On the Trail

The Best Prosecco in Italy

Greg St. Clair
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In the Spring of 2005, I was going to Vinitaly—Italy’s annual gathering for all things Italian wine—and was looking for a Prosecco producer for us to import. I had done a fair amount of research on small, up-and-coming producers and had made a few appointments, but one of the contacts said they don’t have a booth at the fair but they would come up to meet me. So I met brother and sister Silvano and Alberta Follador, expecting to taste their wines but they didn’t bring any with them, they had just come to meet me, they told me that they came to see if they liked me and if they did they’d send me samples. I thought this a bit unusual but I passed the test and they sent samples, what a fortuitous day, I must have been on my game!

Silvano and his sister Alberta started with a tiny parcel of land they inherited from their paternal grandfather and a few years later a slightly larger plot from their maternal grandmother, so they ended up with four different plots for a total of just over eight acres of vineyards. That might seem small in general for a grower, but for a Prosecco producer that’s micro tiny! When I first met Silvano and Alberta they made an array of wines, but since the 2014 vintage they've decided to focus on just one wine, a blend of all four vineyards. They make 2275 cases of their Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Nature a year; they make it using Prosecco (now called Glera), Verdiso, Perera, and Bianchetta grapes, all indigenous to the region. In this 2016 bottling the residual sugar was 0.0%, which is bone dry. You won’t find many Prosecco options like this! In addition last year Ian d’Agata who writes for the website Vinous wrote: “Silvano Follador is in my opinion the single best producer of Prosecco today.” I’d agree with him. It doesn't get much better than this.

-Greg St. Clair