Learn everything about Prosecco while Celebrating National Prosecco Week
Celebrate National Prosecco Week with Mionetto – July 19 to 25
How much do you know about Prosecco? If you are curious about this Italian wine and what makes it that special, this article is for you.
These are the links to each part of our content:
- What is Prosecco?
- What makes a wine exceptional?
- Where does the name Prosecco come from?
- What types of prosecco are there?
- What do Prosecco DOC and Prosecco DOCG mean?
- Which are the Prosecco DOCG?
- Which grape makes a Prosecco?
- Which was the first bottled Prosecco?
- How popular is Prosecco?
- Celebrate National Prosecco Week with Mionetto
What is Prosecco?
Prosecco is a vine of ancient origins, even prior to the colonization of the Romans, which took place about 200 years before Christ, even if it is documented only from the last years of the Republic of Venice and therefore has lived in the Veneto hills for at least 300 years.
The first you need to remember, is these two regions in Northern Italy: Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto. They are the very East side of Northern Italy, and as advertisings in Italy say, Veneto is the region of Venice.
You might have heard that the real Prosecco is only the one from Veneto, which is also true, except that the first versions of this wine came from Friuli Venezia Giulia, and legit Prosecco can be from Friuli Venezia Giulia too. Friuli Venezia Giulia is the region of one of Italian most breathtaking cities, Trieste.
What makes a wine exceptional?
A wine, to be able to become exceptional, must be intimately connected to a production area, and to a specific tradition. So Prosecco, before being a wine, is above all a vine, and while a vine can be grown all over the world, Prosecco, to gain its outstanding results, must be from a specific area, where everything from the specific ground to the climate to the production’s procesess, contribute to its particular taste.
That can be one of the reasons why the vines of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, where this vine has reigned supreme for at least 300 years, have become so popular.
In 100 BC the centuriation [in Roman times, centuriation is the subdivision of the land of the public agro into squares, resulting in one hundred plots of two yugeri each- ed ] of the Treviso area around Treviso, Oderzo, Conegliano, Ceneda and Asolo had taken place, and the Roman colonists had planted the vines both in the hills and in the plains.
It is not possible to establish a starting date for vine cultivation in the area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, but some Latin poets passing through this area bear witness that more than 2000 years ago, vines were grown on the hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene.
The Conegliano Valdobbiadene area is represented by the hilly belt of the Marca Trevigiana which includes the municipalities of: Conegliano, Feletto, Refrontolo, Vittorio Veneto, Miane, Valdobbiadene, Vidor, Farra di Soligo, Pieve di Soligo and Susegana.
Where does the name Prosecco come from?
It seems that the origins of Prosecco wine, with the name by which we know it today, date back to the end of the 16th century, when for the first time this name was given to the sparkling wine.
Specifically, the definition is given to the castellum nobile wine Pucinum, identified with the castle of Prosecco, a Friulian municipality in the province of Trieste.
According to some written testimonies of the time, the “Pucinum” wine, Pucino, was already extremely popular in Roman times (so much so that Pliny the Elder talks about it in his Naturalis Historia, and it seems to have been the favorite wine of the Empress Livia, wife of Augustus). At the beginning of the 1500, Trieste declared that the Pucino was the father of their Ribolla, a local prestigious wine, and it was geographically identified, as said, with the castle of Prosecco, in order to distinguish it from other local, cheaper, and less exclusive wines, also named Ribolla.
Subsequently, between the end of the 1700s and the beginning of the 1800s, the Prosecco vine spread from the Friulian belt to the Venetian hilly one.
The term “Prosecco” as we know it referring to wine, appears for the first time in this period, in 1754, in a poem, “Il Roccolo Ditirambo”, written by Valeriano Canati.
And now I want to wet my mouth with that Prosecco with an apple aroma from Monte Berico [hill overlooking the city of Vicenza – ed]. Our splendid priest provides us with this perfect Prosecco [the reference is to Jacopo Ghellini of the noble family dei Ghellini di Villaverla – ed] / I know it is not clear and it seems cloudy [probably the original version was matte since the charmat method, currently used, would have been invented the following century – ed],
But it is such a pure and healthy panacea that the Saint Laurent, the Frontignac [French wines – ed], just a stupid, ramshackle and crazy could say that there is wine better than Prosecco del Ghellino [probably Jacopo Ghellini’s – ed] […. ] This prosecco is worth so much that I wouldn’t change it even with the ambrosia of the gods 
What types of prosecco are there?
There are three types of Prosecco:
- Frizzante (Sparkling)
depending on the effervescence.
In all cases it is a wine with a straw yellow color, a fine smell, and a fresh taste. Properly Prosecco as such is the tranquillo type, with a minimum natural alcoholic strength by volume of 10.50%. Prosecco Spumante has a minimum of 11.00% vol., while Frizzante has minimum of 9% vol.
