Col fondo literally means "on the bottom" and alludes to the secondary fermentation. The fermentation creates lees, the dead yeast cells in the same way it does with champagne, but unlike champagne which is disgorged before being finally corked, the lees are left in the bottle. This can give a touch of cloudiness to the wine (no bad thing!) if you agitate the bottle, but importantly, provides the wine with distinct yeasty notes and a lovely texture.
This style of wine is often referred to as "Pet-Nat", but I prefer the more exotic "Col Fondo" moniker.
Vinous (December 2020) 92pts: Wait, is this Prosecco? You could have fooled me, as the Valdobbiadene Col Fondo Brut Nature transcends our expectations. It lifts up with an intense display that mixes stone dust with potpourri, flowery undergrowth, crushed green apples and, finally, toasted brioche. It’s sharply focused and teeming with nervous energy, as a cooling wave of fine bubbles and acids massages the palate. This is focused more on salty minerals and tension than fruit, yet it finds wonderful balance and leaves the mouth watering for more.
Adami has long been at the forefront of quality Prosecco production, setting the benchmark against which other Prosecco wines are judged. Historical testimony from the court authority of Conegliano, Zaccaria Morosini written in 1606, confirms that, even in the Middle Ages, these wines were sought after for "export to Venice, into Germany and even to the Polish Court". In the second half of the 19th century, following the disastrous epidemics of phylloxera and downy mildew in Europe, Prosecco imposed itself over the other grape varieties cultivated here due stronger resistance and greater productivity.
In 1920, Abel Adami purchased the natural amphitheatre vineyard from Count Balbi Valier. Two generations later, current owners Armando and Franco, both of whom graduated in Oenology, have updated Adami’s refined technological capacities and the wines have never been better.