In San Pietro di Barbozza there is a magical place, guardian of the best winemaking tradition of these lands. It is the oldest winery in Valdobbiadene where a wine with a secret recipe is born: “Orfeo 1969” Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Brut Rive di Santo Stefano by Cantine Varaschin.
There was a time when, in the hills of Valdobbiadene, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous all over the world for Prosecco, wine was produced only for self-consumption in favor of other more profitable goods such as milk and livestock.
At the beginning of the ’40ies, some courageous and visionary families in the area focused on the cultivation of vines, as a support to the territory to recover after two world wars. Among them, the Brunoro family in about 1850 created the first professional winery in the area and an avant-garde wine cellar for the time which, in 1946, became the headquarters of the famous Confraternita del Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, also the protagonist of the movie Finchè c’è Prosecco c’è Speranza.
For generations, we have been custodians of the traditions of our territory; are the stories of love and sacrifice of our grandparents that we want to convey in every drop of our wines.
Also the Varaschin family, thanks to the love “blossomed” between Emma Brunoro and Matteo Varaschin, has given and still gives its contribution to the territory and local tradition. Over the years, in fact, they strengthen their wine production, later giving birth to Cantine Varaschin, today a point of reference in the world of Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG.
A tradition carried on with Matteo’s children, Luigi and Renzo, and then with the third generation, his cousins Orfeo, Raffaella and Andrea. In particular, Orfeo, a visionary oenologist, became an important expert in the sector, the first to bet on Prosecco Rosé and to “invent” new wines thanks to a secret recipe book where ideas were noted down with meticulous passion to achieve always better grape combinations, harvests and aging.
It is to him, who passed away in 2019, that the family wanted to dedicate the top wine of their production, Orfeo 1969 Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Rive di Santo Stefano Millesimato Brut, presented for the first time at Vinitaly in April 2022 and inspired by an unpublished recipe that the oenologist had noted in his book.
Produced with 100% Glera grapes harvested by hand in purity only on the hills of Santo Stefano di Valdobbiadene it boasts, in fact, a special secret ingredient that belongs to the centuries-old history of the Varaschin family.
And precisely as “wine is above all an expression of a territory”, Orfeo 1969 should be tasted where it was born: inside the ancient cellar in the center of San Pietro di Barbozza where the Brunoro family produced wine since the 1800s.
Beautifully preserved environments thanks to the love of the fourth generation of the Varaschin family, in particular Manuel, son of Raffaella, who inside, with the help of Renzo Varaschin, has recreated a small Prosecco Museum by collecting, after having restored them, all the ancient family tools. Historical relics such as an old harvest carriage, but also many curiosities such as the small barrel that was loaded on the mules before going to work the fields and which guaranteed wine for the workers during the day (at the time it was considered an energy drink to get through the tiring days), up to a gigantic bunch of iron keys, each of which represented a property of the Brunoro family that was regularly inspected every day.
In addition to the Museum, you can also visit the ancient cellar where the barrels for the aging of the vin santo are located. This is a centenary tradition of the Varaschin family, the only one that still bottles it in the Valdobbiadene area after having it rested in special barriques for over 7 years.
The tasting of Orfeo 1969 takes place in the heart of Cantine Varaschin, now called the tasting room Casa Brunoro; the ancient aging room that was used by friends winemakers to rest their wines. Curiously, for this purpose, old recycled barrels from Bavaria dating back to around 1750 were used, still visible today. Each of them belonged to an oenologist who here refined his wine. From this room, you can also access the famous wine cellar of the Confraternita of Valdobbiadene, which can also be visited by appointment.
Casa Brunoro, with its splendid garden kissed by the sun until evening, is open every day in summer, except Tuesdays, while from November 1st from Thursday to Sunday, in the morning and evening for aperitifs and snacks. While for guided tours and tastings, conducted with great sympathy by Manuel, reservations are required.
In addition to Orfeo 1969 and the other wines of Cantine Varaschin, here you can taste cold cuts platters and cicchetti tapas based on local artisanal products such as soppressa, pancetta, mortadella, porchetta, turkey, cheeses aged under hay and under grape marc, Mezzano del Monte Cesen cheese, Morlacco cheese as well as many homemade fruit jams.
For a bubbly break or a wine tasting, Casa Brunoro is truly an unmissable address in the splendid UNESCO Prosecco Hills.
During the filming of Finchè c’è Prosecco c’è Speranza, Orfeo Varaschin participated as an extra in the funny scene of the shooting range where he played the part of the person in charge of repositioning the bottles to be hit, alongside the leading actor Giuseppe Battiston who played Inspector Stucky.
Selection of meats and cheese platters: small 8 euro, large from 16 euro
Glass of Prosecco: 3 euro
Glass of Cartizze: 4 euro
Visit to the Cellar and tasting of 3 wines: 15 euro
Visit to the Cellar and the Wine Museum, tasting of 4 wines and a platter of cheeses and cold cuts: 30 euro