Arguably one of the world’s most popular and playful sparkling wines, Prosecco is an Italian specialty.
Just as France has a Champagne region, Northeastern Italy has a designated Prosecco region, and it spans nine provinces of the Veneto and Fruili-Venezia Giulia total area. Sparkling wine manufactured using grapes grown outside of this designated region cannot use the term “Prosecco” on the label. This is to protect the characteristics associated with the Italian sparkler as glera grapes grown in this region only vary in flavour, acidity and bouquet within predictable parameters.
A higher-quality version of Prosecco wine that must meet more stringent production requirements is known as Prosecco Superiore and must come from the more rugged terrain between the towns of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano. Prosecco can be produced as a still wine, a semi-sparkling wine (“frizzante”), or a fully sparkling wine (“spumante”)—the latter being the most common. And while Prosecco wine is typically produced in a “brut” (dry) style, its fresh and fruity character makes it seem a bit sweeter than it actually is. “Extra dry” styles, incorporating higher levels of residual sugar, are quite popular, however.
Prosecco is made using the Charmat method, also called the “Italian Method”. Similar to the traditional French méthode champenoise, Charmat forces the second fermentation to happen in a large stainless-steel tank prior to bottling, rather than in the bottle like Champagne. The Charmat method is a less expensive way to push a wine through second fermentation and is best used for sparkling wines that are meant to be consumed young and fresh.
Widely regarded as one of Northern Italy’s largest wine makers as well as scenic locales, the Cantina Produttori di Valdobbiadene Val d’Oca is an agricultural company well known for its pursuit of high-quality Prosecco production.
Established in 1952, the consortium currently groups together 576 growers and 1,800 acres of vineyards, producing benchmark wines with the aim of promoting the products of its members.
Worthy of note is that Val d’Oca received UNESCO recognition in July 2019 for its efforts to work in collaboration with nature to preserve and protect for future generations. For many years, this group has been pursuing the goal of producing quality wines, fostering awareness of the investments made in terms of money and human effort, and communicating its upgrade program in order to ensure that consumers fully realize that all production stages, from grape growing to bottling of wine are performed with care and skill.
Among its many key initiatives related to sustainability, Val d’Oca is primarily active in strengthening the resilience and adaptability of all associates to climate-related risks and natural disasters.
In fact, Val d’Oca recently took home first place in the AGRIcoltura 100, an annual award honouring Italian leaders in sustainability as well as social and economic responsibility. Val d’Oca was awarded for its commitment to renewable resources and integrated agriculture practices that combine the best of technology and traditional methods for the highest quality, most sustainable product.
This latest release from Val d’Oca is its flagship Prosecco. The Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Millesimato Extra Dry features a new stylish black satin bottle look, complete with DOCG certification label. Pale yellow in colour, this is a dry, light, yet lively Prosecco, presenting citrus and floral aromas with hints of golden apple and herbal notes. Palate flavours are super refreshing, with crisp apple and pear flavours dominating over a clean mineral taste and finishing with a hint of spice.
Its 11 percent ABV makes this a joyous summer sipper, best served at 6-8°C alongside delicate antipasti featuring soft, white cheese and fresh fruit. But most importantly, it’s a sparkling made for sharing and to toast the enjoyment of company and conversation. ($20)