For so many companies, Italian wine is a family affair. Many are the stories of producers who have, for many generations, refined their techniques to the point where they can create stunning wines that go down a treat with consumers.
Of course, whenever we talk about families in the winemaking industry, mention of the Antinori family can never be too far behind. And it is families like this that most wine consumers think of when they imagine what a family-run wine business is like. These are families with centuries of tradition and history behind them, which naturally builds into the prestigious nature of the wines that they create.
But it is not only ancient families that take part in the Italian wine industry.
Every year, new producers come onto the scene with the intention of turning their winery into a family affair that can run for generations to come. And it is in this profile that we’re going to focus on one such “modern” family.
The family in question is the Pola family and they’re the brilliant people behind the wines that come out of the Andreola winery. In this article, we’ll profile the family a little before taking a look at a remarkable Prosecco that demonstrates just how much the Pola family dedicates itself to the art of making wine.
The year was 1984 and a young Nazzareno Pola was finally in a position to chase the dream that he’d always held onto. He wanted to create a wine business in the Veneto region and try his hand at making the Prosecco wines that the region is so well-known for.
And that is exactly what he did.
Finding the perfect patch of land was the easy part of Nazzareno. The tough part came from establishing a business focused on one of the most popular Italian wines in the world. Facing tough competition, the elder Pola worked tirelessly to master the art of his chosen wine. And over time, he built a company that had a reputation for creating exemplary Proseccos.
But Nazzareno had another goal in mind.
As well as making truly great Prosecco, he wished for his winery to become part of his legacy. He hoped that his family would take up the cause when he finally needed to leave the vineyard so that they could build upon the foundations that he laid.
That’s exactly what happened.
Today, Nazzareno’s sone Stefano is the manager of the company. And much to the elder Pola’s delight, Stefano approaches the craft of making wines with the same philosophy as his father. Stefano understands that it is the terroir that makes all of the difference when crafting a wine, especially when you make a wine that’s as widespread as Prosecco. It’s the company’s understanding of their land, and how to get the best out of it, which allows it to produce such amazing wines year after year.
Stefano sees Prosecco as more than just a product that the business produces. Instead, the company’s wines are a living testament to the land from which they came. They’re the result of the evolution of the vine and the adaptations that both company and vineyard have needed to make to changing industry conditions. Each bottle of wine that Andreola creates tells the story of a winemaker that started with little and built up, year after year, into something phenomenal.
Innovation with an underlying respect for the traditions of the region lies at the heart of everything that the Andreola company does. Under Stefano’s watchful eye, the company combines ancient winemaking methods with modern technology to create wines that are true expressions of the land that the family loves so deeply. And in doing so, the Proseccos that the company produces have become renowned for their unique style, character, and purity. The Sola family has mastered the art of bringing out the key characteristics of the wines that they produce.
And it is in the wine that we’re about to review that this mastery comes to the fore.
Andreola Prosecco Valdobbiadene Rive di Refrontolo Col del Forno Brut 2019
We already know what you’re thinking…
“Yet another Prosecco? There’s nothing that could possibly separate this from the many other Prosecco wines available to me.”
It’s this very misconception that the Sola family has worked so hard to refute over the last 35+ years. And in the Andreola Prosecco Valdobbiadene Rive di Refrontolo Col del Forno Brut 2019, we have a Prosecco that will feel right at home in your wine glass.
What separates this Prosecco from so many others is the clay soil that makes up the Sola family’s terroir. It’s this unique soil composition that gives the company’s Prosecco wines the fuller body that they’ve become known for. And when we talk about wines as an expression of their terroir, this is exactly what we mean.
Upon pouring the wine, you will see the fine and persistent bubbles that you should expect from any good Prosecco. You will also see the straw yellow colouring that a quality Prosecco should have. But it’s when you start to introduce the wine to your nose and tongue that you will see why it stands apart.
The bouquet contains fruity notes of green apple and lime that dominant the scent. But as you explore deeper, you will uncover additional notes of sage and cut grass, which indicates that this wine has more to offer than you might expect.
The first taste reveals a remarkably clean and flavourful wine that has amazing persistence. And the slightly bitter finish is yet another expression of the terroir from which it came.
Unbelievably, this wine is also available for less than €12 on the Xtrawine store, which makes it a complete steal for anybody who wants to nab a unique Prosecco that’s a true joy to drink.
Our team was certainly impressed with the 2019 vintage. We give this wonderful Italian wine a rating of 91/100, which sits nicely alongside the “3 Bicchieri” that it’s already received from the prestigious Gambero Rosso.