Prosecco Spumante has also a persistent effervescence, which is the symbolic characteristic of the denomination “spumante” . Based on the sugar content it can be:
– BRUT the sugar content is less than 12 g / liter.
– EXTRA DRY the sugar content is between 12 and 17 g / liter.
– DRY the sugar content is between 17 and 32 g / liter.
– DEMI-SEC when the sugar content is between 32 and 50 g / liter.
Prosecco Frizzante has a light and less persistent perlage, while in Prosecco Tranquillo the perlage is absent. [Perlage is a typical characteristic of sparkling wines: the formation of many small bubbles that go from the base of the glass upwards – ed].
What do Prosecco DOC and Prosecco DOCG mean?
DOC and DOCG are seals that grant the quality of a product. DOC stands for “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” , Controlled Designation of Origin.
Only the production that takes place in the North East of Italy in a specific way within an area that includes 9 provinces, located between Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto (Treviso , Venice, Vicenza, Padua, Belluno, Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine) can be granted the DOC seal.
The historical date for Prosecco to become DOC is August 2009.
The DOC grants that the vine is grown in an area that offers quality guarantees, characterised by precise environmental conditions, such as: a generally temperate climate, rainfall that favours the correct vegetative development of the vine, and a soil of alluvial origin, rich in minerals and micro-elements.
Prosecco DOC, based on the production area, can be divided into:
– DOC Veneto: when the grapes are harvested, vinified and bottled entirely in the Veneto region;
– DOC Marca Trevigiana: when the grapes are harvested, vinified and bottled entirely in the Province of Treviso;
– DOC Colli Trevigiani: when the grape harvest, vinification, and bottling take place completely in the area of the Treviso foothills;
DOC hence represents an added value for the Italian economy. Through this label it is possible to protect and export Italian products abroad.
The requirements that the wine must meet to be able to boast the DOC are:
– geographical area of production;
– type of soil where the grapes are grown;
– the yield of grapes into wine (to avoid excessive exploitation of the vine);
– usable production and aging technologies;
– characteristics that the finished product must have (acidity, dry extract, minimum alcohol content, organoleptic characteristics)
– any qualifications of the wine at the time of marketing.
On the other hand, when a DOC wine has acquired particular value for its characteristics together with commercial success, it is attributed a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin.
The attribution of DOCG is reserved for wines that have already been recognized as a Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC) for at least five years.
However, not all DOC wines become DOCG, but only those considered to be of particular value and of national and international fame due to the effect of traditional natural, human and historical factors.
DOCG is the highest qualification present in the sector and DOCG wines are subjected to stricter controls and a double examination: both in the production phase and in the bottling phase.
Which are the Prosecco DOCG?
These are the Prosecco that are granted the DOCG seal:
PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG FROM CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE
The Prosecco DOC grown and vinified in the hilly area restricted to the 15 municipalities bordering Conegliano and Valdobbiadene obtained the G symbol of guarantee.
The vines are grown at an altitude between 50 and 500 meters above sea level, only on the side of the hills more exposed to the sun.
The DOCG disciplinary provides:
– The territory as a guarantee of Superiority: all the wines bear the name of the Denomination “Conegliano Valdobbiadene” on the label;
– The production area: it must be limited to the 15 hill towns between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, area with a strong wine-growing vocation;
– The grapes: the wine is produced with a high percentage of Glera grapes, about 85%, and to a minimum, 15%, with the use of grapes such as Verdiso, Bianchetta, Perera, Glera Lunga;
– Production: 135 quintals per hectare.
– The introduction of the “Rive”: grape variety used only for the production of sparkling wine (the label of the bottle indicates the name of origin of the grapes, thus enhancing the sub-areas);
PROSECCO DOCG DI VALDOBBIADENE SUPERIORE BY CARTIZZE
The production area of Cartizze is delimited within that of Prosecco DOCG, and more precisely in the municipality of Valdobbiadene in the hamlets of Saccol, Santo Stefano and San Pietro di Barbozza.
There are four characteristics of the Cartizze area:
– The land: moraine, made up of sandstones and clays that allow for fast rain drainage and a continuous water reserve for plants;
– Exposure: the area is entirely in the hills facing South, so the sun illuminates it for almost the whole day, ensuring proper ripening of the grapes and a unique color;
– The climate: temperate, present only in this area, thanks to the presence of the hills that become a shelter from the cold currents that come from the mountains and descend towards the plain;
– The protection of the area: the Cartizze area extends for just over about 100 hectares selected on the basis of the characteristics of the microclimate and the territory that guarantee the uniqueness of the product;
Which was the first bottled Prosecco?
