Sparkling wines are always in vogue. They’re not only a symbol of simple joy and celebration but also stand for prestige, luxury, and of course, romance. For those who like their wines soft and fruity, Italian Prosecco can be a very good choice.
Prosecco wines hail from northern Italy, from the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in Veneto. The wine, made with a local grape Glera, is sealed with the highest Italian wine standard of DOCG ensuring strict quality control.
Between these two hills is a smaller hill called Cartizze, one that is considered to produce the most treasured of Proseccos. Since the land is so highly regarded everyone wants a piece of it and this is why about 140 owners share this 106 hectare stretch. This demand has made it the most expensive agricultural land in Italy.
The steep, white chalky low-yielding soil, along with cool breezy climate, and bright sun produces the best quality Glera in the world that winemakers turn into a divine bubbly. A unique winemaking process, known as the Charmat Method, adds bubbles to the wine by fermenting it under pressure in stainless steel tanks to preserve its true flavours and keep them intense and fresh.
General Prosecco wines are fresh, fruity, aromatic, and soft palate and are most expressive in their Extra Dry version (with residual sugar upto 17 grams per litre). But what differentiates Cartizze from the others is its range and depth of notes, ranging from pears, bananas, and honeydew melons, to a seamless, rich minerality. And one of the best producers of this is the Villa Sandi with their wine called the ‘Vigna La Rivetta’.
Villa Sandi is one of the most respected family-run wineries. Set in Treviso, in a Palladian-style villa dating back to 1622, the winery is a destination in itself. Their Cartizze is one of the most awarded wine in its group, including accolades from the prestigious and revered Gambero Rosso guide of Italy. Produced in a small quantity, its complex multilayered flavours range from the midly aromatic to the intensely perfumed, citrus and white fruits to floral touches, with toasted almond flakes on the finish. All this is well held together with great minerality, structure, balance, and finesse. Perfect for drinking not just by itself but also alongside food. Try it with scones, fruit flans, focaccia bread, Bavarian chantilly cream, or even traditional Italian Pandoro cake. If not with the sweets, try it with fried white fish dishes, cheese soufflé, creamy pasta dishes, polenta, or, more locally, Navratan Korma.
Though the wine ages well it is best enjoyed young. Prosecco wines are a great addition to the world of bubblies. They marry well with food and are easy sips, not only on the palate but also on the pocket. Try having this eloquent yet simple sparkling wine next time around and see what makes the wines from this little hillock so special. Cín!