In the hills between two beautiful Italian towns, the world’s best Glera grapes are grown. At Scandolera, the Bronca family uses the ancient science of winemaking to turn these grapes into the spectacular Prosecco Superiore in April’s Bubble Box.
Is winemaking an art or a science? For passionate lovers of wine, it can be hard to imagine that the creation of our favourite fizz is anything but magical, but in fact the art of winemaking has been perfected through centuries of trial, error and experimentation.
It’s a fact that the winemakers at family-owned and operated Scandolera, in the beautiful DOCG Prosecco region, know well – and have taken quite to heart.
“That wine is produced by a chemical process is undeniable,” explains Mirko Nero of Scandolera. “Therefore, we use a rigorously tested scientific method to make a high-quality wine, which other winemakers would only dream of producing.”
From their base in the beautiful village of Colbertaldo, the Bronca family of Scandolera have proven that this approach makes great things possible – and the wine in April’s Bubble Box is just one of their fizzy masterpieces.
Glera the Great
When it comes to Prosecco, there are two words that get the hearts of fizz fans truly racing: Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.
These little Italian towns sit at either end of the fabled Prosecco road. It’s along this road that grapes for the best Proseccos are grown.
As Mirko explains, “For wine lovers, Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are synonymous with Prosecco. It’s here that Prosecco DOCG came to life, thanks to the amazing interaction of the Glera vine and its natural environment.”
Unlike many still wines, which take their names from the grape variety out of which they’re made, Prosecco isn’t made from Prosecco grapes. All Proseccos, like the Scandolera “Costa d’Oro” in April’s Bubble Box, are made from the Glera grape variety, a white grape cultivated primarily in the Veneto region of northern Italy.
“The Glera vine is rustic and vigorous,” Mirko says, “with lovely hazelnut-coloured shoots and big leaves. In the autumn they change colours to an intense yellow, which fills the hills with bright light.”
But in spring, the hills of Colbertaldo are a brilliant green, and these vines brim with potential. With their roots in a loamy soil – rich with sand, silt and a small amount of clay – and a south-facing position perfect for soaking up the spring sunshine, they have a head start in producing the very best of the Glera grape variety
“The fact that this vine thrives only here isn’t an accident,” Mirko says. “In this area the soil, along with the southern exposure of the hills and a climate characterised by abundant and frequent rains in summer and mild temperatures, create the ideal conditions for the production of a light wine with an intense and captivating aroma.”
Scandolera’s winemakers take full advantage of the incredible variety of terroirs available to them. They have vines scattered all across the hills of the DOCG area, a method which allows them to produce grapes with very different characters. From acidity to sugar content to wine structure, these varieties allows the winemakers to capture the very best that the region has to offer – and provides the perfect raw materials for curious winemakers to make into remarkable wines.
All in the Family
The Glera grown in the DOCG Prosecco region are, by their very nature, head and shoulders above your average grapes. But under the watchful eye of the Bronca family, which has been tending these vineyards since the 1970s, only the best of the best will go on to become Prosecco.
“Our family manages the farm,” says Mirko. “In fact, each member is directly involved, from growing the vines to selecting the grapes that will go on to become our Prosecco. Particular care is paid to the harvest – it’s the one of the most important moments.”
The winemakers at Scandolera always harvest their grapes in mid-to-late September, when the vines glow golden in the autumn sun. They’re sorted by hand so that only the best make the cut, and then pressed gently in batches.
Once the grape juice, or must, has undergone fermentation and become wine, the winemakers decide how much wine from each of their plots should go into the cuvée, or blend, in each bottle. It’s a task that requires passion and precision; but the winemaker’s downright scientific approach means that they can get it right year after year, bottle after bottle, and keep on learning.
As Mirko says, “Scandolera wines emerge from the best quality grapes grown in their native region, rigorously selected and carefully attended throughout the entire maturation process.”
So when you open a Scandolera DOCG Prosecco Superiore “Costa d’Ora”, take notice. The science of winemaking has brought you the very best of Prosecco’s emerald hills, and with beautiful bubbles, to boot!