Prosecco imitators are found all over the world.
Fake Prosecco and how to discern Prosecco authenticity has been on people’s mind’s lately.
Historically, Prosecco as we know it today is produced in three townships in Treviso province in the Italian region of Veneto: Valdobbiadene, Conegliano, and Asolo (where we live, grow grapes, and make our wine).
Prosecco made in these three townships is labeled Prosecco DOCG. The DOCG stands for denominazione d’origine controllata e garantita or designation of controlled and guaranteed origin. It’s the highest level of “authenticity” in Prosecco and it denotes Prosecco that’s been grown on hillsides in those three townships.
In Italy, Prosecco is also grown across Treviso province in townships that lie on the valley floor. And Prosecco can also be grown across the regions of the Veneto and Friuli. These wines are labeled DOC, denominazione d’origine controllata or designation of controlled origin (without the guarantee). This is the second tier of Prosecco quality.
As a number of writers have pointed out this week, the DOCG is the best way to determine whether or not you are drinking authentic Prosecco from the three historic townships that produce the wine. The DOC designation means that you are drinking Prosecco from Italy made outside the historic townships.
When you don’t see either of those on the label or bottle, the wine could have been grown and produced nearly anywhere. Even as far away as Australia, people are growing Glera grapes and bottling them as “Prosecco.” One could argue that there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s also value in knowing that your Prosecco comes from a place where they have been growing Glera and making sparkling wines for generations.
But perhaps more important than the label, one of the most important — actually the MOST important — way to determine the authenticity of your Prosecco is through its aromas and flavors. That will be our next post on Prosecco authenticity.