In terms of making its mark on the Australian wine market, things have come a long way for the King Valley over the past twenty years. Today the valley boasts some of the most spectacular cellar doors and restaurants and produces a fantastic range of Italian varietal wines, most notably including: Dal Zotto Prosecco – the very first prosecco produced in Australia. In recent years the Dal Zotto family have seen a huge response to prosecco with sales exploding nationally as the varietal continues to be discovered by a broad range of age groups.
‘It’s really exciting and rewarding to see change and growth’, says winemaker Michael Dal Zotto. ‘Twenty years ago, when we first planted prosecco, few knew of the varietal and of the King Valley as a wine region. We’ve worked really hard to get our wine out there and there’s no doubt that prosecco has helped to put the King Valley on the map.’
The Dal Zotto family are now also slowly, but steadily beginning export of their prosecco, with recent sales into Dubai, Singapore and the UK. Their premium Col Fondo prosecco this past summer in the northern hemisphere has wowed sommeliers and teased palates within London’s progressive wine scene. Back home the Italian mixed drink, prosecco Aperal spritz, is tipped to be the hot drink for summer 2018-19, an Italian classic that blends the softly-bitter rhubarb and cinchona apéritif with the freshness and vibrance of the King Valley class leading wine; it’s now permanently on pour at the Dal Zotto’s Whitfield cellar door.
‘For us it’s an interesting drink to serve, as one person might order a glass and once the rest of the table sees the really cool, brightly coloured drink, they all instantly ask for additional glasses,’ says Michael.
Also sharing the love, QT Hotels and Resorts are now gearing up for a bumper prosecco driven summer. Pouring the Dal Zotto Pucino NV Prosecco nation-wide across all hotels in the group including their popular rooftop bar in Melbourne and at the hotel group’s original property on the Gold Coast. QT Gold Coast’s General Manager Steven Oakley explains: ‘Dal Zotto produces very high quality wines so we have a very good ability to match these with the food at our Bazaar restaurant.’
Nik Darlington of Red Squirrel Wine who represents the brand in the UK says: ‘the Dal Zotto prosecco story over here has gained a lot of fans and stirred plenty of debate among sommeliers and within some of the wine press. While distribution is spread across the UK, venues focused on alternative varietal wines including Wander, a restaurant in London’s north and Winerama, a wine bar within a reclaimed industrial space, are passionate about serving Dal Zotto prosecco. They’re interested as the brand is perceived as fun and certainly not the norm.’
‘We’re distributing our Col Fondo in London, and the restaurants we’re targeting understand what Col Fondo represents,’ says Michael. ‘We’ve had very positive feedback on the quality of the product.’
Michael explains how Col Fondo is made: ‘We first take the base wine, fermented in tank as we would any other white wine. The next step is to hand pick additional fruit that’s left to dry on racks. We’re looking for the sugar level to increases to around 22 baumé. The the dried fruit is next pressed and the concentrated juice is added back to to base wine as it goes into bottle. The concentrated juice becomes the sugar component, allowing a secondary fermentation in the bottle, and we don’t disgorge it.
The resulting wine is quite cloudy in appearance, and has a lovely gingery fresh character. It’s a fabulous food wine, and certainly one of Essentials’ favourites.
Currently in Australia Dal Zotto prosecco is selling extremely well in all states with business is going ‘gang busters,’ says Michael. ‘And our distributors are doing a great job. During the warmer months, when the weather’s beautiful people just want to drink prosecco. As soon as we saw the spring sun, bang – orders for prosecco have been coming in, flat out. Prosecco is an affordable luxury, it has a lovely, fresh approachability and can be drunk at any time. It perfectly fits into the Australian way of life.’
Dal Zotto’s prosecco spritz is a synch to make: 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and 1 part soda water. Serve with ice and a slice of citrus.
DAL ZOTTO WINES
4861 Wangaratta-Whitfield Rd, Whitfield , Victoria
Tel 03 5729 8321