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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 Infographic

Origins

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.

In Australia

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.

Characters

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.

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Following the Prosecco Road - Your Guide to Australian Prosecco
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The road that traverses the valley from  Milawa’s Brown Brothers  to Chrismont in Cheshunt is known as the Prosecco Road. Along the way, visitors pass Dal Zotto Wines , Pizzini Wines and Sam Miranda Wines. These five wineries are among the best wineries in the region, all famous for this variety. As a result, the King Valley, long known for Italian and other alternative varieties such as Arneis, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera, is now most famous as the home of Australian Prosecco. We recently caught up with Ross Brown from Brown Brothers to talk Prosecco and Christmas  in this recent article. Sam Miranda is the third generation of a prominent winemaking family who moved from Italy to Australia in the 1930s. Since making the King Valley home in 1996, and drawing on a proud Italian heritage and a love for innovative winemaking, Sam Miranda Wines have been instrumental in the rise and collective promotion of King Valley Prosecco into the legend it is today. The Adelaide Hills and other Prosecco Regions
Glera vines are starting to gain momentum in other cool climate regions such as the Adelaide Hills and Yarra Valley. With wineries including Innocent Bystander, Tempus Two and Coriole Vineyards leading the charge. As consumer demand continues to increase for Australian Prosecco this will only continue. Tasting Notes Prosecco is a light, fresh, creamy and fruit focused Sparkling wine.  Tasting Panellist Adam Walls  notes that Prossecco generally presents with a “pale lemon colour and a fine bead collar. Abundant in pear, apple and citrus fruits with creamy soft texture, it’s little wonder that Prosecco is proving to be a favourite with drinkers across the country”. Prosecco Food Pairings
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Know Your Variety - Montepulciano
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