Getting to Know Prosecco Superiore #ItalianFWT

This month the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel bloggers are focused on Prosecco Superiore DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita).    And the heart  and soul of Prosecco Superiore DOCG has its origins in Conegliano Valdobbiadene!

About Conegliano Valdobbiadene

The area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene is situated in hilly countryside about 50 km from Venice and around 100 km from the Dolomites.   Its name comes from two of the 15 communes in the region: Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, one being the zone’s cultural capital and the other the heart of its production.

Vine-growing  in the region has ancient origins, but the first written document linking Prosecco to this area dates back to 1772.  Ever since the introduction of the Prosecco D.O.C. in 1969, the historic production area has remained limited to just 15 communes.  In 2009, the region was elevated to D.O.C.G. status, the highest level of quality for Italian wines.

Italy’s oldest and most prestigious wine school, the Scuola Enologica, opened in the town of Conegliano in the Prosecco region of north-east Italy in 1876.  Almost two decades later Federico Martinotti, a professor at the school, invented a way to make sparkling wine that we now call Prosecco. (Source)

Due to its complex, extremely diverse and dramatic terrain, long viticultural history and hand-crafted nature, the Conegliano Valdobbiadene has the potential to produce wines of particular interest and diversity closely tied to the place of origin.- Alan Tardi, US Ambassador of ConVal Prosecco DOCG

The vineyards are situated an altitude of between 50 and 500 meters above sea level with abundant southern exposure on  stony, glacial-era morainic  subsoil.  With a breeze that arrives from the Adriatic to the east, the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene  region offers ideal conditions for producing fresh wines with vibrant acidity and signature minerality.

The wines may be labeled as ‘Conegliano-Prosecco’, ‘Valdobbiadene-Prosecco’ or a combination of the two.

The region was recently proclaim to be  a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. At A Glance

Soil Types: Conegliano –  Primarily clay and limestone with a mix of alluvial and glacial deposits; Valdobbiadene – Mix of moraines, sandstone and clay
Grapes planted: Glera is the predominant grape; but Verdiso, Perera, Bianchetta
Styles: 95% is Spumante ( fully sparkling); Frizzante (fizzy) which is less bubbly; and Tranquillo, a still wine
Production MethodMartinotti Method (a.k.a  “Charmat” method outside of Italy) whereby secondary fermentation takes place in pressurized steel tanks known as autoclaves.
Sub regions: DOCG, DOCG Rive and Cartizze (see Prosecco quality pyramid below)
Levels of Sweetness : Brut, the driest style, Extra Dry, the most traditional, and Dry, with a higher level of residual sugar.
Production: Only  about 20% of Prosecco produced earns the DOCG designation


The World of Prosecco (Source)

Prosecco is a white Italian wine with lively elegance and fruity and floral fragrances.


Reading The Label


Graphics courtesy of Conegliano-Valdobbiaden Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Wines Tasted

Disclosure: The wines were provided as media samples. No other compensation was involved, and  all opinions expressed my own.

I was among the group of bloggers who received samples from the Consorzio of Prosecco Superiore DOCG*  I received the following three wines:

  • Drusian Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry
  • Bianca Vigna DOCG Brut
  • La Farra Millesimato 2018 Brut Valdobbiadene DOCG

See my related Instagram posts below for more my tasting notes about the wines and the related food pairing:

Drusian Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry

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Homework time again. I’m a member of the Italian Food Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT) group of food and wine writers. For our next virtual event on Saturday July 6th at 11a ET, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Prosecco Superiore DOCG. The last time I dove into Prosecco Superiore DOCG, I learned that not all Prosecco is created equally. 🍇🍇 🍇 Tonight we’re dining al fresco, and I’m pairing the Drusian Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry with Gluten Free Italian Lemon Basil Orzo Salad with fresh, and sun dried tomatoes, capers, red onion, fresh mozzarella and homemade crouton dressed with white balsamic shallot dressing 🥂🥂🥂 The wine is a pale straw color with quince, green apple, citrus, and white flower aromas. On the palate it approaches off-dry, with vibrant, fresh acidity and small lively bubbles lend finesse. It shows quince, green apple, honey and Key lime cream flavors with hints of minerality and an appetizing kiss of bitterness on a satisfying finish. 11% abv| SRP – ~$15|#Sample 🍇🍇 🍇 The Drusian Family has been producing wine for three generations, starting with Giuseppino Drusian in the middle of 19th century and followed by his son Rino, then grandson, Francesco. An innovator at this historic estate, Francesco has brought technological advancement as well as a passion for the land that manifests in his decision to use no pesticides or insecticides and only organic fertilizers. Produced using the Charmat (tank-fermented) method, from Glera grapes grown in the calcareous, clay soils of the hilly Valdobbiadene DOCG . . #wine #winelover #sparklingwine #proseccodocg #notallproseccoiscreatedequal #glera #italianfwt #proseccoelevated #proseccosuperiore #coneglianovaldobbiadene

