The wild vineyard of Monfumo

The wild vineyard of Monfumo

by Bele Casel

The wild vineyard of Monfumo

Bele Casel

MEET OUR
WINEMAKER
31/DEC/2016
end of project
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days left
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relatives

Planted around a hundred years ago, the vineyard of Monfumo is a sloping hectare on the Colli Asolani hills, so beautiful that it takes your breath away. Its slopes are steep so everything has to be handmade, from grass-cutting to treatments, to wood posts changing. Luca and Danilo have a dream: they want to replant the varieties that their grandparents cultivated to produce again an excellent, unique and inimitable wine without modifying what mother nature did in thousands of years. 

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About the project

It was love at first sight when we saw the vineyard in Monfumo, one sloping hectare on the Colli Asolani hills, so beautiful that it takes your breath away. Planted around a hundred years ago, it has a lot of different vine varieties, among which the “Bianchetta”, that has been mentioned in writing since 1600 and grown in the Colli Asolani area. The “Perera” variety has almost disappeared because of Flavescence dorée, the “Rabbiosa”, “Marzemina bianca”, and “Boschera”, also called “priest’s grapes”. The vineyard of Monfumo appears as a beautiful woman, taking your breath away, and just like a woman, it can be very demanding. Its slopes are steep so everything has to be handmade, from grass-cutting to treatments, to wood posts changing. The vineyard of Monfumo has been our dream for years and now, thanks to The Winefathers, it has become our project. We want to recreate the biodiversity that existed decades ago, without modifying what mother nature did in thousands of years. We want to replant the varieties that our grandparents cultivated, produce again an excellent, unique and inimitable wine; also, we want to bring to light the history of our territory and give back to the land the fruits that it has been able to give us. The vineyard of Monfumo is demanding and needs a lot of work but we are sure that we will do it thanks to our relatives’ donations. Which kind of instruments are we going to use? Only our hands, no hazardous and chemical products. We are going to use only wood posts that come from our woods. The rows will be bent because, as our friend says, “when everything is handmade and no machine is involved, the rows and posts don’t need to be straight”. Grape vines will just follow the steep slope of Monfumo’s territory. We must ensure that the vineyard of Monfumo is not lost. It is very ancient but it is able to give an unrivalled wine. Wild, like the vineyard itself. We cannot wait to get down to work, to see your names on the vines, to meet you, let you taste our wines, and tell you the story of our land and of this proud vineyard.

Bele Casel

The Winemaker

Danilo, who has always been very passionate and close to the land, learnt the grape growing and winemaking art with his father in law, Ilario. He helped him in the vineyards and to carry on the little wine production. After graduation at Cerletti High School in Conegliano, he started to bring what he learnt in that small business with his wife Antonella and Ilario. He understood soon that it was essential to follow every single step, from the vineyard, to the bottle and the delivery. He decided from the beginning, although he was going against the tide, not to use any chemicals that could ruin or change his wine. Since he was little, following dad and grandad, Luca learnt how important was to live in contact with nature and above all to work the soil. After graduation at Cerletti, just like his dad, he set foot in the business taking care of the first step of the production, the vineyard. After having studied long, he works the vineyards organically with special attention to the whole ecosystem and the will to bring back some of the old grapevine varieties that used to grow in the area.

Bele Casel

Update \10

10/Oct/2016

Monfumo continues to amaze us

Harvest is done for another year. Now it’s time to take stock of this vintage that has been very difficult and challenged us.
It rained a lot during flowering and it gave us a very hard time. One of the worst consequences was a landslide that destroyed two rows of this very special vineyard.
However though, the more time goes by, the more we realise how exceptional Asolo hills are and how special the fruits that come from there are. Every work takes more time and has to be handmade but the result definitely pays us back.

We’ll wait a couple of weeks to fix the landslide, just so we have more time to dedicate to this vineyard.

Monfumo continues to amaze us

Update \9

29/Jun/2016

Terrible images of the landslide in Monfumo

Pictures tell more than a thousand words.
In this video, Luca shows the damage that the landslide caused in the ancient vineyard of Monfumo, the terrible chasm that destroyed the young vines.
Our winemaker tells the next steps he is going to take to solve this hard situation.

