The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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2 The Cru Artisan College Study Guide THE WINE: Maschio dei Cavalieri Prosecco Grape variety: 100% Glera Region: Veneto Vineyards: Hills in the DOCG zone between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Mixed soil but mainly clay. Winemaking: The grapes are gently pressed to maintain their natural characteristics. Temperature- controlled fermentation in stainless steel is followed by a secondary temperature- controlled fermentation in autoclaves (i.e. the Charmat method, also known in Italy as Martinotti). THE PRODUCER: Cantine Maschio (MAH- ski-oh) was founded in 1974 by Bonaventura Maschio, descendant of a well-known family of distillers. He built his winery along the Conegliano Veneto's Cadore Mare provincial road that runs between the Dolomites and the beaches north of Venice. HOMEROOM PASTRIES AND PROSECCO We'll break the ice with the quintessential symbol of Italian hospitality and offer an informal introduction to the nuances and cru expressions of Prosecco, potentially changing our perception of the term breakfast wine. Coffee and tea will also be served for those needing greater stimulus, as we review the day's program, guidelines and expectations. The Denomination Prosecco takes its name from the town where the wine likely originated. Over time, however, Prosecco was used inter- changeably as the name of the grape, the town, and the wine, but the ancient variety used in the production of Prosecco is now called "Glera." World demand grew so much for this tradi- tional libation of the Venetian's that in 2008 the production zone was enlarged to a massive total area encompassing nine entire provinces. In an effort to protect this time-honored sparkler, the Italian govern- ment decreed that as of August 2009, Prosecco will refer only to the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)/ Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) or zone of origin and will no longer be used as a grape name. DOC Prosecco must come from the zone that includes 9 provinces (5 out of Veneto's 7: Treviso, Venice, Vicenza, Padua, Belluno and in Fruili Venezia Giulia: Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste, Udine), stretch- ing over roughly 20,000 hectares. It must be made from a minimum of 85% Glera, permitting any of the following grapes in the balance: Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera Lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, and/or Pinot Nero. Additionally only Brut, Extra Dry, Dry and Demisec examples can be produced, leaving producers who work in what would be considered an "extra brut" or "brut nature" manner without an official designation. DOC Prosecco does permit machine harvest- ing while the DOCG appellations do not, this isn't to say that it is something all producers are doing but it is a key point of differentiation in the finished wines. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG is the extremely delimited Valdobbiadene– Conegliano zone, which lies in the Veneto's Treviso Province between the small towns of the same names. This is the heartland for the ultimate expression of Prosecco, 50 km north of Venice, in that hilly strip equidistant from the Dolomites to the west and the Adriatic to the east, creating a special microclimate. The terrain is challenging to cultivate, with vineyards perched high on the steep hill- sides where even standing upright is a challenge, requiring manual labor in all phases of agriculture. Vines are grown on hills between 50 and 500 meters above sea level. Like the DOC, the wine must contain a minimum 85% Glera. Superiore may be used on the label if these wines follow even more stringent production standards, and the wine may also note the "rive" or specific prized slopes or hillsides where the grapes are born such as Rive di Colbertaldo. Wines featuring one of the 43 allowed "rive" designations must also undergo even more stringent standards. Historically the vineyard of Cartizze is long considered one of the key vineyards within the DOCG zone and that was reflected when the guidelines were written in 2009 giving Cartizze a special designation. It is important to note that the wines from Cartizze are nearly entirely produced as a "dry" wine with considerable sweetness, the other 'rive' wines are almost all made in an "extra dry" or "brut" style. Rome EMILIA ROMAGNA FRIULI- VENEZIA-GIULIA VENETO L I E C H . AU ST R I A Venice Verona Treviso Trieste Golfo de Venezia CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE DOCG PROSECCO DOC 0 30 miles Miane Soligo Colbertaldo Pieve di Soligo Follina Vittorio Veneto Cordignano Conegliano San Vendemiano Valdobbiadene Susegana Cantine Maschio Rive di Colbertaldo vineyards P i ave CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE DOCG CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE DOCG 0 5 miles

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