It literally means “on the dirt”, but don’t let this mislead you: sur-lie method is one of the best methods to produce high quality prosecco and to avoid micro-filtration. Some time ago, when modern winery machinery still had to be invented, several techniques were used for wine production. A less known, yet rather peculiar method, was based on producing wine with settling, or, as the French used to say sur lie, a variant from the common Prosecco that has gained new popularity nowadays. It’s curious that a wine produced with such a technique won’t need any degorgement, the technique used to remove dead yeasts and sediments to brighten the wine up. There are two main ways to taste this wine:
- By removing all the sediments and decant the wine;
- Giving the wine a murky twist by shaking the bottle to mix the sediments.
Sur lie, how it’s made
Recently rediscovered in the Valdobbiadene-Conegliano area, the sur lie is among the finest niche wines. Let’s find out how it’s produced.
- The first step is the same as other wines’: the product is left fermenting a couple of days, after which it’s decanted at least 3 or 4 times.
- After the first fermentation, the ancient tradition establishes that the wine is poured in jugs until the next spring (March or April), so that the temperature can rise and the yeasts start fermenting.
- When the wine starts releasing the first bubbles, that means the yeasts have started fermenting. At this point it needs to be bottled up and kept in a dark, vibration-free wine cellar, at a 12/15 °C temperature until fermentation completes.
At the end of this procedure you finally obtain the sedimented wine, a versatile Prosecco ideal as an aperitif or for your meal. It has recently been defined one of the best wines, and not without reason, since it is tumultuous and entertaining. Moreover, despite its name the fruity taste of this wine wins upon the yeast, mutating at every smell and showing white notes of floreal and shimmering fruits. For this reason, its best match is with cured meats, soppressata and aged cheese.