While the Drusian winery has been in existence for well over one hundred years, the modern image of what the winery is today did not begin to take shape until 1988. That is when Francesco Drusian took over what his great grandfather had started nearly a century before when he purchased the first vineyards in Valdobbiadene. This year marks thirty years under Francesco’s leadership, and Drusian has grown into one of the top producers of Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene DOCG.
On that note, part of why Drusian excels in the production of Prosecco is because Drusian doesn’t produce just Prosecco, but Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene DOCG. This is an important distinction. Prosecco is merely a DOC wine, while only those that come from vineyards located in the small, hilly region between the towns of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano can be labeled as Valdobbiadene DOCG. The DOCG moniker is one that signifies a higher level of quality, and in few places is the quality difference more evident than in Prosecco.
Francesco grew up in the winery in the hills, vestiges of the Dolomites, upon which the vineyards are planted. This land, this livelihood, is in his veins. As a child he would assist his grandfather with storing bottles in the small cellar they had in Cartizze, covering them with sand to keep them cool as they had no refrigeration. This history is important to Francesco; the traditions of the region are something he holds dear, as he wants to be able to share his love for the land and express it through his wines. This care and passion shows in Drusian’s wines.
Although there is care and respect for tradition, to craft wines of the utmost quality modern equipment and processes were needed. Shortly after taking over, Francesco began to modernize the winery. He installed cutting edge equipment and took steps to ensure his wines were of the highest quality produced. Their vineyard land and plantings were also expanded, as Francesco felt it important to control every aspect of the wine making process, from vine to bottle. Over the years, Drusian continued to grow but they maintained the highest standards of quality which helped them evolve into the renowned Prosecco producer they are today.
To celebrate three decades at the helm, Francesco made the decision to produce and release a limited bottling, 30 Raccolti. Raccolti is Italian for harvest which signifies the culmination of thirty harvests that Francesco oversaw. The number thirty also signifies the number of different vineyard sites from within Valdobbiadene from which grapes were selected. This bottling is also the first time a zero dosage Prosecco (Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Dosaggio Zero) has been released under the Drusian name. The dosage is a mixture of wine and sugar that is typically added back to a sparkling wine, as without it, many would be bracingly acidic. While zero dosage is uncommon in all sparkling wine production, it is quite the rarity in Prosecco.
30 Raccolti pours a very fine straw color, with fine and long lasting bubbles. Aromas of honeysuckle, green apple, and Meyer lemon are joined on the palate by a slate-like minerality, stone fruit, and more citrus. Racy acidity shines through, but not unpleasantly; it instead leaves you yearning for another taste. If one went into this blind, he or she may mistakenly believe they had been poured a Blanc de Blancs Champagne and not a Prosecco as it is quite full and rich, despite how lean it first comes across due to the acidity.
Out of a desire to help care for the region, Francesco has donated a portion of the sales of 30 Raccolti to a local charity organization, Per mio Figlio. Per mio Figlio aims to improve the lives of hospitalized children and their parents by working with pediatric hospitals within the Treviso area. With an emphasis in psychophysiology, in addition to helping secure medical equipment and computers, the organization has helped put in learning and play rooms, gardens, and other areas where children and parents can experience a sense of normalcy during a time when their lives are anything but normal.
Between the wine in the bottle, the passion and dedication behind it, and the impact on the local community, 30 Raccolti is a truly phenomenal offering, one fitting of celebrating thirty years of such an esteemed producer.