Ampelonyms and origins: Prosecco (Glera)

Translated from the Vitigni d’Italia (Grape Varieties of Italy, Calò et alia, 2006).

Synonyms: Prosecco tondo, Prosecco Balbi, Prosecco bianco, Glera, Serpina, Prosecco nostrano.

Erroneous synonyms: Gargana, Malvasia del Chianti, Malvasia toscana, Malvasia trevigiana, Prosecco-Malvasia.

The origins of this grape variety are uncertain. [Italian ampelographer] Dalmasso (1937) points to the legendary Pucino, a wine praised by the Roman empress Livia.

The most probable hypotheses are two.

The first associates the grape’s origins with the commune of Prosecco in the province of Trieste (where it probably gets its name). From Prosecco, with the designation Glera, the grape moved toward the west all the way to the Colli Euganei where its name became Serpina.

The second holds that the grape migrated from the Colli Euganei to the east.

On the western banks of the Piave, it is grown and known as Prosecco. Its growing area leads from Valdobbiadene to Conegliano, where it is still the predominant grape variety.

To date, two biotypes of Prosecco have been identified, Prosecco tondo or Prosecco Balbi, noted for the intensity of its millerandage [uneven development and size of the berries on the same bunch of grapes] and Prosecco dal peccol rosso. There was once a Prosecco rosa in Omiš (Dalmatia).

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