Know Your Variety: Prosecco
Adam Walls reveals how Fizz from France is no longer the number one choice for Sparkling wine lovers.
Prosecco is the fizz from Italy that’s overtaking Champagne as the world’s most loved Sparkling wine. The surge in its popularity has seen many an imitation hit the market, even in cans in some parts of Europe!
Understandably, the Italians were keen to protect their product, and since 2009, it’s been designated a wine of origin under EU law. This means you can only call it Prosecco if it comes from its region of origin in north-east Italy.
Except in Australia, that is. We can still use the name on our Prosecco-style wines sold here, but if they’re exported, they must bear the name of the grape it’s made from, Glera.
Prosecco at a Glance
Prosecco dates back to Roman times when it was known as Puccino. The bubbly style we know today emerged in the early 1900s thanks to the invention of secondary fermentation techniques.
The north-eastern Italian regions where you’ll find a profusion of Prosecco are Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Did you know?
There are three styles of Prosecco: dry and still; lightly sparkling Frizzante; foaming Spumante. The dry, still style is rarely seen outside Italy and the one we see most of in Australia is Spumante.
Our home of Prosecco is Victoria’s King Valley, driven by the Italian heritage of many of the local wine pioneers. Add to this the similarity of the region’s rolling hills to those of Veneto and you’ve got Prosecco perfection.
You’ll also find great examples in the Adelaide Hills, Macedon and Hilltops.
The Glera grape has high acidity and a fairly neutral palate, making it ideal for Sparkling wine production. Prosecco is made using the Italian method where secondary fermentation occurs in a pressurised tank, the bubbles are captured and the wine is then bottled under pressure. This results in a lower alcohol wine driven by bright fruit and acidity rather than the savouriness of bottle fermented fizz. Find out more about the difference between Champagne and Prosecco here.
Glera’s aromatic profile is characterised by white peaches, pear and citrus. You can also get floral notes of jasmine and hints of pistachio nut.