Prosecco is a sparkling white wine that comes from the Prosecco hills of Italy. It is made from Glera grapes that are grown in the Veneto and Friuli regions. The grapes are pressed gently to extract their juice. Yeast is added to the juice which causes fermentation. The wine undergoes a second fermentation in large tanks. This traps the carbon dioxide bubbles inside and produces the fine bubbles we see in Prosecco.

Have you ever wondered what makes Prosecco sparkle? Unlike Champagne which uses two grapes, Prosecco is made from just one white grape variety called Glera. It has little bubbles that tickle your nose as you take a sip of this refreshing wine. Prosecco is perfect to celebrate any occasion, from relaxing weekends to festive parties.

What Kind Of Wine Is Prosecco?

Ever heard of Prosecco? This Italian sparkling wine has taken the world by storm. While lots of bubbly comes from Italy, Prosecco has very specific rules about where it’s from, what grapes are used and how it’s made. It must follow strict guidelines to be called Prosecco.

No wonder it’s arguably the most popular sparkling worldwide – it’s light, crisp and super refreshing. Compared to Champagne, Prosecco offers that festive fizz at a much better price. With such high demand, this sunny Italian sparkler is definitely worth a try.

Where Does Prosecco Wine Come From?

Prosecco, Italy’s famous bubbly, comes from stunning vineyards near Venice. The hills dotting the landscape around towns like Valdobbiadene and Treviso are filled with grapes for producing this sparkler.

The Prosecco region encompasses a large valley in the Veneto, nestled right by the city of canals. It’s even crafted farther north in Friuli near Trieste. In short, wherever you see those cherished prosecco grapes growing is where the magic that makes this wine happens.

Does All Prosecco Come From Italy?

While Prosecco grapes originated and are most extensively grown in Italy, they have a history outside the country as well. Slovenia has long cultivated Prosecco, and more recently it has been planted in Australia’s King Valley region due to Italian immigration. Australian Prosecco producers have found success exporting their versions of the wine. However, they face challenges regarding use of the protected “Prosecco” name from European authorities.

The EU argues Prosecco refers specifically to wines made in Italy according to traditional methods. But Australian vintners counter that Prosecco is properly the varietal name, pre-dating regional protection. This disagreement over whether Prosecco denotes a place of origin or a grape has caused trade tensions. Australian producers are fighting to legitimately use the term in exports like their Slovenian counterparts. The debate highlights how globally Prosecco is now produced despite Italian roots.

What Grape Variety Is Prosecco Made From?

Prosecco is primarily made from the white Italian grape Glera. Glera must make up at least 85% of any wine bearing the Prosecco name. Smaller proportions of other local grapes, like Verdiso and Bianchetta Trevigiana, can supplement the blend at up to 15%. International varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot varieties are also permitted in minute amounts. Until recently, the grape was actually called Prosecco instead of Glera.

But in 2009, regulations were put in place designating Prosecco as a protected geographic name. This required officially renaming the main grape variety to Glera to protect the prestigious name of Italy’s beloved sparkling wine.

Is Prosecco Sweet Or Dry?

Is Prosecco Sweet Or Dry?
  • Prosecco comes in various styles depending on residual sugar levels.
  • Prosecco Brut has 0-12g/L RS, making it very dry.
  • Prosecco Extra Dry contains 12-17g/L RS, giving it a subtly off-dry taste.
  • Prosecco Dry has 17-32g/L RS, ranking it as the sweetest style.
  • The label will indicate which category the Prosecco falls into based on the grams of residual sugar per liter.
  • This ranges from bone dry Brut up to the sweeter Prosecco Dry style depending on consumer preferences.

Are There Different Styles Of Prosecco Wines?

  • Prosecco comes in styles that vary in their level of bubbles/fizz.
  • Prosecco spumante is the most common and popular style. It has around 3 atmospheres of pressure in the bottle (44psi).
  • Prosecco frizzante is a less sparkling, semi-sparkling style. It has less than 2.5 atmospheres of pressure (<36psi), so is only slightly bubbly.
  • For comparison, beer has about 1.5 atmospheres and Champagne has around 6 atmospheres or 100psi (much more fizzy!).
  • Shoppers will find Prosecco spumante more readily available with its moderate level of bubbles perfect for enjoying.
  • Prosecco frizzante offers a softer effervescence in a less sparkling variety.

Is Spumante Sweet Or Dry?