Now more than ever it is necessary to support our winemakers Luca and Paola to help them starting the reconstruction of the wild vineyard of Monfumo!

Update \8

07/Jun/2016

A landslide has destroyed Monfumo!

"The vines that we are going to replant. The time that we are going to invest to recreate the vineyard. Thousands of Euros that we are going to spend. This is not the real damage. The real damage is the loss of a piece of our beloved vineyard, a piece of our history. Working in the hills teaches us that this is part of the game. We work hard knowing that we may lose everything".

Therse are the words Luca and Paola used to told us what happened. A terrible landslide has destroyed part of Monfumo, their beloved vineyard.

Hard work that wiped out in only one night. The bad weather that hit Italy in these first days of June, did not spare anyone. It left a scar, it took away the young rooted-cuttings ready to bloom.
But it’s not time to stop. It’s time to roll up the sleeves and start again. Luca and Paola are determined to replant the small rooted-cuttings. Monfumo must return lush, full of life. Wild.

Luca and Paola need your support. They need new Wine Relatives and Winefriends to go on immediately with the activities, because there's so much to do.
So, let’s support concretely our brave winemakers Luca and Paola!

A landslide has destroyed Monfumo!

Update \7

27/Apr/2016

The first part of the project is done!

Vintage 2015 required a lot of effort and energies.
Our vineyard in Monfumo is the best one we have at Bele Casel, a very steep hectare, with a great exposition, where everything is handmade. Would this be the secret that makes it so special, maybe? Or maybe the fact that, inside it, as it was in the past, there are many different grape varieties that in Monfumo, as in the whole Colli Asolani, always existed? I think that it the mixture of all these factors that make it so unique. I still remember when we first saw it with my dad, around 3 years ago and we immediately understood that we couldn't let it go.

We strongly believe in our terroir and in order to improve it, we can’t forget about its origins and the history of our soil. This is why we decided to widen this vineyard. And it is thanks to you that we are making it, so to celebrate the end of this first phase of the project, we hung in the vineyard the plaque with the names of all our Wine Relatives and Winefriends.

It took a lot of effort and we started later than we wanted to, because of bureaucracy.
We could have made things a lot easier if we had made terraces to work with the tractor and so not having to do everything by hand but we didn’t want to move the soil*. Everything stayed like it was and we are glad we made this decision. The only thing we did, before starting to plant wood posts, was to spread compost, an organic fertiliser. Next step was to dig the chestnut wood posts and later to plant the rooted-cuttings. We dig holes with a shovel and a spade to break the clods that were very hard to work in some areas, especially at the bottom of the vineyard. Then we planted the little vines and covered them with soil*, that was even hard to find sometimes. Vintage 2015, in respect to the previous one, was extremely dry and it caused a lot of problems. The vines suffered a lot, especially the little ones that were planted quite late.

So the first part of the project is done. But we don’t stop, never!
Given that half of the vines we planted died because of a severe lack of water, even though we irrigated, we replaced them in April this year. We dig holes again and planted the vines, just as workout pre-Vinitaly.
What about now? Well, our job continues, we’ll take care of the little vines and we’ll keep making the best quality Asolo Prosecco.

* The soil in Monfumo is called “Caranto” (from late latin caris = rock). It is easily recognisable as it is a very hard and compact sediment, its colour goes form light brown to light grey, with ochre striping.

Update \6

28/Jan/2016

Spring is not far away

During the winter, the little rooted cuttings are resting, waiting to express their beauty when the the first warm days will arrive. Luca and Paola, facing the cold of the early morning, when all is quiet and a shy sun greets the new day, dedicate their efforts to preserve the vineyard, paying attention to its fragility and peculiarities, to get ready for next spring that is not far away.

Unfortunately, Luca and Paola have to deal with landslides that make their job even harder. This is what it means to work on the hills. To contain the erosion they used Biomat made from hemp, wooden stakes from their woods (the same they used for the vineyard), and special plants called “live stakes” that go roughly 1.5 meters into the ground.

