Prosecco has fast built up a reputation as one of the finest sparkling whites that can be bought in the modern age, rivalling the likes of champagne in many countries. This is especially true in the UK, where the drink has certainly begun to build in popularity and has become a favourite during special occasions, parties and during the festive period in particular.
But what about the drink itself? While the ability to buy Prosecco online is now enjoyed by millions across the globe, before the advent of the online age the drink had not quite achieved the international popularity it now has but was something of a favourite in its home country, where many drink it as a light wine that can be had with practically any meal.
This means that it actually has quite the history that many contemporary drinkers may not even be aware of and it has been produced in Italy for hundreds of years.
Early production regions
All great wines have to start somewhere and the story of Prosecco begins in the sixteenth century. That is when the first documents detailing the existence of the wine come from. Back then the wine was produced in the hills surrounding Trieste, particularly in the Prosecco region where the name for the drink was derived.
It was an early favourite amongst many of the popular people of the day and the likes of Pliny the Elder and other famed historians made mention of it in various documents from the era.
As for the region of Trieste itself, it is best known for being quite a hilly area on which plenty of vineyards have since been cultivated and expanded, especially as wines from the region have continued to grow in popularity. In fact, the hills that eventually build up into mountains is where much of the urban region has been built up over the years and, thanks to the towns proximity to the water, the region has also been something of a trade area over the years. Its sea port in particular allows for plenty of trade to be done and this was especially the case during the Early Modern era, when Prosecco was first being made.
This reputation for trade is likely what helped the wine spread beyond the localities and become an extremely popular drink throughout Italy and it has to be said that Prosecco has enjoyed something of a high reputation for centuries that could in part be placed down to the fact that merchants from the region were able to spread word of the wine and deliver it to people outside of Trieste.
As Prosecco has continued to increase in popularity over the years, especially in the modern era, it stands to reason that the amount of places that manufacture the wine will have also increased. While still centred on Trieste, the surrounding region has actually come to be known as the Prosecco region and a number of other smaller towns now maintain a number of wineries, all of which produce their own brands of the drink.
All of these wines, like many others produced in Italy, must be produced to certain standards as regulated by the DOC, which it the organisation that essentially lends its stamp of approval to wines that meet its strict guidelines. One of those guidelines traditionally centres around the region in which the wine is produced and Prosecco is no different. There are only a few main regions in which the wine can be made during the modern era and they are the following:
Perhaps best known as being the region of Italy that plays host to the famous town of Venice, Veneto is also one of the main production areas for DOC approved Prosecco. Perhaps more accurately a region in Veneto named Conegliano is where much of the wine from the region is produced.
Standing around about thirty kilometres away from Trieste, the town is quite a small communal areas that plays host to a beautiful castle that always looks amazing when viewed against the night sky.
Perhaps one of the reasons that Prosecco from this region is so highly regarded is the fact that the small town also plays host to the Scuola Enologica, which is the oldest wine school in Italy. Here producers can learn how to craft the finest wines and you have to believe that there are many lessons on creating the best types of Prosecco that happen in the school’s walls.
While perhaps not as prestigious a winemaking region as Conegliano, Valdobbiadene is still extremely important to the Prosecco region and a number of extremely high quality vintages are made there.
Similarly to Conegliano, Valdobbiadene is located within the region of Veneto as well, which again puts it in close proximity to Trieste, where the wine was born. Because of this there is decades, if not centuries, of experience that is running through the production methods used in this small town and that has been recognised by the fact that wines from the region are also granted the DOC seal of approval.
Over the years the Prosecco region has expanded as the wine has increased in popularity and more of the regions that surround its original production area have started to craft their own varieties of the wine.
Perhaps most important for those who are looking buy Prosecco online is to do a little bit of research into the vintage that they intend to sample and ensure that it has come from one of the regions that have been mentioned here. That way not only will you be able to ensure that your bottle of wine hails from the area of Italy that has the most experience and talent when it comes to creating great Proseccos, but you will also be able to rest safe in the knowledge that Italy’s wine regulation organisation have also approved its quality. If you are still unsure look online or at the bottle to see if you can find the hallmarks of DOC approval to know that you are getting the genuine article.