How Is Prosecco Made?
How is Prosecco made? In this article we will explain the method used to produce the famous wine, starting from the selection of its grapes. We will therefore find out that there are different types of it. Finally we will show its sugar content, alcohol content and calories.
How is Prosecco made?
Both the types of sparkling Prosecco, ‘frizzante’ and ‘spumante’, are produced using the ‘Martinotti’ method, also known as ‘Charmat’. Here follow a short list of the steps (click here to view the printable infographic):
01. According to the procedural guideline, Prosecco must be produced with at least 85% of ‘Glera’ grapes.
02. The grapes are softly pressed (the ‘pressing’), obtaining the ‘must’ (‘mosto’): a liquid substance dense and turbid.
03. The must is put to rest in special tanks. Its heaviest parts decant.
04. The clear part is decanted in steel cylinders at a controlled temperature. The addition of selected yeasts triggers the ‘fermentation’: sugar is transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide, the must becomes wine.
05. This ‘base wine’ is enriched with other batches of base wines differing from each other for specific organoleptic characteristics, for the origin and for the time of the harvest. The ‘cuvée’ is born.
06. The wine is decanted in large pressure chambers, the ‘autoclaves’. Yeasts and sugar are added, triggering a second fermentation, the ‘refermentation’.
07. During the refermentation, the yeasts metabolize the sugar, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. The latter, retained by the pressure, stays ‘imprisoned’ in the wine, making it ‘sparkling’.
08. The procedure can last from a minimum of 30 days up to 90. After this period, the sparkling wine is ready for bottling. Forty more days will be necessary before selling it.
Let’s find out the fascinating origins of Prosecco, as well as a large number of information and interesting facts, in this article.
Click HERE to view (and, eventually, download) a printable infographic showing the steps necessary to produce Prosecco wine.
The wine is called ‘millesimato’ when at least 85% of its grapes is harvested in the same year. It’s therefore no coincidence that usually these wines are made in years considered particularly good.
Wine and environment.
Since 2011, the Consorzio has followed the Wine Protocol (‘Protocollo vinicolo’): it’s a set of rules inspired to environmental sustainability.
The purpose is to choose over time forms of agriculture increasingly less invasive, for example by avoiding the use of dangerous molecules.
Alcoholic content and calories.
The alcoholic content of this Prosecco is not very high. The minimum is generally around 10% …
… though there are exceptions, like Cartizze: 11%.
100mls of sparkling Prosecco contain about 70kcals, this means that a 750mls bottle contains about 525kcals.
The types of Prosecco wine.
Prosecco is available in three different types:
Prosecco ‘tranquillo’ (‘quiet’).
It’s the ‘historic’ Prosecco, since it was the first to be sold, before the invention of the Martinotti (or Charmat) sparkling method. The term ‘quiet’ (‘tranquillo’), indicates the lack of bubbles.
- Color: Straw yelllow;
- Aromas: fruity (apple, pear, almond) and floral (acacia flowers);
- Minimum alcoholic strength: 10.5% vol.
- Serving temperature: 8°/10° C;
Prosecco ‘frizzante’ (‘lightly sparkling’)
This type of Prosecco is produced in autoclave (Martinotti / Charmat method), using an ‘overpressure’ lower than that used for sparkling wine. This leads to a smaller presence of carbon dioxide in the wine (‘less bubbles’) and therefore in a not very persistent perlage.
- Color: Straw yellow, sometimes enriched with greenish reflections;
- Aromas: fruity (apple, peach, pear) and floral (white spring flowers);
- Minimum alcoholic strength: 9% vol.
Serving temperature: 8°/10° C;
Prosecco ‘spumante’ (‘sparkling’).
It’s undoubtedly the type most known worldwide. This sparkling wine is traditionally produced in autoclave, using the Martinotti / Charmat method.
- Color: Straw yellow;
- Aromas: Yeasts, fruits and flowers;
- Minimum alcoholic strength: 11% vol.
- Serving temperature: 6°/8° C;
Sugar and Prosecco.
According to the residual quantity of sugar, Prosecco is:
Sugar residue: 0 / 12 g/l
Aromas: Hints of citrus with vegetal notes. Bread crust.
Serving temperature: 6°/8° C;
- EXTRA DRY
Sugar residue: 12 / 17 g/l;
Aromas: Fruity (apple, pear, citrus) and floral.
Serving temperature: 6°/8° C;
Sugar residue: 17 / 32 g/l;
Aromas: Fruity (green apple, peach);
Serving temperature: 6° C;
The grapes for Prosecco wine.
The Prosecco procedural guideline (‘disciplinare’) (*2) requires that this wine has to be produced with at least 85% of the white grape variety known as ‘Glera’. For the remaining 15% it’s possible to use the fruit of other vines, carefully chosen considering the taste and olfactory result to be obtained:
- Perera: increases aroma and fragrance;
- Verdisio: increases sapidity;
- Bianchetta Trevigiana: helps to refine the alcoholic tenor;
- Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and White Pinot Noir are used in the production of ‘spumante’ (these too in a percentage not exceeding 15%).
*1: The name ‘Prosecco’ has been (erroneously) used for a long time to indicate both the grape variety and wine.
*2: The DOC and DOCG procedural guidelines.
The Prosecco DOCG Consortia: contacts.
Consorzio Asolo Prosecco
Official website: www.asolomontello.it
Tel.: +39 331 5730216
Consorzio Tutela del Vino Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco
Official website: www.prosecco.it
Tel.: +39 0438 83028
The images displayed in this page belong to WebFoodCulture and to Consorzio Asolo Prosecco.