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Bianca Vigna DOCG Brut

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I’m prepping for the Italian Food Wine and Travel group of food and wine writers (#ItalianFWT) – Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG event. Join the conversation on Twitter on Saturday July 6th at 8a PT to learn more about what differentiates Prosecco Superiore DOCG from Prosecco DOC. Just follow the #ItalianFWT hashtag. The Bianca Vigna DOCG Brut is 100% Glera from estate owned vineyards in the hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. The Martinotti method is used for secondary fermentation. The wine is a pale straw color with a fine perlage and pear, green apple, lime blossom aromas. On the palate it’s dry and fresh with a delicate creamy mousse with pear, green apple, honey, lime cream, tangerine flavors that are complicated with a bit of minerality and a lengthy finish. #Sample 11.5% abv|SRP – $15 average per It paired beautifully with a take out Poke Bowl with Octopus, Shrimp, Yellowtail, avocado, mango and pickled ginger . . . #proseccosuperiore #coneglianovaldobbiadene #proseccodocg#proseccoelevated #biancavigna #glera #foodandwinepairing #pokebowl #somminstapic

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La Farra Millesimato 2018 Brut Valdobbiadene DOCG

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From time to time our local Whole Foods sells Kumatoto for $1.50 ea. Today was one of those days. Picked up a dozen (and honestly between my wife and I, we could have knocked out two dozen)! My wife whipped up some Fresh guacamole as well. 🥂🥂🥂 I’ve had raw oysters with Champagne and various California sparkling wine, but never Prosecco. The La Farra Millesimato 2018 Brut Valdobiaddene DOCG is a charming wine and a wonderful partner for both our oysters, and the guacamole! 🥂🥂🥂 The wine is a very pale straw color with pear, white peach, green melon and white flower aromas. On the palate it’s dry and fresh with a delicate creamy mousse and pear, ripe white peach, tangerine and a hint of apricot flavors with a very satisfying mineral tinged finish #Sample 11% abv |SRP-$11 average per @winesearcher . . #proseccodocg #proseccocv #proseccocvdocg #proseccosuperiore #proseccoelevated #lafarraprosecco #glera #foodandwinepairing #italianfwt

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My Takeaways

  • Not all Prosecco is created equally!  The wines I tasted were clearly a step up in quality over the Prosecco DOC I’ve had.  To my palate, the wines showed more depth and structure.  Furthermore the wines made me consider, for the first time, whether Prosecco can be a terroir-driven wine  that shows a sense of place (e.g. is there something about  the aromas or flavors in the wine that let you know it’s from a unique place).
  • Prosecco Superiore DOCG, like other sparkling wines is very food friendly and merits consideration beyond serving as an aperitif.
  • While Prosecco Superiore DOCG can cost more the Prosecco DOC, the wine still offer wonderful quality-to-price ratios.

Count me as a big fan!

Checkout what my fellow #ItalianFWT Bloggers have in store for the Prosecco DOCG Party! 

Join the Conversation
Please join our live #ItalianFWT Twitter Chat on Saturday – July 6th – at 8 o’clock AM Pacific time. You can follow the main hashtag (#ItalianFWT) and additional hashtags – #proseccosuperiore #coneglianovaldobbiadene #proseccodocg #proseccoelevated – and join in or search for it later and read all the posts.

*Find the Consorzio
on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram

9 Comments Add yours

  1. culinarycam says:

    Thanks for joining me in this exploration, Martin! I love all of your pairings and am definitely a more informed fan of Prosecco after this month. Cin cin.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for hosting Cam! I’m sorry I missed the chat. It looks like it was great!

  2. Great Prosecco Superiore info Martin. Love the charts and graphics.

  3. Isn’t it incredible that they were just designated a UNESCO site. Love all your pairings. Well written article Martin.

  4. advinetures says:

    Great article Martin. Our experience with Prosecco has been hit and miss but this post certainly makes me want to revisit and research further, particularly into these ones. Thank you!

    1. Support says:

      Thanks so much. My hit or miss experiences has been more so with Prosecco DOC than Prosecco. DOCG. But you know how wine is…”YMMV”

  5. Looks like you were very diligent with your homework on this one — great pairings! The poke bowl looks very interesting.

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