20 MAY 2013
The legend of Prosecco
In Col San Martino, between one glass and another, the legend of Mastro Bortolo circulates.
A man, Mastro Bortolo, cultivated grapes around the church of San Martino; he put his whole soul into it and, with sacrifices and dedication, he was able to obtain a wine so good that it was called: “Elisir Prosecco”. Some local noble owners, who learned of these special grapes, sent their henchmen to harvest Mastro Bortolo’s grapes, without his permission and with great arrogance: The farmer was powerless in the face of the oppressions of the lords and understood that the the only thing to do was to harvest before they came to steal the grapes. However, he also had to hide the grapes and the wine he would make from them; finally, after a long thought, he had an idea.
At the foot of the hill there was a gigantic oak tree considered sacred and inviolable by everyone, even by the nobility, because it was believed to have been planted by the god Endymion, son of Zeus; it was therefore an excellent hiding place.
For months and months the farmer worked hard, digging an underground tunnel that led from his vineyard to under the great oak. Inside the gigantic tree he managed to create a cellar and a room to squeeze the grapes, thus doing it in spite of the overbearing lords.
From that harvest onwards, the ‘Elisir Prosecco’ could thus be managed by the rightful owner and drunk only by his friends, in good company.
Taken from “Unusual Guide of the Veneto” by Maurizio Vittoria