Prosecco is one of the most popular Italian wines of the current period, especially internationally where it is seen as a celebratory drink that is used for practically all occasions. However, this does not mean that it doesn’t enjoy its share of popularity in its native Italy as the wine generally sells many thousands of bottles a week to people who like to enjoy it as an accompaniment to lighter meals or as just a refreshing drink that can be shared with family and friends.
For those who have never come across the drink before, prosecco is a sparkling Italian white wine that generally has something of a dry texture to it. It is made using the Glera grape, which was fairly recently named after having been called the Prosecco grape for many years. However, like with many great wines, a number of other grapes are blended with the Glera by various wineries to create their own distinctive versions of prosecco.
The wine is regulated by the DOC, which allows for production in the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. This is due to the fact that it originated in the village of Prosecco in Trieste, however in recent years the areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene have become the primary areas for its production.
There are many winemakers in the region who make their own version of prosecco but most pale in comparison to the Ruggeri Prosecco. Here we take a look at this fairly recent addition to the pantheon of great Italian winemakers and examine what it is that makes their particular prosecco such a sought after drink.
The Bisol Family
Despite the fact that the Ruggeri winery is a fairly recent addition to the makeup of the Valdobbiadene area, its founder, Giustino Bisol, is part of a family that has deep-seated roots in winemaking at viticulture in the region. Established in 1950, the Ruggeri winery quickly gained a reputation for creating high quality wines, which is perhaps unsurprising seeing as the Bisol family have been present in the region for many centuries and know the traditions like the back of their hands. In fact, Case Bisoi, which literally translates to ‘the Houses of the Bisol’, is believed to be one of the oldest areas in the region and the family is documented to have been taking part in winemaking for many centuries before the Ruggeri winery opened.
In fact, Giustino is not the first of the Bisol family to have opened a winery. His father Luigi founded a winery in Montebelluna 30 years before the inception of the Ruggeri winery, with older relatives also demonstrating evidence of being part of the industry. This all means that the Ruggeri winery is surprisingly prestigious despite its fairly young age.
In recent years the winery is run by Paolo Bisol, who is also assisted by his children. It continues to dedicate itself to the production of great prosecco but also makes a wide variety of other wines that are certainly worth sampling.
The Ruggeri Winery
Established in 1950 in a fairly small premises, the Ruggeri winery quickly expanded as its products attained a higher level of popularity in the region and internationally. Originally located in the village of Santo Stefano di Valdobbiaden, it temporarily moved to a new premises in the 1990s that was in the center of the village. Since then it has relocated again to an established site that allows the company to operate at the level that is required to meet demand. To put this into context, the new winery has the capacity to receive up to 3,000 tons of grapes every harvest.
They currently receive grapes from more than a hundred growers in the region, most of whom are located in Valdobbiadene. The company also owns a number of small vineyards themselves, including locations in Cartizze and Montello, which are used to cultivate Pinot Grigio and the Glera that is so famously used in the Ruggeri Prosecco. They are also working on the continued cultivation of the Recantina grape, which is an ancient red grape variant that has only recently been brought back into semi-regular use.
Coming back to the winery’s ability to receive the enormous amount of grapes that come through it every harvest, it has two independent lines to receive the grapes, making the process more efficient, in addition to five soft presses that allows them to separate the various harvests properly.
As mentioned, the drinks produced by the winery are amongst the most popular in Italy and they currently generate around one million bottles every single year. Their statistics indicate that 60% are sold domestically, while the other 40% is sold internationally.
The Ruggeri Prosecco is made primarily using the Glera grape, which is a delicate grape to reflect the quality of the wine it produces. The harvest is carried out during the second half of September, which is when the winery goes into overdrive in terms of its prosecco production. Also harvested alongside the Glera are the Verdiso and Perera grapes, which are also important components to the Ruggeri Prosecco.
The drink itself is a gorgeously crisp Italian sparkling white and can really be drunk with practically anything. However, it is perhaps best enjoyed alongside lighter foods, such as cheese, or as a celebratory drink to be consumed amongst friends. Furthermore, it can also make a great refresher on a busy day and is perfect if you just want to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine after a busy day.
The company offers a number of different prosecco variants, all of which are worth sampling. Of special note is the wine that is dedicated to the winery’s founder Giustino. Produced after the undertaking of extensive research, the wine is perhaps amongst the best that has ever been produced by the Ruggeri winery and you can truly taste the passion and dedication that has gone into its creation. However, regardless of what wine you choose, you can practically guarantee that the Ruggeri winery will provide you with a quality product.