Perera is just one of the indigenous white grapes that can be used in the production of Prosecco.
Once known as Prosecco, Glera is the primary grape used in the production of Prosecco DOCG (in 2009, the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG consortium and the Asolo Prosecco DOCG consortium both officially adopted Glera as the name of the grape variety; Glera is an ancient name for the grape and today is widely used to denote the variety).
To be a Prosecco DOCG, the wine must contain at least 85 percent Glera grapes. But what about the rest?
A lot of people don’t realize that there are a handful of other indigenous grape varieties that can be used.
They are the following: Verdiso, Bianchetta trevigiana, Perera, and Glera lunga (and that hold true for both the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG and the Asolo Prosecco DOCG). Up to 15 percent of these white grapes can be used by themselves or blended in various amounts depending on the desired characteristics of the wine.
One of the interesting things about the Bele Casel vineyard in Monfumo is that it a very old planting, with some vines that are more than 100 years old.
When the Ferraro family and the Bele Casel winery bought it some years ago, no one had ever grubbed up that plants that were not Glera. And as a result, the vineyard delivers “old vine” fruit from Bianchetta and Perera as well.
In the olden days, nearly all the “Prosecco” vineyards were like this. As Luca often points out, the Prosecco “field blend” was ideal because even in a vintage when Glera performed poorly, the other varieties could make up for the difference in both terms of volume and character.
Harvest at Bele Casel began last week and one of the grapes that they began harvesting yesterday was the Perera (above). You’ll note that its bunch is much different from Glera clusters.
Some people believe that it is called Perera because its flavor is reminiscent of pears (pera is Italian for pear).