Top Italian Wines Roadshow. Collalto: a thousand years of history in the name of sustainability.

Feb 15 2021, 10:26 | by Gambero Rosso
Collalto produces many labels: bubbles dominate the range, but there are also quite a few still wines. Here are the details.

The history of the Susegana winery goes back a long way, from a donation made by Berengario II before the year 1000. Today, Isabella Collalto de Croÿ is at the helm. She manages a large vineyard extension that develops on the slopes of the first Treviso hills. Maximum attention is paid to glera, the undisputed queen grape of this portion of Veneto, even if there is no shortage of international varieties or unusual presences, such as the numerous grafts made by Professor Manzoni in the post-WWI period.

The history

The words you have just read are taken from the latest Guida Vini d’Italia 2021 edition. The history of the Veneto winery deserves attention, which going back more than a thousand years, is alone an intriguing and fascinating fact. It all began in the year 958, when the King of Italy Berengario gave Rambaldo (ancestor of the Collalto heirs) lands dominated by pastures and vineyards. Since 1110, the Collalto family has never stopped guarding the territory, carrying out, from generation to generation, huge agricultural investments aimed above all at wine production. It is currently Isabella Collalto de Cröy who personally manages the family business. La Principessa, heir to the estates, continues the production in the name of environmental sustainability and continuous quality research. All principles equally inherited from the family history that has always believed in the enhancement of the territory.

The company is dominated by the Castle of San Salvatore, an enchanting fortress which is also a Relais de Charme. "The history of the Collalto family greatly fascinates the world of wine, especially the more distant markets. When you visit the winery you fall in love with this reality and it is difficult to forget it. A thousand years of history represent an incredible heritage and it is even more incredible to think that over the centuries the vineyards, the cellar and the castle have remained there, intact, to preserve the territory." Words spoken by Nicoletta Piovesan, company sales and marketing manager. "We are in a swath of green - continues Nicoletta - set among hills, forests and rows of vines; and everything is carried out in the name of sustainability. Environmental sustainability, but also historical and economic. The history of Collalto, in fact, is inextricably linked to some of the vines that date back centuries. One of these is Wildbacher, a red grape variety of Austrian origin planted in 1700 by Count Antonio di Collalto and still vinified today. And again the Incroci Manzoni, created by Professor Manzoni in the 1920s and all four vinified by Collalto. All this is always done with a very careful eye towards the environment and nature: from the SQNPI certification to the total absence of glyphosate, from the very low use of sulfur dioxide, to the construction of three wells for emergency irrigation."

The wines

Collalto produces many labels. Bubbles dominate the range, but there are also quite a few still wines. Among the sparkling wines, the undisputed queen grape is Glera, present in various different products, both for sugar dosage, but (and above all) for the territory of belonging. It's veritable zoning applied by Collalto for the various Prosecco Superiores. Starting with Isabella, a prestigious wine that bears the name of the Princess. It is a Rive di Collalto and it was born on the top of one of the hills that gave rise to everything. The Ponte Rosso, on the other hand, comes from the Susegana hills, the soils are clayey and the wine that is produced is ideal for having a very low percentage of sugars, not surprisingly it's a 2 gram-liter Brut Nature. There is also room for Extra Dry, such as Gaio (always made from Glera grapes with small additions of Verdiso and Bianchetta, present in all products, as per tradition). Then there is the Violette, an Extra-Dry Rosé from Manzoni Moscato (a cross between Raboso Piave and Moscato d'Amburgo), as well as some big still wines. The Manzoni Bianco and the Manzoni Rosso, the aforementioned Wildbacher and the Piave Cabernet Torrai, a Riserva that was in the Finals several times at Gambero Rosso tastings. The latest addition is called Ottaviano, an Ancestral Method Prosecco Superiore, dedicated to Antonio Ottaviano, one of the Collalto Counts who worked most to enhance and grow viticulture and oenology since the 19th century.

Collalto in the world

Collalto is present in many countries around the world, a presence that's constantly growing thanks to standard-bearers. "Prosecco - Nicoletta Piovesan continues - is undoubtedly the gateway allowings us to enter different countries. That said, there are some of our native grapes who are appreciated in various markets. Still Verdiso, vinified in purity, is very popular in London, Wildbacher in Germany, the Asian markets appreciate Colli di Conegliano Rosso and in China, by virtue of a perfect combination, Manzoni Rosa 1.5 is very popular. It's the result of a cross between Trebbiano and traminer aromatico. Finally, the great success of Manzoni Moscato (a cross between Moscato d’Amburgo and Raboso) in several countries starting with the United States. There is no doubt - concludes Nicoletta - that there is still a lot of work to be done, but thanks to the UNESCO recognition (the Prosecco hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene have been inscribed in the Heritage listas a cultural landscape - Ed.), plus wine tourism that implemented in our territories, and the work of the Consortium, going into the world now to talk about Prosecco is not like it was twenty years ago. And Prosecco Superiore also helps us to talk about the history, projects and work that's been carried out at Collalto in the course of a thousand years.

Conte Collalto - Via XXIV Maggio, 1 31058 Susegana (TV) -

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