This enchanting landscape is resplendent with ever-changing hues of green and earth. Its extraordinary beauty is formed in mounds upon mounds of conical hills tightly packed with vines as they sit in the foreground of the Alps. Captivating and incredibly suitable as a backdrop for a film (but no, don’t come here to make a movie), it’s the place to unplug altogether, and I mean pop open the corks and sip the bubbly beauties that come from Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. This wonderland – the unique mix of thick woodlands, meandering waterways, gurgling streams, and sunshiny farming countryside has created a rural tapestry devoted to viticulture that has been respectfully tended for centuries. It is here where best Prosecco is found in and around the 15 townships between Conegliano in the eastern section of the DOCG and Valdobbiadene in the western portion of the denomination.
Much of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG, also known as Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG (it’s a mouthful, but worth remembering), is limited to hills that are so precipitous that terracing is often a must. Grapes have to be hand-picked and many farmers employ the use of buckets and pulleys to transport the fruit during harvest.
Generally speaking, the Eastern part around the town of Conegliano is dominated by clay soils where big structured wines that are less perfumed are produced. To the western part of the DOCG, Valdobbiadene has soils of marl and wines from here are more elegant and fragrant. And historically, wines from these two areas were blended for these distinct characteristics.
Vines have been present in the region since ancient times. Steep hillsides and stony soils with alpine and marine breezes create a moderating effect to promote ideal growing conditions for Prosecco’s star grape, Glera. These are the reasons why the lightly aromatic grape grows most famously in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene zone. Producers are required to include a minimum of 85% Glera grapes, with the remaining percentage option to include other indigenous vintage varieties, such as Verdiso and Bianchetta Trevigiana.
Prosecco DOCG can be made in the Martinotti (Charmat) method, where secondary fermentation occurs in a pressurized tank or autoclave. It can also be made in the classic method, the way Champagne is made where bubbles develop in the bottle. Either way, the bubbles for Prosecco DOCG aim to create sparkling wines that capture the grapes and terroir in a short time, providing a lively and fresh experience.
BISOL Crede, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG – 2018
The Bisol family has been sustainably farming the hills of Valdobbiadene since 1542. They have been producing terroir-driven wines from estate-grown fruit which are hand-harvested from steep exposures and complex soils. They are a ‘grower’ Prosecco, which means they completely control the production from grape to glass.
This is an absolute classic and chic bubbly with Granny Smith and Gala apples and Barlett pear, citrus medley, and wildflowers along a fresh stream that show up both in the olfactories and taste. And quite honestly, other Prosecco can aspire to be like this one here. It is lovely, energetic, and elegant. The bubbles are soft, and when each one bursts in the glass and on the tongue, they are mini celebratory moments that come straight from one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Made from Glera, Veradiso, and Pino Bianco grapes grown on the steep hills of Bisol’s vineyards. The first two varieties enjoy an ideal habitat in the clay-laden earth with a subsoil of marine sandstone known as “crede” (thus the name on the bottle) that is common to this part of the countryside. This type of terrain benefits the grapes by enriching them with noble acids, varietal aromas, and fruitiness. The mineral note coming from the Pinot Bianco in the blend always adds extra pleasure. Bring it on, Pinot Bianco! And so let’s have another glass!
Featured art: @MarisasWineDoodles