At the beginning of the 19th century Francesco Maria Malvolti, a winemaker interested in the development of sparkling wines, pointed out in a speech at the Conegliano Academy how interesting and exquisite their Proseccos were.
Subsequently, in 1868 Antonio Carpené, founder of the Società Enologica Trevigiana, brought Malvolti back into the company in the production of Prosecco.
It is perhaps from this date that Prosecco begins to be known, promoted and appreciated as a wine in the modern sense and as we know it today.
Carpené and Malvolti then also founded the Enological School, within which the famous Conegliano-Valdobbiadene sparkling wine method was born: a sort of Charmat method, with wine refermented together with native yeasts and sugars for at least a month in an autoclave.
Carpené-Malvolti was the first bottled Prosecco.
Which grape makes a Prosecco?
The basic vine for the production of Prosecco is Glera, whose grapes must make up at least 85% of the total of grapes. A small fraction, however not exceeding 15% of the total, may consist of verdiso, bianchetta trevigiana, perera, glera long, Chardonnay, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio and Pinot nero, used above all for the rosé version.
The soils suitable for growing vineyards are those that are well exposed and drained, therefore soils with a high water supply or peaty are not allowed. In each plot there must be at least 2,300 plants per hectare. The cultivation and planting techniques are the “classic” ones that do not cause changes to the quality of grapes and wine. Expanded crops (such as pergolas) are prohibited [but there is a ten-year derogation for vineyards planted before 2009 – ed].
How popular is Prosecco?
The diffusion of Prosecco outside Italy has grown exponentially especially from 2015, when the export surpassed the export of French Champagne. Record that was doubled in 2018 and 2019, when according to ISTAT 78% of Prosecco traveled outside Italy (378 million bottles).
In 2020, during the lockdown and the pandemic, Prosecco becomes the most ordered wine in Italy too.
The growth in popularity of cocktails and long drinks that use Prosecco as an ingredient, such as Spritz, have contributed to the diffusion of this wine worldwide.
According to the Consortium, bottling in 2020 grew by 2.8%, after 4.7% in 2019, therefore gradually stabilising. The consolidated data for 2019 speak of 486 million bottles produced for a value of 2.4 billion euros in consumer turnover.
Celebrate National Prosecco Week with Mionetto
The Prosecco DOC Consortium, the Italian government entity that oversees the production of the world’s most popular sparkling wine, recently announced the return of ‘National Prosecco Week’ for its 4th annual celebration. This year is particularly noteworthy as it’s the first time Prosecco enthusiasts can enjoy the recently launched new Prosecco DOC Rosé wine category that recently debuted in the US.
Those wanting to revel in the weeklong festivities can toast with Mionetto Prosecco Rosé DOC ($15), one of the first Prosecco Rosés to hit the US market and available nationwide. Incredibly unique, the new Prosecco Rosé uses a new blend of Glera (the Prosecco grape) and Pinot Nero. The Glera offers lightness and elegance along with minerality and citrus flavors combined with the Pinot Nero body, which offers structure and flavors of cherries and strawberry- the perfect pairing for poolside drinks and summer grilling. Available for order on Amazon with 2-hour delivery, GoPuff with 30-minute delivery and Drizly.
Other essentials to celebrate National Prosecco Week with Mionetto include:
- Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso Brutis the classic rendition that consumers know and love. This sparkling wine has a luminous straw yellow hue, an emphatic yet stylish mousse and aromatic notes of golden apple, white peach and honey with a dry finish.
- Mionetto’s Party Pack (Set of 4) mini bottles are ideal for outdoor gatherings or picnics with friends. The individualized portions allow you to forgo the stemware, instead opt for a paper straw for simple sipping. Available in both Prosecco Rosé DOC and the classic Prosecco DOC Brut.
- Mionetto’s Chiller Box, available for Prosecco Rosé DOC and Prosecco DOC Brut, is like a pop-up party you can take anywhere. Keep your prosecco perfectly chilled with a convenient and insta-worthy ice bucket design.
- Mionetto Prosecco DOC Organic, A sparkling Prosecco with a persistent perlage, it merges delicate fragrances of acacia blossoms and strong tastes of golden apple, pineapple and orange.
Ed or ora immollarmi voglio il becco / Con quel melaromatico Prosecco / Di Monteberico questo perfetto Prosecco eletto ci dà lo splendido nostro Canonico / Io lo conosco / Egli è un po’ fosco, e sembra torbido / Ma è un balsamo si’ puro e sano / Che il Sanlorano, /Il Fontignacco / Sol un Macacco / Sguaiato / Impazzato /Dir potria ch’è miglior vino / Del Prosecco del Ghellino. […] /Tanto val questo Prosecco/ Ch’io per me nol cambierei / Coll’Ambrosia degli Dei – “Il Roccolo Ditirambo”, by Valeriano Canati