Prosecco Info

What is Prosecco?
  • Prosecco is a sparkling wine from a specific area in Northern Italy.  

  • Prosecco is made from the Glera grape (at least 85%).

  • It is typically fresh and aromatic, with aromas of apple and pear.

Where is Prosecco made?

  • The Prosecco region stretches across the Veneto and Fruili areas of Northern Italy, just north of Venice.

  • The Prosecco region is split into 2: a DOC and a DOCG area. 

  • The DOCG region comprises of 2 areas where the high quality Prosecco vineyards are located: Conegliano-Valdobbiadene and Asolo.

Prosecco map

What is DOCG and DOC?

  • DOC stands for 'Denominazione di Origine Controllata' which translates to 'Controlled Designation of Origin'.

  • DOCG stands for 'Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita' which means 'Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin'.
    Both require that the wine is produced within  specified regions,  using defined methods and  satisfies a defined quality standard.

  • The extra 'G' in DOCG  represents 'Guaranteed' quality.  DOCG Prosecco is typically of a higher quality standard than DOC Prosecco. 

  • Only Prosecco from the DOCG region can be called 'Prosecco Superiore' and have the right to use it on the wine labels.

Why is DOCG Prosecco more expensive than DOC?

  • The DOCG land in the areas of Congeliano-Valdobbiadene and Asolo is more expensive than in the DOC region.

  • The DOCG land is very hilly and so is farmed and harvested by hand, adding to cost in terms of time and labour,  but also improving  the quality.  Machinery is typically used to farm the DOC area, which is cheaper and quicker, though unable to be selective when picking grapes. 

  • DOCG Prosecco has a lower production yield imposed by regulators compared to DOC Prosecco.  Quality not quantity.  

  • DOCG producers have stricter controls to achieve the higher standards, which of course can add to the cost.

  • DOCG producers typically spend more on the aesthetics  of their bottles and packaging, being a more luxury product.

  • DOCG Prosecco is more commonly produced by smaller, artisan wineries that have been producing Prosecco for generations.  They are passionate about what they do, working hard to achieve the best Prosecco they can by continually perfecting their methods such as  lowering sulphites, using organic methods.

  • A lot of the DOC Prosecco is typically made by factories, where cost is the most important factor rather than quality.  DOC Prosecco is often seen as a commodity than a luxury product.


How is Prosecco made?

  • Take a look at the diagram opposite.  It explains the Charmat production method really well.

  • The 2nd fermentation process lasts about 30-40 days.  This is when bubbles are formed.

  • The Charmat method is different to the Traditional method which is used for making Champagne, where the 2nd fermentation happens in the bottle rather than a tank.

Does Prosecco age?

  • Prosecco deteriorates  with age.  Typically, Prosecco lasts about 3 years from the vintage (harvest) date.  After 3 years, the Prosecco starts to lose it's aroma and freshness.

  • The Glera grape, which is used to make Prosecco has a simple structure which does not lend itself to ageing.