February 14, 2012

Prosecco DOCG

Fancy an essay? It’s long and only vaguely interesting, but good practice for me to write…

 

Prosecco is made in the hills north of Treviso in Veneto, between the towns of Conegliano (east) and Valdebbiadene (west).

The new rules in place since August 2009 entitle wines made in this delimited area to DOCG status. The small area approximately in the middle known as Cartizze (where the best fruit is grown) will additionally be able to label their wines with ‘Superiore’.  And all the outlying regions that were once producing prosecco under the IGT status have now been elevated to DOC.

Unfortunately, the downside is that anyone outside of this area can no longer use the word Prosecco anywhere on their products. Today they may use only the charming new varietal name ‘Glera’, which I agree, is not quite as romantic…

These changes were made when the application for DOCG status was lodged.  In order to confine the use of the term Prosecco, it needed to be tied to a place and it could not be associated to a grape variety.  Glera is an ancient synonym for prosecco, and thankfully there is a village named Prosecco within the extended boundaries of the DOC perimeter.

At the end of the day, the changes were put into place to protect the production of this high quality wine that has begun to be fashionable worldwide and is seriously competing with Champagne on the export market in terms of volume.

More than 80% of the production of Prosecco is sparkling, either frizzante or spumante. It is made using the Charmat method which is the best method for preserving the typical fruity & floral aromas of prosecco as a sparkling wine.

It’s a different method from that used in Champagne where the 2nd fermentation occurs in the bottle – a slow procedure that heightens the aromas that result from the yeast fermentation. The Charmat method on the contrary, is the result of rapid fermentation in large tanks under pressure. It is because of this that prosecco maintains the fruity floral notes characteristic of the variety and the less labour intense procedure, guarantees its great value pricing.

Prosecco can be found with various sweetness levels, Brut (<12g/l sugar), Extra Dry (12-20g/l) and Dry (>20g/l). Typical tasting notes are for a light body and an aromatic profile of crisp apples and pears with fresh spring flowers. The colour is generally a pale lemon, with some sporting a pale green hue. The style is drink young. Perfect for an apperitif or light summer meal.

 

filles at 11:12 pm

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