The Bonotto family has been making wine for as long as anyone can remember. But their renowned Le Contesse winery was officially founded in 1976 when Bonotto, with the help of his father’s life savings, purchased a property in Treviso province once owned by the Tiepolo countesses, one of the area’s most famous families and the inspiration for the winery’s name — le Contesse (literally, “the countesses”).
After completing his degree at the Center for Experimental Viticulture in the city of Conegliano, Loris set his sights on making the greatest sparkling wine he possibly could. Over years of trial and error, he ultimately developed a revolutionary approach to making Prosecco:
Instead of using two separate vessels (as called for in the classic tank method of Prosecco production, he uses one, an autoclave. In other words, the grape must (juice) never leaves the pressurized vat where it is vinified. As a result, there is no exposure to oxygen (until bottling) and the wine never oxidizes — at all.
This ensures that the finished wine retains the original fresh, fruity character of the newly harvested grapes. Today, the Bonotto family, led by Loris’ son Davide and his wife Francesca, calls the process “single fermentation”.