Many of us will have enjoyed a glass of Prosecco or two but have you ever had a glass of glera? Well technically you have as Glera is the grape that is used in Prosecco. Yes contrary to what some readers may think Prosecco is the name on the bottle rather than the magic within.
Once upon a time Prosecco was used as the grape variety as well as the name of the sparkling wine. As the grape became cultivated in more regions overtime than just the Prosecco region (we’ll get on to that bit in a minute) the Italians decided to rename the grape to avoid confusion and to stop vineyards outside the Prosecco region labelling their sparkling wine as Prosecco. This is similar to the rules of Champagne in France.
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The region of Prosecco is not a region per say. It is actually any vineyard between the foothills of North Treviso to the flat plain of Veneto.
That’s a lot of vineyards and a lot of grapes so how do you find the best?
The good people in Italy split the sparkling regions into the following wine classifications;
DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata or Destination of Origin Controlled. This means that the glera grapes are high quality and come from a controlled area within the Prosecco region. This stops lower quality glera grapes or, even worse, different grape varieties being used to make Prosecco. All production and bottling must be done in the province of Treviso.
DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita or Destination of Origin Controlled Guaranteed. This is similar to DOC except the grapes are higher quality and there is a stricter rule for vineyards with this status.
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At the moment, DOCG can only be made on the Veneto hills between the towns of Congeliano and Valdobbiadene, here’s a list of some towns that have the best vineyards;
- Vittorio Veneto
The image below shows a map of the regions. The towns within the red area show DOCG status and the towns within the orange area show DOC status. Those outside of these areas are given no status, just the protected name of Prosecco.
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