Part scientist, part musician. That’s how we’d describe a wine expert, skilled at mixing all the essential components to strike the perfect balance and give Prosecco all the nuances, accents and flavours only he has in mind.
Prosecco needs to spend at least 30 days in a pressure tank. It is the minimum time necessary for the carbon dioxide, produced by the action of selected yeasts, to create stable bonds with the wine. The result is perlage, in the unmistakable Prosecco bubbly.
To make Prosecco you need double fermentation. In the first stage, must is turned into wine. This result is achieved through soft pressing of the grapes: the only way to preserve the most valuable part of must and all its scents.
Martinotti and Charmat, the same as Al Pacino and Marlon Brando: in the movie The Godfather the two film stars never appear together in the same scene. Martinotti and Charmat, although they invented the method used for making Prosecco, never worked together on the project.
The Martinotti-Charmat method was named after its inventors. Martinotti invented and patented the refermentation system in stainless steel tanks for the production of spumante. Then, thanks to Charmat, the procedure was engineered so that it could be used for industrial production.
Prosecco at the time of the Confraternita: In 1945 the Confraternita dei Cavalieri del Prosecco was established, a syndicate of wine growers from Conegliano created in order to protect wine making in the area, the forefather of CDO and of the standards that regulate Prosecco production today.
Prosecco, too, has been to school. The development of techniques for making spumante took off between the end of the 19th and the early 20th century, specifically thanks to the Scuola di Viticoltura ed Enologia in Conegliano, founded by Carpené, and the Istituto Sperimentale di Enologia in Asti, directed by Federico Martinotti.
In 1873 Antonio Carpené, an Italian chemist and wine expert, presented the first bottle of Prosecco on the most important stage worldwide: the Universal Exhibition in Vienna. The result? Success! As always, whenever Prosecco is involved.
It’s a sound synonymous with a good time. It is what you hear when a toast is made. It is the main item on any party playlist… “pop”. Of course as in the musical genre, but here we are thinking of a cork being extracted from a bottle of Prosecco: pop! Beware, though, that it should never be forced out: always extract it gently.
Prosecco and its fine and persistent bubbles is a classic aperitif. But it is also an ideal accompaniment for the whole meal. In its brut version, it goes with fish carpaccio, shellfish and molluscs. The dry version is ideal at the end of any dinner with a dessert.
A cru is a high-quality production area, within a larger region. Cartizze in Valdobbiadene is an example of this. A partly steep and impervious hill, more similar to a mountain, where Glera grapes are grown and a more intense and complex Prosecco is produced: Valdobbiadene Superiore Cartizze DOCG.
After the blend between Glera grapes and Pinot Nero has spent 60 days in a pressure tank, the result is Prosecco DOC Rosé, a wine that shifts between fruity notes and scents of rose.
Prosecco CDO Vintage Brut is fermented, to begin with, in a steel tank at 15°-16° C, then transferred to a pressure tank for at least 30 days. This means having it ready just in time for your aperitif.
If you see brut on the label, you have a bubbly with little sugar residue. Brut actually means dry. It’s French. The word started to be used in the early twentieth century on the label of the very first dry champagnes. Since then it has become a standard for every spumante and Prosecco.
Quick quiz: what is made with Glera grapes produced in the same year? Vintage Prosecco.
Vintage means the year (another French word!)... and if Prosecco is made only using grapes picked and processed all in the same year, then it is called vintage.
Why do we use the English adjective dry to define Prosecco wine with a substantial sugar residue? It all started at the end of the nineteenth century, with regard to a Champagne which tasted less sweet and intended for the British market. This is how dry came to be used in reference to a spumante which is slightly drier than the sweet version… but never too much.
The Prosecco bubbly is a product of double fermentation. After the first, there is a second one with the addition to the wine of a sugar and yeast mixture. This phase is known as second fermentation, and it’s how wine becomes spumante: Cheers!
That piece of indie music you like so much is a bit like our Prosecco DOC Brut: it gets into your head and you just can’t stop humming it. The other is cool and pleasantly bitter towards the end, inviting you to savour more of it.
Cutting production times and costs, maintaining a high quality. With this concept, Federico Martinotti challenged the French Traditional method, and - in 1895 - created “his own” method for making spumante, by refermenting wine in pressure tanks at controlled temperature. Bravo!