A patient and sustainable work, in this way the vineyard of Monfumo, which is growing thanks to the support of Winefriends and Wine Relatives from around the world, can reveal all its magnificence.

Spring is not far away

Update \5

11/Nov/2015

Activities in the vineyard

After a busy summer dedicated to the planting of the grapevines, the activities go on in the Vineyard of Monfumo before winter arrives. In these months there were a lot of difficulties; many Barbatelle didn’t survive but fortunately other ancient varieties are growing strong and healthy.

For the future Bele Casel is already thinking about the rediscovery of an ancient wine that, centuries ago, was produced just in the vineyard of Monfumo.

Do you want to know more? Become relative or Winefriend of our winemaker and watch the video that Luca has prepared for those who are supporting his important project!

Activities in the vineyard

Update \4

15/Jul/2015

Rooted Cuttings

The rooted cuttings have been planted, finally. Il was really hot and muggy while working, and believe us when we say that it wasn’t easy at all but we are sure that all this hard work will pay us back in the future. More news to come soon!
We would like to thank you all once again, people who follow us and support us in this crazy project that grows day by day.

Rooted Cuttings

Update \3

25/Jun/2015

It’s time to plant!

Finally the wood posts have reached destination and the moment to plant the rooted cuttings has come. Believe us when we say that is really hard, but seeing this amazing vineyard grow is what gives us strength and power to keep working, despite rain and hot weather.
More news to come soon, stay tuned!

It’s time to plant!

Update \2

25/May/2015

Chestnut Posts

The chestnut posts are finally arrived!

And now there's nothing else to do but wait for the sun to shine again and for it to dry the soil!

Stay tuned for more news!

Chestnut Posts

Update \1

29/Apr/2015

The Earth Day

Our project came alive, finally. We haven’t chosen a random date to launch it. The Earth Day marked the start, a significant date to which we feel very close. As an old Native American tradition say “when you take something from the Earth, you must put something back.”. Our will is not to exploit it, but make it more soft and fertile.

You won’t actually see great changes because we decided since the very beginning not to touch it and leave things as they are and they have been for so many years.

We could have saved energy, by smoothing and leveling the soil so we didn’t have to work so hard. Everything, just as the old part of the vineyard, will be handmade. The only thing we have done before proceeding is to distribute compost to increase the soil fertility.

The best is yet to come, though. Stay tuned!

The Earth Day

Rewards

Winefriend
8
Donation
  • name plate at the beginning of a row of grapevines
  • individually numbered certificate of winefriend sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winefriend
Winecousin
1
100 €
  • visit to vineyards, winery and tasting of typical products for 2 people
  • signed card and name plate at the beginning of a row of grapevines
  • individually numbered certificate of winecousin sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winecousin
Wineuncle/Wineaunt
1
200 €
  • visit to vineyards, winery and tasting of typical products for 2 people
  • 2 bottles of Asolo Docg Superiore Extra Dry with customised label
  • signed card and name plate at the beginning of a row of grapevines
  • individually numbered certificate of wineuncle sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Wineuncle/Wineaunt
Winebrother/Winesister
4
500 €
  • 1 night for 2 people in a b&b on the hills
  • family lunch, wine tasting, winery tour
  • 6 bottles of Asolo Docg Superiore Extra Dry with customised label
  • signed card and name plate at the beginning of a row of grapevines
  • individually numbered certificate of winebrother sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winebrother/Winesister
Winefather/Winemother
0
1000 €
  • 2 nights for 2 people in our favourite b&b on the hills
  • family lunch, wine and some typical products tasting, winery and vineyards tour and tour around Asolo hills
  • 12 bottles of Asolo Docg Superiore Extra Dry with customised label
  • 50% discount on the purchase of 12 bottles from Bele Casel on www.thewinefathers.com
  • signed card and name plate at the beginning of a row of grapevines
  • individually numbered certificate of winefather sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winefather/Winemother