The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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Page 47 of 124

january/february 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  47 M ionetto is justifiably proud—and fond—of the grape growers behind its premium Prosecco, so it makes sense the historic company would turn to them when the time came to produce a 130th anniversary cuvée. Founded in 1887, Mionetto is based in the small village of Valdobbiadene in Italy's Veneto region: the very heart of the area where Prosecco was born. During a recent trade gathering at San Francisco's Piperade restaurant, Head Winemaker Alessio Del Savio and Mionetto USA CEO Enore Ceola told indus- try leaders that the grapes used to produce the special-edition release came from three winegrowers that have worked with the company for generations. The lunchtime guests tasted five of Mionetto's base wines from Friuli, Treviso, Conegliano, Valdobbiadene, and Cartizze as Del Savio described the terroir of each region. Attention then shifted to the finished Proseccos from Treviso, Valdobbiadene, and Cartizze, but it was all a prelude to the main attraction: the Mionetto Cuvée Anniversario Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Millesimato Brut Nature. Bottled in 2016 and released in time for Mionetto's anniversary, the cuvée aims to celebrate the company's heritage while also serving as an accurate representation of wines made 130 years ago, Del Savio told the guests. To that end, he insisted that all grapes used in the cuvée's production come from Valdobbiadene-based growers (all three are located within ten miles of the winery) that had longstanding relationships with the company, and that the flavor profile be bone dry. Del Savio explained in Italian as Ceola translated: "When I started to think about creating this cuvée, I asked myself, 'Where do we start?' It was likely that the Prosecco back then didn't have any sugar—you didn't add any, and the fermentation would have gone through it all, so it was most likely a zero-sugar wine. Some of the vines are 30 years old, and the sustainable farming practices, combined with pneumatic presses, impeccable yeast, and low-temperature fermentation, add to the perfection of this special- anniversary wine." Thanks to Mionetto USA CEO Enore Ceola, the brand has continually grown in both sales and reputation in the U.S. for the past two decades. Alessio Del Savio is the Head Winemaker for Mionetto and has been with the company for 17 years. He created the Mionetto Cuvée Anniversario Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG to pay homage to the company's 130-year heritage, as well as to revive a style of Prosecco produced without sugar.

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