Fantastically fruity and fizzy, Prosecco sales have boomed astonishingly over the past few years. This Italian sparkling wine is both light and refreshing, and its simplicity is perhaps what makes it such a popular choice for aperitifs, celebrations and just about any other occasion.
Unlike Champagne, only one grape variety, Glera is used in the production of Prosecco and again unlike Champagne, the wine is not aged in the bottle. Instead, the second fermentation takes place in huge tanks, and the resultant wine is intended to be enjoyed young. A less expensive alternative to Champagne, Prosecco drinkers are particularly fond of its light and easy-to-drink style.
Slightly lower in alcohol than other sparkling wines, most Proseccos are characterised by a softer, sweeter taste and notes of white peaches, pears and apples. The “fizz factor” in Prosecco can either be foamy Spumante, which can be compared to Champagne, or the less-expensive, lightly sparkling frizzante.
In terms of quality classification, Prosecco was classified DOC in 1969, with regulations protecting the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene wine-producing area. In 2009, the region was elevated to DOCG status, with 19 communes now producing the finest Proseccos. Moreover, some of most highly-regarded Proseccos carry an additional Cartizze or Rive classification, to further distinguish them.
The most prestigious and sought-after Proseccos are the Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze, which are the true jewels in the Italian sparkling crown. The small cru, Cartizze produces a superlative quality sparkling wine with an intense, semi-sweet taste, and the wines make a perfect accompaniment to desserts and sweet pastries as well as salty and mildly spicy dishes.
Overtaking Champagne in popularity, over 30 million litres of Prosecco was consumed in the UK last year and this figure is set to continue to rise. There have been a few rumours circulating on the “grape vine” that the unprecedented demand for Prosecco will result in an eventual shortage, so travel sooner rather than later, just in case!
I would like to add the trip with Grape Escapes went smoothly and we found it to be extremely enjoyable. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend yourselves and book with yourselves again in the future!
Lucy- Kent, UK
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