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Wine Nerd Series: Not all Proseccos are created equal

Not all Proseccos are created equally. Conegliano Valdobbiadene, a small region within the larger Prosecco growing region, is the birthplace of Prosecco. They have been growing grapes in the region since…well, forever, really, and the steep hills, moderate climate and proximity to the Adriatic sea are the ideal conditions for growing the grape of Prosecco: Glera. Viticulture has been part of the landscape in this region for so long that this area has been recently nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site for the cultural landscape created by the vine-growers that create a scenery that is absolutely unique.

Prosecco used to be the umbrella term for all sparkling wines made from Glera in Italy. However, like the origins of most of the Italian wine laws, this general definition created avenues for bad actors. These producers were flooding the market with inferior wines labelled as ‘Prosecco’ and driving down prices so more carefully, thoughtfully made wines were being rendered unsustainable. In order to restore and preserve the dignity of the Prosecco name, a hierarchy of Prosecco regions created.A larger region, encompassing the majority of the Veneto was granted Donominazione di Orgine (DOC) status, the base of the Italian wine laws that can be called Prosecco. Other sub-designations were also created including the smallest and most prestigious of the delimited areas. Centered in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area, the lands were designated superior to the surrounding region and carries the highest level of Italian wine classification: Prosecco Superiore Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG).

Bianca Vigna is owned and operated by the sister & brother team of Elena and Enrico Moschetta. Based in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region with some holdings in nearby Farra di Soligo, they own 30 hectares of vineyards in this revered Prosecco land that their family has been farming since the turn of the 20th century. They make their wines on a small, boutique-like scale while employing Organic and sustainable farming practices. With so many large companies consolidating smaller farmers and co-ops, or farmers who sell their crop to these larger entities, this family owned winery is a rarity and falls into the category of ‘Grower Prosecco’. Similar to Grower Champagne, this is a group of wine producers who own, grow and make Prosecco under their own labels. While they produce two different bottlings of Prosecco DOCG, Italian laws limit the amount of DOCG wines produced to maintain the exclusivity and maintain price integrity. They use the excess grapes from their designated vineyards to also make DOC level wines that offer a glimpse into the world of DOCG Prosecco

The Bianca Vigna Prosecco Brut DOC
Produced from 100% Glera grapes grown in sloped vineyards rich in calcareous clay in the Conegliano and Farra di Soligo regions of Valdobbiadene. Stainless steel fermented, the second fermentation is performed in an autoclave (cuve close, or Charmant method) for no less than 60 days. This lengthened time in the tank allows for a more elegant bubble in this Prosecco.
Tasting Notes:
Elegant and delicate, the Bianca Vigna is one of Italy’s finest examples of Prosecco. Produced with 100% Glera from three distinct vineyards, this sparkler is full of crisp green apple and pear flavors and a full and creamy mouthfeel expertly highlighted by tight, intense bubbles.

Bianca Vigna Spumante Rosa ‘Cuvee 1931’
Due to Italian law, a sparkling rosé isn’t allowed to be called Prosecco, though the rules are changing next year. Regardless of what we call it, I call it delicious…it is a sparkling (Spumante) wine made from Glera and Pinot Noir grapes from the Veneto and Alto Adige.

“With a light if lovely pink hue and with understated bubbles, the Biancavigna Cuvée 1931 Spumante Rosa strikes a perfect note of freshness and elegance. The Glera, 95% of the blend, is grown in one of the best terroirs in the Conegliano hills, while the Pinot Noir adds high-toned berry fruit and floral fragrances typical of the higher-altitude origin of the grapes in Trentino. An absolute delight, a sparkling rosé of uncommon refinement and balance.”

You are getting DOCG wine for the DOC price. These are PERFECT bottles to bring to a friend, an amazing brunch option, great for celebrating hump day and well…celebrating life. They certainly taste more elegant than the $15 price tag…but no one needs to know what you paid for it…but just know it’s a great bottle, inside and out!
Salut!

images courtesy of indigenous selections importer

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