7 High-End Proseccos to Try Now
“It’s worth spending more on these premium sparklers.
“Until recently, seeing a bottle of Prosecco that cost more than $20 was a rare thing. For around $15, you could get a very nice one that was fruity, floral and refreshing. And you still can. But now producers from northern Italy are bringing to America a higher class of premium Proseccos, ones which are more complex, more sophisticated and more satisfying. And while Prosecco producers do not like to compare their wines with Champagne—the styles are basically different—some of these premium Proseccos nevertheless come with Champagne-worthy price tags attached.
“Prosecco is made primarily from the Glera grape within a hilly region that fans out north of Venice. The two most famous Prosecco appellations are located due north of that watery city—Conegliano Valdobbiadene and Asolo—and both carry Italy’s highest appellation rating, DOCG. Conegliano Valdobbiadene, named after two neighboring hillside towns, is the better known of the two and the larger producer and exporter. Within its DOCG, the most highly prized wines are grown on hillsides, or “rives.” Rives grapes are always hand-picked, their yields are lower and they usually carry a vintage designation—although you may have to search the back label with a magnifier to discover it. The most famous of these rives is Cartizze, which covers about 265 hilltop and hillside acres. According to Stefano Zanette, president of the Prosecco DOC consortium, studies are now underway to map out Prosecco production areas according to soil type and climate. Many wine producers hope this process will eventually lead to a hierarchy of best vineyards or “crus,” as is the case in many French wine regions.”
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