Prosecco’s Hills of Conegliano & Valdobbiadene.Why are we a world’s heritage spot by UNESCO

Riccardo Poletti with a guitar bought at a charity auction by Desiderio Bortolin

“Take this glass with you” Told me Riccardo Poletti, the “right arm” of the family Bortolin that celebrated last year their 50th anniversary in this adventure ( I wouldn’t call it business because that is not the way they see it) “We are not going to taste our wine inside a cellar, we are going right there, where it’s produced” We took the ten minutes ride on a Land Rover through a rough path till we reached the top. Looking around there were only wineyards. 360 degrees of rolling hills. “This is where we produce, where we shed our swet trying to pamper our grapes so that they can become the best of wine. We pick them grape by grape, by hand. the morphology of the terrain doesn’t give us any other choice. In some cases, where the hills are really steep we have to secure ourselves to ropes, as if we were climbing a mountain, to make sure we do not fall. The hand picking assures a grape that is not smashed or damaged and this gives us thechoice of picking the right time to process it and turning it into the best Prosecco di Valdobbiadene & Conegiano. The recipe comes from our grandfather and other great men who believed in the potential of these hills just after the Second World’s War and experimented continuosly till they developed what is known today as the Valdobbiadene-Conegliano method of processing that is studied by all the producerds around the world” Riccardo uncorks the bottle with its typical sound. He then takes half a glass and purs it on the ground. “Rinsing the glass?” I ask. “Not really.. This is what we do always before drinking our wines. We give back some to Mother Earth what belongs to Her, it is a thanksgiving act that we perform all of the time” I’m positively startled. This is the bond between this working people and their Land, their Hills, their Grapes.

“pouring the wine before drinking it is a sort of Thanksgiving to Mother Earth that has provided us with this nectar made with love and passion. This is what we are”

During the two hours we spent together I learned from Riccardo and Desiderio Bortolin, the owner of the omonym wine producer’s cellar, that it is NOT the Prosecco itself that has gained the world’s heritage mention by UNESCO, is the Territory, the HILLS and all the products tha come within it in a huge container (like a hashtag). There are places and cheeses, meats and honey, churches from the ninth century and salami, and above all the LOVE. The LOVE of this great PEOPLE who were born here and they belong to these hills, to their rock, to their steepness, to the hard work of their ancestors that continues on to the new generations. “We love to provide a honest product. We aren’t in business just for the money or to cheat our customers , we are here to make sure to give everyone who puts their trust in our wines gets the best. Everyone returns for more, and this for us is the best reward.

(copyright by pio dal cin 2019- all rights on photos and text are reserved)

The breathtaking view from the “SALIS” B&B ‘ pool and SPA
The terrace at Salis’ Restaurant on the HIlls
Maria Boghetto manager of Salis B&B and SPA on the Hills

Continuing on my serach for the truth on this breathtaking area I decided to give it a “pink cut” and by that I mean that where there is something great in a place there must be some great women. I searched for them and find a few worth spending some time with, for their dedication to the Territory and above all for their LOVE and the PASSION they put in what they do. MARIA BOGHETTO was a woman keen to deal with numbers. Thirtheen years ago, after the passing on of her husband’s grandfather, she decided to turn the old farmhouse into a B&B. (four daisies is like four stars for a hotel). There are nine rooms and the swimming pool, along with the Jacuzzi, are placed in the right spot so that one can enjoy the amphitheatrical view of the Hills. “Every day, when I come to work, I consider myself a very lucky person” Says Maria :”What more could I ask for? Look at the scenery, isn’t it wonderful? ”

What do you think is needed now to develope this into something “up to the excpectations of the prepared tourists given the new spotlight?

“We really need to work together as in one body. There must be a single direction where we point to and there must be a guidance that would be appropriate to have in order to convey our energies with strict and solid rules as the Ten Commandements of the Hills, we also need a tourisms of prepared people who come here knowing what to expect, no need for load full of tourists who come in the morning and leave in the evening. This Hills and its Territory must be sipped slowly, like a good glass of CARTIZZE.”

Alfia De Sorbo was an accountant who decided to create a joyful, peaceful relaxing spot in VALDOBBIADENE. She remodeled the old houseand its three rooms and called it “LA CASETTA” (the small house). Here the guest have the whole house at their disposal, not just the room. The warmth and the good vibrations are everuywhere as Alfia created a small paradise inside this great place, ” I like to pamper my guests. My reward is to see them coming back, and they do. They love the concept of having the house for themselves. I love them staying here and enjoying the territory slowly, perhaps with a mountain bike, an electric one is worderful to taste the beauty of these Hills”

Michela De Bona was born on these Hills.In the last twenty years she lived her path of Public Relations getting to know all the businesses, the people, the restaurants and all enterprises small, medium and big. She loves these hills like she loves her two twin children and she knows everyone in the area. Michela to me is like a sister and everytime I need to know something in particular, a person, a business, a B&B, a restaurant, a place to visit, she points out the best, the one that has a story behind, because SHE KNOWS the story of every corner, or every person in this wonderful area. She is about to start something new, because she believes that this Territory, from Venice to the Dolomites must be known and the best way to do it is slowly, and why not on top of an eletrical bike.This gives me the opportunity of say THANK YOU Michela, from the deep of my heart, you have made my job of writing, taking photos, talking to people and getting to know these hills really easy.

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