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Italian Prosecco

An Italian Prosecco with plenty of fizz - Italian bubbles from the hills of Veneto!

Here is a beautiful bubbly for all occasions! Prosecco is an Italian DOC or DOCG white wine produced in a large area spanning nine provinces in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, and named after the village of Prosecco. It is made from the Prosecco grape, renamed Glera in 2009 within the European Union. Prosecco is almost always made in sparkling or semi-sparkling style but a still wine tranquillo is also made. Within the larger designation are two small DOCG areas, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco in the hills between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene and Asolo Prosecco around the nearby town of Asolo.

In 2019, Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene became an UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation World Heritage Site, in large part due to the region's role in the production of Prosecco.

The first known mention of the name Prosecco is attributed to the Englishman Fynes Moryson, who used the spelling Prosecho. Moryson, visiting the north of Italy in 1593, notes: "Histria is devided into Forum Julii, and Histria properly so called ... Here grows the wine Pucinum, now called Prosecho, much celebrated by Pliny". In 1754, the spelling Prosecco appears for the first time in the book Il Roccolo Ditirambo, written by Aureliano Acanti in Novoledo, in the municipality of Villaverla located in the Province of Vicenza.

Up until the 1960's, Prosecco sparkling wine was generally rather sweet and barely distinguishable from the Asti wine produced in Piedmont. Since then, production techniques have improved, leading to the higher quality wines produced today. According to a 2008 New York Times report, Prosecco rose sharply in popularity in markets outside Italy, with global sales growing by double-digit percentages since 1998. Approximately 700 million bottles of Prosecco were sold in 2019. Unlike Champagne, Prosecco is usually produced using the alternative Charmat–Martinotti method, in which the secondary fermentation takes place in large stainless steel tanks rather than in each individual bottle, making the wine less expensive to produce, and the minimum production time is 30 days. Higher quality Prosecco using this method will ferment the wine over a longer period, up to around 9 months. Nevertheless, the production rules for both the DOCG's also allow the use of the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle, known in Italy as Metodo Classico.

DOC and DOCG rules allow up to 15% of Prosecco wine to be a blend of Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Noir. Most Prosecco, whether DOC or DOCG, is made as Spumante sparkling wine or Frizzante (semi-sparkling). Prosecco DOC Spumante is the most famous and popular variety, with longer-lasting bubbles. Prosecco DOC Frizzante has less lingering bubbles. Depending on their sweetness, in accordance with the EU Sweetness of wine Regulations for Terms used to indicate sweetness of sparkling wine, Proseccos are labelled "Brut" (up to 12 grams per litre of residual sugar), "Extra Dry" (12–17 g/l) or "Dry" (17–32 g/l). Extra-Dry has been the dominant style made, but the amount of Brut is now increasing.

There are two Prosecco Superiore DOCG's, divided by the River Piave, in the Treviso province of Veneto. Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, is made on the hills between the towns of Conegliano, Valdobbiadene and Vittorio Veneto. Producers from Valdobbiadene have recently tended to skip the mention of Conegliano on their front label, calling their wine Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. The second DOCG is the smaller Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, produced on the hills near the town of Asolo. While the bulk of Prosecco DOC is grown on low-lying plains in an extended area covering 23,300 hectares, the DOCG Prosecco Superiore is grown exclusively on hillside vineyards in two far smaller growing areas, being 6,860 hectares for Conegliano Valdobbiadene and 1,783 hectares for Asolo. The steepness of the hills means that everything, from pruning to picking, is principally done by hand.

The La Caneva Dei Biasio Prosecco DOC Treviso Extra Dry NV rated 94/100 has been skillfully produced by a small artisan vineyard that has been run by a family for the past 80 years. Pour this into a traditional flute you will notice the constant fine bead that is long lasting. The straw colour reminded us of a farm shed full of hay. This extra dry has subtle sweetness with flavours of honeydew melon and pear. It is a perfect aperitif wine but don’t underestimate this as a wine that can be drunk with your main meals. We matched this with a butter prawn curry and the two together worked a treat. Serve this cold. We put it in the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Don’t forget that Prosecco is a great wine to mix and make some super summer cocktails like a Bellini, Aperol Spritz (a Popsy and JJ favourite when we were in Verona) or a Spagliato.