ITALIAN BUBBLES 101

Definitions - In Italy sparkling wine is called Spumante (not to be confused with Asti Spumante). Sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France is called Champagne, from outside the Champagne region but still in France they are called Crèmant. Sparklers from Spain are called Cava, sparkling wine from Germany is called Sekt, South Africa uses cap classique and in the states it is simply called “sparkling wine”.

Production Method - All of the below regions except Prosecco use the “metodo classico” (traditional method), meaning made the same way as Champagne, utilizing a second fermentation in the bottle. A very costly way to make wine.

Some of the Sparkling Regions -

Franciacorta DOCG- FromtheLombardyregionmadefromgrapesgrownon the hills of a series of townships to the south of Lake Iseo near Brescia. The 5,400 acres of vineyards produce 6 to 8 million bottles per year. Since 1995 the DOCG classification has applied exclusively to the sparkling wines of the area. Permitted grape varieties are 85% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot nero and 5% Pinot bianco. Nonvintage Franciacorta (NV) may not be released until at least 25 months after harvest, of which 18 months must be in contact with the yeast in the bottle (15 months for Champagne) Vintage Franciacorta (Millesimato) may not be sold until at least 37 months after harvest.

Alta Langa DOC -
Is an extensive production zone, which takes in the territories administered by 149 communes in Cuneo, Asti and Alessandria provinces. Permitted grape varieties are Pinot nero and/or Chardonnay, 90-100%; other local non-aromatic varieties, up to 10%

Erbaluce di Caluso DOC -
Made exclusively with the grape varietal Erbaluce grown in vineyards situated in the territories of 33 communes of the province of Turin. The grape has a long history in the Piemonte region, with the first written record dating to 1606. It is believed the first high quality bubbles in Italy started in this area.

Prosecco DOCG -
From the Veneto region. 90% of all Proseccos are made using the Charmat method with the secondary fermentation taking place in large stainless steel tanks, therefore making the wine much less expensive to produce. Not having a second bottle fermentation, Prosecco will not age well and should always be drunk young, well before it’s third birthday. The 10% of proseccos that are made metodo classico are hard to find but worth the effort.
Varietal : Made from 100% Glera (pryer to 2009 known as the grape prosecco).

Bubbles 2012 (3)
Bubbles 2012 (4)