Luigi Gregoletto

WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR

by Kermit Lynch

In Venice last winter, Gail and I began dinner with a bottle of Prosecco. I liked it so much I wanted to import it and have some at hand. Now I learn from a Slow Food press release that our new Prosecco maker won the prestigious FIVI Winemaker of the Year Award.

He follows organic principles and makes Prosecco from an antiquated family recipe. No one else in the Prosecco zone does it his way. That is only one reason to try his—to learn what Prosecco used to taste like, before technology.

I like Prosecco, and I like the idea of Prosecco—a light sparkling wine, a fun wine, sort of like a cheerful divertimento. You’re smiling, suddenly, even though nothing is funny.

If Quintarelli made Prosecco, he’d make it like Gregoletto! I say that because Valpolicella can be great fun, but when you uncork a Quintarelli Valpolicella, your fun becomes a profound experience. Deep fun, anyone? The antico style? Sign me up. The wisdom of our ancestors was obviously not all solemn. Levity, frivolity, and Prosecco’s sparkle had a place in olden times, too.

When he won the award, the press release stated, “Luigi Gregoletto represents the type of winemaker that aims to be the guardian, not the ruler, of his land. He represents the people that are ambassadors of a territory, wealthy in knowledge and passion, an example of the past, and a guiding light for the winemakers of the future.”

The family domaine was founded in 1600, and Luigi himself so far has vinified half a century of vintages.

2015 PROSECCO TREVISO “SUI LIEVITI” >

Indigenous yeasts, bottled sur lie. Yes, it’s alive and kickin’, so every bottle will be different—all in the family, but each sparkling and evolving at its own pace. If the bottle has sediment:

1. Decant it, but you lose some sparkle.

2. Luigi pours the final gulp into his risotto pot.

3. It won’t hurt at all. It nourishes the wine, maybe you, too.

4. My son gently turns the bottle over once or twice because he likes the flavor of the sediment in each pour. It must be in his DNA.

$18.00 per bottle $194.40 per case

2015 COLLI TREVIGIANI VERDISO >

This is Luigi’s still white—a staff favorite at the moment. Nope, no bubbles this time. It is the closest thing to Quintarelli’s fabulous dry white that I have found. Prosecco is a starter, the opener, while his Verdiso is a table wine, sorta fleshy, sorta sassy.

$18.00 per bottle $194.40 per case