If we've whet your appetite for all things Prosecco, then we highly recommend you take a trip to the north eastern region where the sparkling wine comes from.
Prosecco Superiore DOCG comes from Conegliano Valdobbiadene, a beautifully hilly countryside, about 50kms from Venice and 100kms from the Dolomite mountains.
But what's your need-to-know if you're thinking of taking this dream trip? We sat down with Michele Del Bono from the excellent wine-and-holiday planners, Prosecco Escapes, to get his insider top tips about visiting the area.
“The Prosecco area is wonderful to visit at any time of year, however I would say between April to June is best, as that’s when the weather is warm but not too hot.
During this time there’s also the opportunity to attend Prosecco-related events as Vino in Villa and Primavera del Prosecco with fairs, markets, shows and exhibitions. Another good time to visit is September to October, but be careful when planning your visit if you intend on visiting wineries and vineyards as everyone will be busy harvesting.”
“Do some research and a bit of studying around wines in general and specifically about Prosecco. That will give you the essential info and tools you need to understand what you’re going to visit and taste, which in turn will allow you to make the most out of your experience. A good idea would be to attend a Prosecco Masterclass before leaving or during the first day of your stay in Italy.
Be ready for any weather so always bring a raincoat, umbrella, extra socks and shoes but also sunglasses and sunscreen.”
“The most exported and distributed varieties of Prosecco are Extra Dry and Brut: that’s usually what you can find at your local wine shop or at your favourite bar or restaurant. When visiting the region try to go for what you usually can’t find abroad.
Col Fondo: is the most traditional way of making Prosecco - natural and unfiltered, with yeast still present in the bottle. It’s usually fairly affordable and home-made.
Tranquillo: non-sparkling Prosecco, basically a white wine made out of Glera grapes, traditional and very specific to the region.
Cartizze: is the most exclusive, prestigious and elegant Prosecco, that can only be made from grapes coming from the ‘Cartizze’ area, which is just few hills at the top of the region. For this reason not every producer can make it. It uses the most beautiful grapes which are all hand-harvested. For these reasons, it's usually also the most expensive.”
“There are some ingredients and local products that are a must-try when visiting the region. You'll find them in a lot of dishes and menus in restaurants, farmhouses and local shops and they pair incredibly well with Prosecco. For example:
The renowned ‘Radicchio di Treviso’ is a lettuce leaf with a unique bitter taste that can be used and cooked in countless ways.
Sopressa is the most common and traditional cured meat here. It’s like a salami, with spices and garlic added to it. You’ll find it everywhere.
For cheese-lovers a must-try is ‘formaggio ubriaco’, literally ‘drunk cheese’, as the cheese is cured in wine. Each different grape and wine used gives a different taste to the cheese so you’ll find many of these around the region.
Some other typical seasonal specialities are pumpkin and wild mushroom. If you pick the right restaurant, you can also find a lot of very fresh fish and seafood from the Adriatic sea.”
“The golden rule for buying Prosecco to take home is: go for least common and most unexpected bottles you can find. In my opinion, there’s no point traveling for hundreds of miles then taking home a bottle or products you can find in the UK. So when visiting wineries or shops always go for the wine with the smallest production or that’s not distributed or exported.
The same goes for food and traditional products. If it’s natural, organic, homemade, and you have the chance to buy it straight from the producers (there’s a lot of farmhouses in the area), go for it. Many restaurants, wineries or shops do not accept credit or debit cards, so always bring some cash with you. Bringing wine bottles back home is not the easiest depending on the quantities…! Fortunately there are shipping services in the region specialised in international wine shipping. Just ask the vendor where you’re purchasing from.
To plan the perfect Prosecco trip to Italy, visit proseccoescapes.com