The name Prosecco has been heard almost by everyone, but not everyone knows what deep oenological traditions this drink has. This sparkling refreshing drink is often compared to or even called a champagne, but it is certainly not the same drink. It is not only produced from a specific type of grape, but by using completely different technologies in production processes. As a result, these differences have led to prosecco becoming increasingly popular not only in Italy but around the world.
This wine was first mentioned in the Natural History of the Roman historian Pliny the Elder. He wrote that Julia Augusta, the second wife of the emperor Augustus (mother of Tiberius) reached the honorable age of 86 and she said it is because of drinking Prosecco wine. Of course, it was not the same Prosecco we are used to drink today. At the time, it was a very easily sparkling wine of unfinished fermentation for local consumption. Everything changed about 150 years ago when a new method of fermentation was discovered.
What Wine Can Be Called Prosecco?
According to Francesco Zonin, the vice president of Zonin, unlike champagne, which is matured in bottles, Prosecco spends the second stage of fermentation in pressurized steel tanks. The wine fermented in this way gets more pressure, and at the same time more bubbles appear. Since 2009, prosecco, as in the case of champagne, has been a protected designation of origin. At that time, nine provinces including the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, were identified as the origins of prosecco. In the so-called production are of DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) extremely strict rules are applied such as grapes being picked only by hand and only during the day.
One of the largest producers and exporters of prosecco is the Zonin family as they have been producing this wine for seven generations since 1821. This family owns the largest prosecco vineyard in the Veneto region. By strictly controlling the entire production process from cultivation to bottling, the Zonin family can ensure that the Prosecco they produce is of extremely high quality.
The main kind of grapes from which prosecco is made is Glera, formerly known simply as Prosecco grapes. It is one of the grapes ripening at the latest during the season. The production rules of this wine now allow to blend Glera grapes with other grapes such as Perera, Bianchetta, Verdiso, or intensive Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, or even Pinot Noir.
Most wines of this type are dry, mostly brut in style, with the impression of sweetness due to intense fruit aromas. However, it should be borne in mind that the dry label means the sweetest choice. The sugar content of such wine may be between 17 and 32 g per liter. Prosecco is one of those wines that can be served both with an aperitif and with a main course also. It is extremely versatile, so it fits perfectly into the cuisines of many countries. It is usually recommended to serve chilled prosecco to 6-8 degrees. The experts suggest avoiding tall and narrow glasses of champagne to get the full palette of its flavors. It is better to choose the tulip-shaped sparkling wine glasses or the simplest glasses of white wine.