Grapevine: All aboard the Prosecco train

October 3, 2019 BY

The Prosecco train hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down this year, continuing its run of 50 per cent year-on-year growth, so you have no doubt had at least a glass or two in that time to acquaint yourself with the style.

While Prosecco is both the name of the grape and the region it hails from in Italy, the Italians are concerned enough about protecting the integrity of the Prosecco ‘brand’ that they changed the official name of the grape to ‘Glera’ in 2009 so as to retain Prosecco only as the name of the geographical region in Italy. It is now protected in the same way ‘Champagne’ is around the world.

They have made some inroads with Prosecco/Glera produced outside of the Italian region required to be sold without Prosecco on the label in the EU and japan. They have applications open in Malaysia, New Zealand, China and it is on the agenda for Australia’s existing free trade agreement with the EU.

Whatever the name on the label, the juice in the bottle won’t change and we are making Prosecco/Glera easily capable of competing on the world stage.

Santa & D’Sas Prosecco NV

Matt Di Sciasio is a Geelong-based winemaker with roots at the establishment of Bellbrae Estate. He now produces wines under his own labels including this Prosecco sourced from King Valley Fruit, where many of his Italian grape varieties are sourced. The Santa & D’Sas “pattern” label focuses on Italian varieties and styles – classic Prosecco flavours of apple, pear and a plenty of citrus. Quite a fine bead and pleasantly soft texture for the style, likely the result of some short lees aging.

Dal Zotto Prosseco Pucino Vintage 2018 (pictured)

Prosecco is in the DNA of the Dal Zottos. Founder Otto Dal Zotto was born in Valdobbiadene (the heart of Prosecco production in Italy) before moving to is Australia in the 1960’s and establishing the Dal Zotto label in 1987. They now produce at least 5 different takes on Prosecco from the entry-level Non-vintage Pucino through the premium ‘Col Fondo’ styles. The vintage Pucino sits in the middle, offering a little more complexity and slightly drier profile than the non-vintage – pears, lemon and lemon zest along with subtle floral tones. The palate offers soft fruit, crisp, lively acidity and a cleansing dry finish. It nails the easy-going drinkability of Prosecco with that little step up in class beyond many around this price point that can verge on being a bit too sweet.

Umberto Luigi Prosecco NV

Sourced from across the Prosecco region, this sits in the “extra-dry” category meaning that it is actually a touch sweeter than a “Brut” style (Extra Brut being the next step along the scale towards dryness). This typically sits at about 14 grams of residual sugar compared to the Santa & D’Sas which is about 11, and a wine labelled Brut cannot go beyond 12.

It feels like there has been a subtle shift in style for this wine over the past few years. There is clearly good quality fruit going in to the wine and it is bursting with apples and stone fruits (residual sugar can help to enhance the “fruitiness” of a wine), crisp and lively to taste along with biscuit/ nutty notes that gives it a different level of complexity to appeal to traditional “champagne style” drinkers.