Prosecco is currently big business in the UK, and its market is growing. I’ve talked about how it’s made in the past, but this weekend I was lucky enough to visit Valdobbiadene – the heart of the Prosecco region in Italy – and experience it for myself.
I’ve studied a lot about wine, but I’ve never really been taught about Prosecco in much detail. Before this weekend my knowledge extended as far as the method used the make it, the main grape used (Glera) and that the Cartizze vineyard produces some of the best wines.
After visiting though, it’s not surprising to find out that the Prosecco region has a very particular ‘terroir’, which allows it to make such great sparkling wines. They have a cooling wind (not unlike the ‘mistral’ in the Rhone) that comes down from the mountains in the evening. This allows the grapes to keep their acidity – which is key to making a great sparkling wine.
The Cartizze hillside, in particular, is considered the crème de la crop of the region. These super steep, south-facing vineyards don’t come cheap either, with 1 hectare coming in at a cool £2.5million.
We visited Bisol, a family run winery who own around 50 acres in the rolling hills of the Prosecco region.
Whilst of course they focus their production on the Prosecco that we know and love in the UK, what many people don’t realise is that they make traditional method (i.e. like Champagne) wines too from Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero.
These wines are labelled as ‘Talento’, and they were a real treat to taste as you rarely find anything so interesting in the UK market. Kind of like a Champagne, they had much more toasty complexity than a standard Prosecco, but lots of fruit character left over too. A few bottles might well have found their way into my case home…
We ended our tour of the vineyards drinking Bisol Cartizze Prosecco, with our very affable host, Sebastiano, and a view over the Cartizze hillside that supplied the fruit for our bottle. A pretty great way to finish the day, I’m sure you’d agree.