Above: Prosecco DOCG director Giancarlo Vettorello and the author sat down for a glass of wine last month in Houston, Texas.
Ever since Luca Ferraro and I first discussed working together (and even before), I was wholly aware that the perception of Asolo’s rightful place in the 2010 Prosecco DOCG was a top issue for him and one of the missions of his presence on social media.
More than once, he had tweeted to me, Jeremy, don’t forget to include Asolo when you write about the Prosecco DOCG! And he was right.
Honestly, when the Prosecco DOCG 2010 was created, many Italian wine industry observers in the U.S. were skeptical as to why Asolo (the Colli Asolani in official parlance) was included. Many viewed its creation a priori as politically motivated and unwarranted. At the time, many Americans, for example, weren’t even aware that Prosecco was produced in Asolo.
Here on Luca’s English-language blog, I’ve written previously about Asolo’s historic affiliation with Prosecco and its place in the hierarchy of townships where Prosecco is produced.
When I had the chance to sit down with the director of the Prosecco DOCG consortium Giancarlo Vettorello in Houston last month, I asked him why — in his view — Asolo was not included in the original Prosecco DOC in 1966.
He readily conceded that he didn’t know the answer. But he speculated that the reason was two-fold.
1) Asolo produces a relatively small amount of wine when compared to production levels in Valdobbiadene and Conegliano.
2) While Valdobbiadene was recognized early on as a top growing area for Prosecco (and is still recognized as such today), the Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura (or Experimental Viticulture Institute) was founded in nearby (and more easily accessible) Conegliano in 1923. So it was only natural at the time, he said, that Valdobbiadene-Conegliano would become the official center for Prosecco production.
Did he believe that Asolo was rightly included in the 2010 DOCG?
Yes, he said emphatically.
“Asolo is fully entitled to be part of the DOCG,” he told me with utmost authority in his voice. “It is a legitimate member of our consortium because of the high quality of the wines produced there and its affinity in terms of the production zone and terroir.”
My family and I are headed to Proseccoland later this month and we’ll be meeting and tasting with both Luca and Giancarlo. Please stay tuned!