Impeccable Italy : The Prosecco Region
Be honest. When you think of Prosecco, what do you think of? An affordable replacement for Champagne? A festive beverage to be sipped during your Italian vacations? A key ingredient in Aperol spritzes (themselves beverages best consumed in Italy), fun while you’re there, but okay to leave behind?
At least that’s what I thought until I visited the Prosecco region of Italy and tasted what may have been my first proper Prosecco. Garbara Cartizze has earned no small number of distinctions. It is fruity but quite structured, and it has some delightful little bubbles.
It’s also unlike much of what gets exported under the label of Prosecco. Some years ago, in a somewhat controversial move, the Italian government decided to allow makers of sparkling wine anywhere in the northeast of Italy call their product prosecco. Some of this is very nice sparkling wine. But Proseco purists will tell you that it’s not Prosecco.
I learned this when I visited the original Prosecco region, a small geographic area between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which is best identified by its crazy-steep hills. Here, at the Marchiori winery, I was schooled on the differences between a good sparkling wine and a proper Prosecco. (In a nutshell, look for the designation DOCG or the name Valdobbiadene on the label.)
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