Friday, October 27, 2006

...and So to Bisol - the Hunting trip part III

After half an hour (sic) of motorway travel it was a relief to be on the Strada del Prosecco between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. As we wound our way up into the stunning hillside countryside we made the most of our time by practicing our pronunciation of Valdobbiadene (AL won hands down with his interpretation). We arrived at Relais Duca di Dolle in the heart of Bisol’s vineyards and were awestruck at the beauty of this converted farmhouse with state of the art facilities and …swimming pool: the book was open. After having secured half a case of Jeio we settled down by the poolside to soak up the views of the rolling hills before meeting our engaging host Giovanni Oliva for supper at Gigetto’s. We took aperitif down in the Aladdin’s Cave of a wine cellar that occupies 3 main tunnels under the Restaurant: Tom Dick and Harry. The owner of this restaurant has spent the past 40 years cherry picking the finest wines, cognacs, champagnes etc from around the world. Amongst the 1500 bin cellar we spotted Grange, Petrus, Petaluma and Stonier to name but a few. But tonight was about Bisol and it was a pleasure to be joined for dinner by 28th generation Gianluca Bisol.

Before we arrived the Bisol family owned no fewer than 50 hectares of DOC vineyard. In an area where the average vineyard holding is around 1 hectare and the larger producers are forced to buy in most of their grapes, the Bisol family are able to protect the very high quality standards that have set them apart from every other Prosecco producer (as we were about to find out). On the day of our arrival Gianluca and his family completed on the purchase of an additional 30 hectares of DOC vineyards and we were delighted to be able to celebrate with Gianluca and Giovanni. Going forward the family are also looking at various interests outside of their traditional area so watch this juicy space.


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