Frequently Asked Questions

When Did the Prosecco Variety Originate?

Glera, the main grape used in the production of Prosecco, is a native variety from northeast Italy and its origins date back at least 2,000 years. Prosecco wine was familiar to the Romans under the name of Puccino (it was cited in the first century AD by Pliny the Elder).

How Is Prosecco Made?

Prosecco is produced using the Martinotti, or Charmat method, invented by Federico Martinotti in 1895 and then adapted by Eugene Charmat in 1907. During this process, secondary fermentation occurs in large steel tanks, or autoclaves. You can learn more about the winemaking process here.

What Is the Martinotti Method?

The Martinotti method, invented by Federico Martinotti at the end of the 1800s, is the method used to obtain sparkling and semi-sparkling wines. Thanks to the natural secondary fermentation of the wine in large containers known as autoclaves, which keep the wine under pressure, we can enjoy these wines with their distinctive flowery and fruity notes. Antonio Carpenè, one of the founders of the School of Oenology in Conegliano in 1876, was the first person to use this method to produce sparkling Prosecco, which has the characteristics we still love today. Prior to this, secondary fermentation in the bottle was used to produce these wines.

What Is the Difference Between the Martinotti Method and the Classic Method?

In the Classic method, which is how Champagne is produced, secondary fermentation occurs in each individual bottle, as opposed to the Martinotti method where it occurs in large steel tanks.

What Is the Difference Between Prosecco and Franciacorta?

Prosecco is made primarily with the Glera grape, and regulations allow only up to 15% of other varietals. Franciacorta is produced with grape varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir (Nero) and Pinot Blanc (Bianco). Another important difference is that Franciacorta is made with the Classic method and tend to be riper and fuller, while Prosecco tends to contain simple and flowery aromas.

What Is a DOC?

DOC means Controlled Designation of Origin: it is an international quality product designation which is based on compliance with production regulations. Like DOCG – Registered and Guaranteed Designation of Origin – DOC is part of the EU standards regarding PDOs (Protected Designation of Origin).

What is the Prosecco DOC Consortium (Consorzio Di Tutela Della DOC Prosecco)?

The Prosecco Consortium is an institution whose role is to promote, protect and develop the Designation of Origin. Italian legislation also gives the Consortium the power, along with other organizations, to manage and guide the appellation, under certain conditions.

What Guarantees Does the Label Give?

The label guarantees that the Prosecco has been produced in total compliance with production regulations. It also certifies its quality thanks to the government issued band which can also be applied.

Where Are the Production Areas?

The provinces of Treviso, Venice, Vicenza, Padua, Belluno, Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine. Click here for more about production areas.

What Is the DOC Terrain Like?

As the terrain was originally alluvial, it is now predominantly clayey-loamy and has an abundance of minerals and microelements.

Which Grape Varieties Is Prosecco Made from?

Glera is the main variety used to make Prosecco. Grapes from the following varieties may also be used up to a maximum of 15% of the total content: Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot nero.

What Is the Yield?

The yield per hectare is the total number of kilograms of grapes that can be produced per unit area. As far as Prosecco is concerned, the maximum yield is 180,000 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha).

Where Do the Bubbles Come from?

The bubbles, or perlage, are formed when the sugar in the wine is transformed during secondary fermentation.

What Temperature Should I Serve Prosecco at?

Prosecco should be served chilled at around 6-8 degrees (42-46 degrees Fahrenheit).

How did Prosecco DOC Rosé come to earn its DOC distinction?

Sparkling wine producers in the Prosecco DOC regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia have been making sparkling rosé wines for centuries. Given the growing market interest and pre existing production of sparkling rosé, the Consortium commissioned research that confirmed that 57% of the 348 wineries in the Prosecco DOC territory already produced sparkling rosé wines using a blend of Glera and Pinot Noir grapes. After experimenting on the harvest and fermentation processes of sparkling Rosé, the Consortium presented amendments to the Prosecco DOC disciplinary rules and the definition of the Prosecco DOC Rosé quality parameters, which were approved and officially declared Prosecco Rosé a Controlled Designation of Origin on August 11, 2020.

Which markets are most promising for the expansion of Prosecco Rosé?

The USA are among the lead markets for Prosecco DOC Rosé, followed by Canada and Scandinavia, (both have already demonstrated particular interest for this typology), then France, fourth market for Prosecco DOC and rosé-wines lover, and, in conclusion, the South-East Asia countries. 80 to 85% of the total production of Prosecco DOC Rosé is destined to export and will conquer the markets where Prosecco DOC is already well established.

What does the new introduction of Prosecco Rosé bring to the Prosecco space and what is its potential going forward?

Prosecco DOC Rosé has been the most anticipated new wine launch of 2020/21. The announcement of its new DOC status brings a new interest in the sparkling and rosé wine categories and a new way for those who already enjoy Prosecco DOC wines to experience their favorite sparkling wine. The Consortium observes that the new classification of Prosecco DOC Rosé will add to the overall increase in Prosecco DOC sales internationally. Already in 2020, 16.8 million bottles of Prosecco DOC Rosé were produced. With lots of interest surrounding the long-awaited Prosecco DOC Rosé, consumers are responding well, and the Consortium has witnessed great interest from media, trade, and consumers, as evidenced by the production of over 30 million bottles in just five months from January to May, plus 16.8 million bottles in just two months in 2020. The Consortium anticipates this number to grow even more this year, estimating production to reach around 60 million bottles by the end of the year.