While Prosecco is definitely a popular favourite for many fans of sparkling wine, it's just the tip of the Italian iceberg. If you like Italian sparkling wines, expand your palate and find some new favourites!
What is Prosecco, anyway?
Prosecco is one of many Italian sparkling wines. It gets its name from the ‘Prosecco’ village in Veneto wine region. The word “prosecco” is actually Slovenian, ‘prozek’, or “path through the woods.”
There are many different varieties of Prosecco, coming from various areas in the Prosecco region in Italy. One of the most popular and widespread is ‘Prosecco DOC’ ('DOC' stands for "controlled designation of origin"). Prosecco DOC can come from nine different provinces across Veneto and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions of Italy.
Prosecco ‘Treviso DOC’comes from a sub-zone of this larger area, around the city of Treviso in Veneto.
Prosecco ‘Valdobbiadene DOCG’ ("DOCG" stands for "controlled and guaranteed designation of origin") comes from the northwest part of the central Prosecco area, between the areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, and is known for some of the best micro-regions in which Prosecco is made. This Prosecco is often called ‘Superiore’.
Asolo DOCG is a hillside region across the river from the Valdobbiadene which also makes a very high-quality wine known for its characteristic minerality.
Finally, Cartizze is considered the most prestigious Prosecco coming from a micro-region of just 265 acres. It is also the most complex of all Proseccos combining incredible minerality, elegance and freshness. The quantity of Cartizze produced each year is limited, since only few wineries have vineyards in Cartizze area and can make this prosecco. As a result, Cartizze is more expensive than a number of champagnes and it usually appreciated by true Prosecco Connoisseurs.
New Prosecco Rose
Excitingly, there is a new Prosecco Rose coming to the market on January 1, 2020. Until now Rose could be only called ‘Spumante’and only recently it has been authorised to make Rose ‘Prosecco’, following the following rules. Prosecco Rose has to be a blend of mostly Prosecco native Glera grapes, with 10%-15% Pinot Noir grapes (that will give the pink colour). It will also have to age longer, for 60 days, double the time that a standard Prosecco does. Rose Prosecco will combine the freshness of classical Prosecco with the tannins and strawberry flavours from Pinot Noir.
What makes Prosecco different from Champagne?
Some people think that, because they're both sparkling wines, the only difference between Prosecco and Champagne is that one is from Italy and the other one is from France. Prosecco has become our "Italian Champagne." But there are many more differences between the two.
First and foremost, the grapes used in making each wine are different. Prosecco uses "Glera" grapes (and Pinot Noir in case of Rose), while Champagne uses Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.
In case of Champagne second fermentation (the part of the process that creates bubbles) happens in the bottle and the wine ages for at least 15 months to develop all complex aromas and flavours. Prosecco wine making prosecco takes around 2-3 months, with second fermentation taking place in big tanks, and then ready Prosecco is bottled.
Tasting notes of each have variations too - Prosecco in general is a bit sweeter and fruitier, while Champagne has a drier, nuttier flavour.
Want a nice wine for a picnic? Go for Prosecco! Celebrating an important occasion? Champagne might be worth splurging on.
Why is Champagne More Expensive than Prosecco?
The main reason for the price difference is the length and complexity of the wine making process. It takes at least 15 months to make Champagne (and up to 5-6 years for some of most prestigious Champagnes), whereas ‘only’ 2-3 months to have lovely Prosecco ready!
Franciacorta is known as the ‘Italian Champagne’. It gets its name from Franciacorta region of Italy where it comes from. Franciacorta sparkling wine is made in the same way as Champagne, with the main difference being the wine region where is comes from. The grapes and the wine making process are the same as Champagne!
Spumante is a generic term used for Sparkling wines in Italy. But for Prosecco that everyone knows and majority love or Franciacorta that rather some know, each wine region makes a great variety of sparkling wines that are worth exploring if you like bubbles.
Give different varieties a try - you will probably find a new favourite and will certainly enjoy the journey!
Explore our range of Prosecco, Franciacorta and Spumante here.
For personalised gift Champagne label you can get in touch with our partner Champagne supplier Champers.