Italian Sparkling Wine: There’s More Than Prosecco

Prosecco for many people is the only sparkling wine in Italy; that is, after it replaced Asti Spumante. But there are lots more choices in the Italian bubbly category, many on a par with the best French Champagne. But you do have to search and be willing to experiment. Let me help you on this quest.

Prosecco accounts for 80% of all sparkling wine produced in Italy. There are many gems in the

Franciacorta

remaining 20% but some are difficult, even impossible to find, since they are rarely exported. But with the help of a good wine retailer or online wine source, you can find many of the really good stuff. One caveat: serious Italian sparklers are not inexpensive.

The top area in Italy is without question Franciacorta. If you see Franciacorta on the label, you have one of the top sparkling wines. Most Franciacorta producers use the same 3 grapes as in Champagne, mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.And they all use the Metodo Classico, which is the same process used in France: wines undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle and age in the bottle for a minimum of 18 months up to 30 months.

Like Franciacorta, the sparkling wines of Trentodoc are made primarily from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This region has been producing bubbly for over 100 years and the top producer is Ferrari which accounts for 50% of the area’s production.

The sparkling wines from Alta Langa in Piedmont are more recent and harder to find. One of the top producers is Enrico Serafino which produces Zero 140 based on the Pinot Noir, a creamy, elegant wine.

These are the top 3 sparkling wine areas of Italy but we had some wonderful sparkling wines on our recent Wine Lovers tour to Sicily, so seek and ye shall find and be rewarded.

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