Prosecco History: Foreigners Kept at the Gate

Click here for the complete “Prosecco History” series.

Prosecco History: Glera, a banner of Venetian identity and a barrier to invaders – Part 2

By Ulderico Bernardi, professor of sociology and social process at the University of Cà Foscari in Venice (L’enologo 10, October 2014, 20-22).

Foreigners Kept at the Gate.

Not only does our hillside homeland provide the Italian fatherland with grapes and wines, Prosecco also probably stopped the enemy advance after the battle at Caporetto.

According to local legend, the Austro-Hungarian troops who arrived so hurriedly in November of 1917 happened to reach these hills after harvest had been completed. Enticed by the aromas of the new wine, they hungrily descended into the cellars. And they emerged from the cellars drunk.

During those tragic days of the invasion when our troops retreated to the other side of the Piave river, Prosecco transformed the warrior spirit of the imperial soldiers into euphoric cheer. They held their positions instead of marching to engage the Italian soldiers en route.

Whether truth or legend, these stories are still told today in our hills.

Now that there is lasting peace, Prosecco continues to seduce both foreigners and Italians alike.

In 1931, the Italian Touring Club food guide described Prosecco as such:

“Golden yellow and sometimes intensely colored, with often slightly sweet to sweet flavor but equally astringent, with fresh aromas and a unmistakable aromatic character.”

This is the accumulation of memories that weighs upon the responsibilities of today’s producers. For their honoring of our honest indulgences.

Now that these wines are part of the process of globalization, there is an even greater need to ensure the care with which the wines are produced so as to guarantee the nobility of the name Prosecco. This is a principle that should be applied, obviously, to all classic products.


Author: Bele Casel

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