One of the world’s most popular wines, Prosecco continues to go from strength to strength.
In 2018 alone, it cemented its position as the world’s most popular sparkling wine. A big boost in sales in the United States played a big role in this as people begin to replace Champagne with this most famous of Italian wines.
Now, all of the Prosecco lovers out there likely only have one question on their minds.
Where do you go to find the best Prosecco?
The truth is that there’s no single answer to that question. Every single producer and Prosecco-creating region brings something a little bit different to the wine.
However, there is one region that many point to as one of the most consistently brilliant Prosecco producers.
If we were to say Valdobbiadene, many of you would instantly recognise it as one of the most important Prosecco-producing villages. This gorgeous little hamlet is tucked away near the Cesen Mountain and its name is found on many of the best examples of Prosecco around.
What makes the valley so special?
For one, it’s a natural amphitheatre. While that doesn’t necessarily affect Prosecco production, it does give you an idea of the region’s beauty.
What’s more important is the region’s microclimate. Many argue that Cartizze offers the absolute best conditions for Prosecco production, which is why so many of the best examples of the wine come from the Valdobbiadene village.
In particular, there are four things that make this valley stand out from its surroundings and allow it to imbue the Prosecco wines produced from its grapes with so much flavour and character.
Advantage #1 – The Sun Exposure
Any viticulturist will tell you that climate plays a huge role in the growing of grapes. Every single grape has its own preferences when it comes to the amount of sun exposure it needs and the amount of rain required to bring the grape to its full potential.
In the case of the Glera grape, near-constant exposure to sunshine is almost always a plus. The grape thrives in bright conditions.
And that’s what Cartizze is so amazing from the grape. The valley is essentially a chain of hills rising from the south up to the north. The vines in the valley sit anywhere between 200m and 350m above sea level.
And it’s the south-facing nature of the valley that comes to the fore. This allows the vines to enjoy almost constant exposure to sunlight. And more importantly, the direction the valley faces ensures that vines in the back rows don’t get covered by the shadows cast by the vines in the front. Every vine gets equal attention, which lends Cartizze’s Prosecco wines a consistency that’s tough to find anywhere else.
This constant exposure allows all of the grapes to reach maturity evenly. It also promotes high sugar content, which only adds to the quality of the Prosecco.
Advantage #2 – The Soil
Many a producer will tell you how important it is to capture the terroir in their wine. The more varied the land, the more interesting the resulting wine will be.
Cartizze is a perfect example of this in action.
Being a valley tucked away in a mountainous region, its soil differs from almost anything else in the surrounding area. The terroir is a mixture of sandstone, moraines, and different types of clay.
While this imbues the grapes with certain characteristics, there are also practical aspects to this soil makeup. The many clays in the soil promote water drainage, which means the vines take full advantage of any rainfall. In fact, they get a near constant supply of water thanks to the moist clay.
Again, this creates a balance that allows for the production of consistently high-quality Prosecco.
Advantage #3 – The Wind
The importance of the breeze is something that’s often underplayed in the world of Italian wine. And yet, it’s so crucial to the growing of high-quality grapes.
Any grape that doesn’t benefit from humidity relies on a good breeze. The wine dries out the vine’s leaves, thus getting rid of excess moisture. On a practical level, this drying of the leaves also makes the vines less susceptible to the fungal diseases that can devastate a crop.
The nature of the valley ensures that there’s almost a constant breeze blowing through the vines. Consistency is the key here once again. The practically ever-present nature of the breeze ensures the vines growth healthily and produce better grapes.
That’s a huge benefit for any wine produced in the Cartizze region. It also allows producers to create more sustainable vineyards as they can rely on the local climate to do a lot of work for them.
Advantage #4 – The Temperature
It’s in the temperatures that Cartizze experiences its biggest variances. And yet, these constant changes actually work to benefit the grapes produced in the valley.
It’s the region’s location at the base of the Cesen Mountain that’s at play here. During the spring and summer, the grapes benefit from plenty of sunshine and warmth. But when the night comes calling, cold air flows into the valley from the Alps.
This creates a fairly extreme variation between day and night-time temperatures. However, these temperature changes don’t come with associated weather patterns.
The end result is a grape that’s complex thanks to the variations in temperature. And that leads to the creation of more interesting and intense Prosecco wines.
The Final Word
You can recognise the quality of the Cartizze region by the simple fact that the name of the region itself often takes pride of place on the wine label. Prosecco is mentioned in much smaller text, assuming it’s even mentioned at all.
If you’re searching for the best that Prosecco has to offer, Cartizze’s wines may be where your search comes to an end. The valley’s unique characteristics make it crucial in the field of Prosecco production.