. (You can read more about this traditional, artisanal style of Prosecco here.)

Grapes: 100% Glera

Vineyard: Caranto soil, a mix of clay with sand and sediments from the nearby Alpine glaciers, Pleistocene origin. Estate-owned, certified organic and biodynamic

Making of: The primary fermentation takes place in a stainless steel tank. After that, the wine is transferred to bottles under crown caps, with enough naturally remaining lees and sugar to re-ferment and create a gentle fizz (2,5 bars). Native yeast only. No fining, no filtering, not disgorged, zero dosage added. SO2: 60-70ppm added after the 1st fermentation.

Personality: The prolonged contact with the lees gives this wine sapidity and a well-balanced flavor, with fruity and flowery notes mixed with fresh bread crust aromas. You can serve this wine both limpid after the yeast deposit has sedimented (“limpio”) or carefully decanted into a carafe, or you can shake the bottle to mix the lees into the wine if you enjoy a more cloudy style (“torbido”). Pleasant as an aperitif, it can be served as well throughout the meal, paired with light dishes like fried calamari and shrimp, but also as a contrast with rich mountain cheeses.


Pinot Grigio — Back to the top

Winemaker’s note: “This popular variety prefers cooler climates and it finds an ideal habitat in the Veneto Region. The proximity to the sea and to its constant winds, as well as the nocturnal temperature inversion, gives to the bunches of our Pinot Grigio a distinct minerality and pure expression; together with longer aging than its usual for the entry-level Veneto PGs, it results in a wine that’s well-structured and flavorsome, not unlike its famous “cousins” from Collio.”

Grapes: 100% Pinot Grigio

Vineyard: Caranto soil, a mix of clay with sand and sediments from the nearby Alpine glaciers, Pleistocene origin. Estate-owned, certified organic and biodynamic

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and pressed into stainless steel vats where the wine naturally ferments and ages for 8 months. Fined (bentonite – vegan-friendly).

Personality: a rich dry white wine, fresh, with vibrant aromas of pear and apple with hints of flowers. Distinct minerality is the signature of this wine and makes it very versatile for food pairing – try it with rice and pasta dishes, light fish, seafood or white meat, or simply as an aperitive.

 

 

 


Veneto Rosso — Back to the top

Grapes: Corvina, Merlot, Cabernet, and Raboso

Vineyard: Limestone. Estate-owned, certified organic and biodynamic

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. After natural fermentation, the wine is aged in French oak barrels (25 hl) for 12 months minimum.

Personality: a complex and elegant wine that’s perfet as an aperitive. Bursts of cherry, red berries and a warm hint of vanilla on a smooth and structured palate. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Prosecco Spumante Brut — Back to the top

Winemaker’s note: “The peculiar minerality of this soil, located near the Lagoon of Venice, conveys a complex aromatic balance to every single grape, while the proximity to the sea and to its winds
gives them a distinctive sapidity, which increases their aromas.”

Grapes: 100% Glera

Vineyard: Caranto soil, a mix of clay with sand and sediments from the nearby Alpine glaciers, Pleistocene origin. Estate-owned, certified organic and biodynamic.

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and gently pressed. This Prosecco is a Charmat method sparkling wine: after the primary fermentation, the base of white wine made from Glera grapes undergoes a slow secondary fermentation for at least 8 weeks in a stainless steel tank. As a result, the perlage is exceptionally fine and crispy. 

Personality: a fresh, fragrant wine with hints of golden apple and white blossoms. Elegant and direct, the persistent bubbles make this an ideal aperitif wine. Pair it with oysters or bright and nutty cheeses.