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  • Writer's pictureStefania Gioia

Pat del Colmel, a Story of Love for the Land

A family-run winery in the verdant heart of Prosecco rediscovered some ancient, indigenous vines totally disregarded by the profitable monoculture farming. A story of pure passion and love for the land.

The whole humanity is made of migrants who relentlessly look for better living conditions. Some of them haven’t found a place to belong, some others happily have. Their families settled in a land to call home, there they flourished and learned a job to pass down through generations.

This happened to the Forner family, whose name in dialect means baker, in the specific case brick baker. Originally from Bergamo, a city close to Milan, four hundreds years ago they established on the top of a hill overlooking the ancient villages of Asolo, Castelcucco and Monfumo, in the heart of the fertile Prosecco area.

On this verdant piece of land named Colmello, encouraged by the favorable climatic conditions and by the productive soil, the family abandoned its traditional trade in order to practise farming and raise cattle. Nicknamed Pat by the neighbours, they lived together in the big family house, growing vineyards whose grapes were dried and whose wine never went bad. Gradually, vineyards became the most important source of income for the family, whose winery is now officially recognized as Pat del Colmel.

Currently run by Lino and Gabriella along with their son Matteo, the winery’s production especially focuses on Prosecco Superiore Docg and on precious wines from indigenous varietals that have been recently rediscovered. Born and raised in the grandfather’s vineyard, Matteo inherited the passion his ancestor put into growing grapes and still remembers their walks through the grapevines as the best moments of his life. “Grow Prosecco - he used to say - as it’s going to be the future of this land!” Matteo’s grandfather was right.

A few decades later, Pat del Colmel owns 13 hectares of vineyards, mostly spread on the surrounding hills and strictly harvested by hands. Relying on ancient methods, Pat del Colmel is one of the few wineries that cultivates the Recantina, an age-old vine whose presence on the territory is documented in some Renaissance notebooks.

But the real gem of the multi-awarded winery is the Rabbiosa, a resilient vine grown in the area about two hundreds years ago. Actually unknown to the most, it was wisely recovered by the family right when Prosecco was reaching its highest popularity.

Result of a single-variety vinification and bottle-fermented for thirty months, this wine gets better with time, developing structure and a wonderful balance, so that it’s said to be extraordinary after five years.

Through the recovery of indigenous vines, the Pats took an almost revolutionary action, starting to give a new identity to an area that is deeply disfigured by the profitable monoculture farming.

Pat del Colmel also boasts a typical agritourism, where Gabriella prepares the most traditional dishes of Veneto’s cuisine. According to the seasons, her menu ranges from delicious appetizers, charcuterie and cheese to flavourful main courses and mouth-watering local game. Chicken, pork, guinea fowl, rabbit are some of the meat exquisitely cooked. All accompanied with wood-fired oven bread and followed by tasty, homemade desserts.

Have a Glass in Venice is very glad to include this virtuous winery in its wine region tours.

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