A cheery sparkler rich with the flavours of apples and pears, the Ponte Villoni DOC Prosecco in this month’s Bubble Box is one fine fizz! Here’s all you need to know about this bubbling beauty.
Grape Variety: 100% Glera
1. Where It’s From
This lovely Prosecco is DOC, or Denominazione di Origine Controllata. Proseccos of this type can be made with grapes grown in any of the nine provinces spanning the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions in north eastern Italy, and strict regulations guard the production process to ensure a high-quality wine worthy of this region.
With rolling emerald hills and a mild climate, wine has been made in this mild-weathered region for about 300 years. The prize grape grown here is Glera, an old variety of green grape that, until 2009, was commonly referred to as Prosecco. When strict quality controls came in for the sparkling wine, however, winemakers and the Italian government reverted to using Glera, an old synonym, to describe the grape variety.
2. Who’s Behind It
This wine is made by a winery run by the Santero family. “Your land will never betray you,” says CEO Mario, who believes that if you tend to your land with love and care it will reward you with wonderful grapes.
They work the land in San Stefano Belbo, a small town in the south of Piedmont. The winery, called Abbazia, is named after an ancient Benedictine monastery. Built on the ruins of an ancient Roman temple, the monastery dates back to the ninth century.
The winery has been in the Santero family for generations, and the youngest generation has steered the winery away from bulk production to creating fine wines of quality.
3. How It’s Made
This Prosecco was made using the charmat, or tank, method. Rather than undergoing secondary fermentation in the bottle as a Cava or Champagne might, Proseccos undergo this process in a large steel tank.
After the grapes are harvested in the middle of September, they’re brought to the winery and cold pressed to retain as much flavour as possible. The skins, stalks and seeds are separated and sent to a distillery for the production of Grappa; the juice is filtered several times before undergoing its first fermentation in an open tank.
The wine then undergoes its second fermentation. Yeast and additional sugar are added to the still wine in custom pressurised tanks. As the yeast consumes the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide. The specially designed tanks trap this excess gas in the wine, making it sparkle. Once this process is complete, the wine is filtered and bottled, ready for you to enjoy.
4. How It Tastes
A pale yellow wine with flecks of green, this wine is medium-bodied and harmonious. Light and fruity on the palate, this fragrant wine is rich with the flavours of apples and pears.
5. How to Drink It
Serve this wine cold, chilled to between eight and 10 degrees Celsius. It’s delicious as an aperitif and with dessert, but also give it a try with Thai or other east Asian dishes.