Facts on Prosecco
It’s the name of a village in northern Italy and the name of an Italian sparkling wine. It’s the name of a grape variety (and the ex-name of a grape variety) and is at the centre of a passionate and legally stained argument.
Welcome to the fascinating (and delicious) world of Prosecco!
Prosecco is a relative newcomer to the Australian wine scene. It was first planted in 1999 in the King Valley by Otto Dal Zotto (of Dal Zotto Wines).
Otto was born in the home of Prosecco in Italy and he planted the variety because he loved it and it reminded him of home. Today the King Valley in northern Victoria is the undisputed hotbed of Prosecco production in Australia.
The region’s cool climate and high elevation vineyards provide the perfect climate for the Prosecco grape to thrive. Outside the King Valley, Prosecco is planted sparingly, the Adelaide Hills being the most prominent region for it.
Prosecco is the most famous of Italy’s sparkling wines. Its home is in the north-eastern regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Prosecco can be in the form of a lightly sparkling wine (Frizzante), fully sparkling wine (Spumante) and even a dry style, which is rarely seen.
Did you know?
Since 2009, Prosecco has been a wine of designation with the defined regional boundaries protected by law. This makes it the same as Champagne. The change was bought about to protect Prosecco from imitations and since then it has been illegal to sell bottles labelled Prosecco in the EU unless they come from the defined region from which it originates.
As part of this change, the grape used to produce Prosecco had a name change to Glera. The process of changing the name of the grape variety is the cause of a major and ongoing dispute between Italian and Australian wine producers.
Australian producers have ignored the change, arguing that when they bought cuttings and vines, the variety was called Prosecco and hence they should be allowed to list the variety on their labels.
The dispute is currently ongoing and is a major point of contention in free trade agreement talks.
Prosecco is made by undertaking secondary ferment in a tank. This is also called the Charmat method. This creates a fresh and bright style of sparkling that explodes with pure fruit flavour.
White peach and pear are classic characters of Prosecco, along with notes of green apple and citrus. The bubbles give a creamy mouthfeel, which only adds to the charm.
Prosecco is great on its own or with canapés before a meal.
It also pairs well with simple seafood and white fish dishes, as well as classic pasta dishes.