Many bubbly types can no longer or should no longer be seen to be drinking champagne. Instead of drinking what they think they should, they are drinking what they like, and a good Prosecco is a fine example according to the amiable and affable Roberto Cremonese.
This sounds a little funny to stay, put the recession has been a bit of a blessing for Prosecco. The bubble experience without the expense.
Back in September, I had the privilege of heading out to a town in the Veneto called Valdobbiadene, the heartland of Prosecco sparkling wine. The winery is Bisol, makers of some of the best Prosecco in Italy.
Compared to Champagne?
Comparisons are a bit unfair. Compare at price point, then Prosecco wins every time in my view. All other comparisons are a little unfair, different place, different grapes, different winemaking technique. Champagne has that celebratory stigma and allure, so unless you have deep pockets, it’s quite difficult to get to know intimately.
Prosecco is more accessible and if you watch the short video featured above, you’ll see that Roberto Cremonese describes Prosecco as “uncomplicated”. For me, it’s uncomplicated in a sense that it lacks the fuss, the pomp, the circumstance and the price reserved for a drink like Champagne and I think that’s a good thing.
A most serene beautiful place, a lot of the landscape is steep hills, making hand pruning and harvesting the only way to tackle it. So it’s well made here in the Valdo, particularly where Bisol are concerned. I got to see the grapes coming in and the processing. It doesn’t look like a massive industrial operation, but Bisol can be found in some of the best bars and restaurants around the world (I recently discovered it in The Med restaurant in Boulder, Colorado).
So what makes for a good Prosecco?
Finally, it’s now a protected name. It’s origins are a grape from a town called Prosecco near Trieste, but in recent years the name, perhaps, became somewhat devalued. Prosecco in a can, with Paris Hilton on the label was not something the better producers and core region ever aspired to. It seemed that outside forces were dictating the future of their native drink. This protection is now DOCG, the highest step in the Italian wine categorisation.
The second is identifying and labelling the grape. It’s called Glera, not Prosecco.
So, there’s a move within the DOCG area combined with the named grape variety to get away from the generic fizz to a protectable entity of geographical origin.
While there are still some generic bubbles out there, there’s also the equivalent of the “crus”, or better vineyards. The Cartizze is a good example. 106 hectares split between over 150 owners, of which three belong to Bisol. This area is one of the most sought after. For a hectare, you’re looking at $1 million, but no one’s selling.