Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore is made from a number of local varieties. The most important is Glera, rustic and vigorous, hazelnut coloured shoots and rather large, long, loose, winged bunches, with grapes of a beautiful golden colour surrounded by bright green leaves.
It was first mentioned in the area in 1772 in the VIII volume of the Giornale d’Italia. The scholar, Maria Malvolti, speaks of the quality of local grape growing.
Glera gives Valdobbiadene DOCG its basic structure, but small quantities of Verdiso, Perera and Bianchetta, local varieties, considered of minor importance but precious for completing the wine structure, and Pinot and Chardonnay can be used.
Verdiso has been grown in the area since 1700 and was already well known in the 19th century. It is used to increase the wine’s acidity and flavour.
Perera, also widely available last century, is used to increase fragrance and aroma. For this reason, it is often found in the highest, most difficult areas together with Verdiso. The name comes from the grape’s shape and, some say, from its particular flavour, which recalls pears.
Last of all, Bianchetta, already mentioned in the 16th century. This gives the wine a gentle touch in colder years as it ripens early.
Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore is made from at least 85% of Glera variety grapes and, at most, 15% of the other varieties mentioned. In defining, local grape-growing a crucial role was played by the first Scuola Enologica d’Italia, still operating in Conegliano, where they studied the best way to cultivate local grapes.
The producers of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene thus began interpreting the varieties used to make their wine in the best possible way, planting the steep hills with hand-tended vineyards and developing a wine-making process to enhance the aromatic characteristics, elegance, freshness and vitality which make it stand out.
CONEGLIANO-VALDOBBIADENE D.O.C.G. PROSECCO SUPERIORE
Conegliano-Valdobbiadene is produced in the D.O.C.G. terroir which encompasses 15 municipalities located between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Among these are the particularly noteworthy crus of the appellation: Superiore di Cartizze and Rive. Conegliano-Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. is available in three varieties: Spumante (sparkling), Frizzante (semi-sparkling) and Tranquillo (still). The sparkling variety is the most representative of the appellation and is produced in Brut, Extra Dry and Dry versions, depending on the residual sugar. Brut is the driest; Dry, the sweetest.
CONEGLIANO-VALDOBBIADENE D.O.C.G. PROSECCO SPUMANTE
Brut – This is the most modern and internationally popular version of this wine. The aromatic spectrum has a clean, delicate quality. The fruity tones are sharp and fragrant, displaying aromas of green apples and citrus fruits, accompanied by fresh vegetal notes. Due to its freshness, it is excellent as an aperitif, or served with seafood and dishes dressed with extra virgin olive, such as fish salad. It is best served at 7-9 °C. The residual sugar ranges from 0 to 12 g/l.
Extra dry – This is the most traditional version. It is a bright straw colour, enlivened by the beading. Its balanced measure of residual sugar and its enchanting fragrances lend a softness and great versatility to the wine. It is a wine for all occasions: it is excellent as an aperitif with friends at a bar, but it is in the kitchen that it reveals its true glory. Try it with bean, vegetable and seafood soups, pasta with delicate meat sauces, fresh cheeses and white meats, especially poultry. It is best served at 8-10 °C. The residual sugar ranges from 12 to 17 g/l.
Dry – This is the least common version and is characterised by the fullness of its flavour, its softness and a pleasant degree of mellowness. It has a pale straw yellow colour, a delicate and fruity fragrance, with hints of citrus, white peach and green apple, and a zesty, fresh, mellow flavour. Its aromatic spectrum ranges from delicate sweet notes of white flowers to notes of exotic and ripe fruit. It is a dessert wine and is the perfect accompaniment to pastries which are not overly sweet. However, combinations with savoury dishes should not be discounted. It should be served at 7-8 °C. The residual sugar ranges from 17 to 32 g/l.
CONEGLIANO-VALDOBBIADENE D.O.C.G. PROSECCO FRIZZANTE
As the most straightforward and informal variety, this wine is perfect for everyday drinking, not just for special occasions. Its refreshing lightweight quality makes it the ideal accompaniment to simple and modest traditional Valdobbiadene dishes. Freshness, sincerity and simplicity combined with great deliciousness are the main traits of this wine. It is excellent as an aperitif and makes a good accompaniment to cold meats. Serve at 8 °C.
CONEGLIANO-VALDOBBIADENE D.O.C.G. PROSECCO TRANQUILLO
This is the least well-known variety. Unlike the sparkling and semi-sparkling varieties, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Tranquillo cannot enlist the help of carbon dioxide and residual sugars to accentuate its flavour and must therefore depend solely on its own qualities. For this, the ripening of the grapes and their meticulous selection must be carried out impeccably. Only then is it possible to achieve a noteworthy Prosecco D.O.C.G. Tranquillo. The nose is fruity yet delicate, while the tangy and fresh flavour develops in the mouth with a pleasant force. It is the ideal accompaniment to fish in general, particularly those with delicate flavours. Serve at 8-10 °C.
SUPERIORE DI CARTIZZE
The SUPERIORE DI CARTIZZE is the cru of the appellation and comprises a small, beautiful hilly area of 107 hectares located in the hills of San Pietro di Barbozza, Santo Stefano and Saccol, in the municipality of Valdobbiadene. Its beauty is breathtaking. Its charm is classic and timeless. Due to its exposure to the sun and the composition of the soil here, the vine produces rounder, plumper grapes with a sweet flavour, making them absolute top quality. The grapes are harvested by hand and the yield per hectare is 120 kilograms.
Its aromas enhance the major feature of Prosecco Superiore: its deliciousness. Among the aromas, there are notes of mixed fruits, hazelnuts and sweet acacia flowers. With regard to the flavour, the sugars typical of this variety are compensated by the wine’s freshness and there is a remarkable density and creaminess which stands out. This is a wine for special occasions or for drinking alone while enjoying some peace and quiet, and is also perfect combined with small delicately sweet dry pastries. The Dry version has up to 32 g/l residual sugar.
The RIVE, only available in a sparkling variety, is made exclusively from grapes from a single municipality or one of its hamlets. Therefore, each Rive represents the essence of the region, thus highlighting the special qualities and characteristics of the various areas of the appellation. Rive production is reduced to 130 kilograms per hectare, with the requirement of manual harvesting and indication of the vintage on the label. This makes the Rive even more refined. In the Conegliano- Valdobbiadene area there are 43 Rive, expressing just as many territorial characteristics.