This style originates from the small village of Prosecco, now a suburb of Trieste. It comes in 3 levels of fizziness – sparkling or spumante, fizzy or frizzante and still or tranquillo. It is made primarily from the Glera grape. This variety is inextricably linked to this bubbly style, so much so that the grape was originally called ‘Prosecco’. It was not until more recently that the name was changed in a bid to reserve the name ‘Prosecco’ for wines made within the Italian appellation.
How did this vine become so intertwined with this style? Well, it is especially well suited to the production of sparkling with its toned-down flavour profile and bright acidity. Glera is subtle with soft notes of apple, pear, peach, melon, and elderflower. Its pure and simple nature offers the perfect base upon which an enticing fizz is built. Delicate varietal aromas are heightened by effervescence, yet they never overpower the wine’s uncomplicated elegance. In addition, Glera maintains its acidity well throughout ripening endowing the resulting fizz with mouth-watering freshness and a crisp finish.
Prosecco has been made in one form or another in Northeast Italy since ancient Roman times. Originally, these wines would have been made using the ancestral method by which wine is bottled partway through its primary fermentation to trap carbon dioxide gas creating gentle, light carbonation. Around the turn of the 20th century, the Charmat method, or ‘Italian Method’, was invented. This method involves trapping bubbles in the wine via carbonation in large steel tanks. This allowed the region to produce superior wines in larger quantities with greater consistency. Since this innovation, Prosecco has spread far and wide across the globe, winning the hearts of many with its easy enjoyability and reasonable price tag.