True Prosecco can only be made in the provinces of Treviso, Venice, Vicenza, Padua, Belluno, Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine in northeast Italy.
WHAT IS DOC?
DOC means Denominazione di Origine Controllato (Controlled Denomination of Origin). It is an international quality product designation which is based on compliance with production regulations. Like DOCG – Registered and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin – DOC is part of the EU standards regarding PDOs (Protected Denomination of Origin). Only wines produced in the Prosecco designated region can carry the DOC designation.
WHICH GRAPE VARIETIES IS PROSECCO MADE FROM?
Glera is the basic variety used to make Prosecco. Grapes from the following varieties may also be used up to a maximum of 15% of the total content: Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Nero, using the white winemaking process.
HOW LONG DOES PROSECCO KEEP?
Because Prosecco wine does not ferment in the bottle, it should be enjoyed young. It should be drunk within 1-2 years of the vintage.
WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I SERVE PROSECCO AT?
Prosecco should be served chilled at between 6-8 degrees Celsius.
WHICH GLASS SHOULD I USE TO DRINK PROSECCO?
Contrary to popular habits, prosecco should not be served in a flute glass, but rather in a relatively large tulip glass. This is to allow the air to release the fruity and floral flavours of the wine.
HOW FAR BACK DOES THE PROSECCO VARIETY GO?
Glera, the basic grape used in Prosecco, is a native variety from northeast Italy and its origins date back at least 2,000 years. Prosecco wine was familiar to the Romans under the name of Puccino (I AD – Pliny the Elder).
WHEN WERE BUBBLES FIRST SEEN IN THE WINES OF THIS AREA?
Bubbles were first seen with secondary fermentation in the bottle (late 19th century) and then in autoclaves (early 20th century).
WHAT ARE THE SPECIAL FEATURES OF PROSECCO DOC?
Prosecco is a wine which should be enjoyed young; it is light, aromatic and perfect for every occasion.
WHAT IS THE PROSECCO CONSORTIUM (CONSORZIO PROSECCO)?
The Protection Consortium is an institution whose role is to promote, protect and develop the Designation of Origin. Italian legislation also gives the Consortium the power, along with other organisations, to manage and guide the appellation, under certain conditions.
WHAT GUARANTEES DOES THE LABEL GIVE?
The label guarantees that the Prosecco has been produced in total compliance with production regulations. It also certifies its quality thanks to the government issued band which can also be applied.
WHAT IS THE DOC TERRAIN LIKE?
It was originally alluvial so is predominantly clayey-loamy and has an abundance of minerals and microelements.
HOW ARE THE GRAPES HARVESTED?
They are picked mainly by hand to prevent damaging them and to ensure the winemaking process is carried out properly.
WHAT IS THE YIELD?
The yield per hectare is the total number of kilograms of grapes that can be produced per unit area. As far as Prosecco is concerned, the maximum yield is 180,000 kgs per hectare (kg/ha). It takes approximately 1kg of grapes to produce one bottle of Prosecco.
WHAT IS PRESSING?
Pressing is the process where the free-run must is extracted from the grapes.
WHAT IS PRIMARY FERMENTATION?
Primary fermentation is when the must is turned into wine, thanks to the action of the selected yeasts.
WHAT IS THE MARTINOTTI METHOD?
The Martinotti method, invented by Federico Martinotti at the end of the 1800s, was the first method used to obtain sparkling and semi-sparkling wines. Thanks to the natural secondary fermentation of the wine in large containers known as autoclaves, which keep the wine under pressure, we can enjoy these wines with their distinctive flowery and fruity notes. However Martinotti used wooden tanks which were harder to control the fermentation due to reaction of the wine with the wood. Prior to this, secondary fermentation in the bottle was used to produce these wines, very much like champagne.
WHAT IS THE CHARMAT METHOD?
Prosecco is produced using the Charmat Method, in which the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. Here, carbonation occurs biologically from the decomposition of sugar from added yeasts. The method was invented by the Frenchman, Eugène Charmat who found a way to turn Marinotti’s idea into a successful industrial system using stainless steel autoclave tanks, coated on the inside with a vitrified glaze that was resistant to attack by wine and sulphuric acids.
WHERE DO THE BUBBLES COME FROM?
The bubbles, or perlage, are formed when the sugar in the wine is transformed during secondary fermentation into alcohol and carbon dioxide. It is the carbon dioxide during the second fermentation that gives Prosecco it’s light bubbles.