The term “Spumante” simply refers to a sparkling style of Prosecco. On its own, “Spumante” doesn’t indicate the sweetness level. Rather, the labels will denote whether it is Spumante Brut or Spumante Dry to show if it is dry or sweeter. A “Spumante Brut” will be very dry with 0-12g/L residual sugar, while a “Spumante Dry” will have a noticeably sweeter taste from 17-32g/L of residual sugar.

Referring back to the details above, Spumante Brut is sparkling yet dry, whereas Spumante Dry offers both bubbles and more sweetness. The label provides clarity on whether the Spumante version is dry or off-dry/sweet.

How To Find High-Quality Prosecco?

Quality Varies By Region

Prosecco quality levels are defined by where the grapes are grown:

  • Prosecco DOC: Most common, from 9 provinces across 2 regions. Found widely.
  • Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG: From specific hillsides known for superior quality.
  • Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore Rive DOCG: Even more precise area for higher quality grapes.
  • Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG: Top 107 hectares with finest soils for outstanding Prosecco.
  • Prosecco Colli Asolani DOCG: Renowned hills across from Conegliano also produce quality grapes.

Look For Organic Producers

Opting for organic ensures attention to sustainable practices and grape quality:

  • Organic grapes have thicker skins from natural defences against the elements.
  • This results in more balanced, aromatic Prosecco with fuller fruit flavors that persist.

Producer Recommendation

For examples of quality organic Prosecco, try L’Antica Quercia wines like:

  • Ariò Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry 2018
  • Matiù Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut 2018

Grown on Conegliano’s finest hillsides for superior taste.

Is Prosecco The Same As Champagne?

Is Prosecco The Same As Champagne?

Origin Differences:

  • Champagne hails exclusively from the French region surrounding Reims and Epernay southeast of Paris.
  • Prosecco grapes are only grown within designated regions in Italy.

Production Method Variations:

  • Champagne utilizes the Méthode Traditionnelle (Traditional Method), involving a secondary fermentation in each individual bottle.
  • Prosecco employs the Charmat Method, where the secondary fermentation occurs in large pressurized tanks rather than bottles.

In short, while both are sparkling wines, Champagne boasts a more restrictive geographical origin in France and relies on the bottle fermentation process compared to Prosecco’s Italian vineyard locales and tank fermentation approach.

What Is The Difference Between Asti Spumante And Prosecco?

Asti SpumanteProsecco
OriginPiedmont region, Western ItalyVeneto and Friuli regions, Eastern Italy
Key GrapeMuscat Blanc (Moscato Bianco)Glera
Grape CharacterVery fragrant and fruityMore restrained and floral
StyleSweeterCrisp and dry, or just off-dry
Alcohol LevelBelow 10% ABVAround 11% ABV
Production MethodCharmat method secondary fermentation in tankCharmat method secondary fermentation in tank
Vs ChampagneCharmat tank method unlike Champagne’s bottle fermentationCharmat tank method unlike Champagne’s bottle fermentation

What Are The Typical Flavors Found In Prosecco?

Prosecco derives its flavors from the primary grape variety Glera. Some common notes you may pick up include:

  • Green apple and pear – The stone fruit flavors come through nicely.
  • Fresh lemon zest – Expect bright citrus along with possible hints of other fruits like lime.
  • Light honey – An often detected nuance that adds subtle sweetness.
  • Grassy or herbaceous tones – Depending on grape maturity, you occasionally find vegetal aromas resembling grass, tomato leaves, or acacia.

Overall, Prosecco showcases a floral and lightly fruity bouquet from the Glera grape. Apple, pear and lemon are standard, balanced by honey and occasional subtler green flavors that reflect the vineyard environment where the grapes were grown. It’s a refreshing and zippy package of aromas.

How Popular Is Prosecco?

Prosecco has become the top-selling sparkling wine worldwide outside of its home country France. Leading consumers of Prosecco today include the UK, Italy, US, and Germany. Sales figures tell the story – since 2013, over 307 million bottles of Prosecco are sold globally each year, outpacing even French Champagne which moves 304 million bottles.

The British especially can’t get enough – accounting for close to half a billion pounds spent on Prosecco annually. No country pops more corks than the UK. Italians themselves are out-drunk by Prosecco’s biggest fans abroad. In the lucrative US market, Prosecco alone comprises around 15% of all sparkling wine sales.

Both at home and abroad, Prosecco’s popularity has exploded over the past decade. It remains the global leader in bubbly consumption worldwide aside from Champagne in France. No other fizz quite matches Prosecco’s mass market appeal and sales domination internationally.

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