Celebrating Italy on August 13, U.S. National Prosecco Day

By Emma Krasov. Photography by Yuri Krasov

Why summer always ends too soon? It’s a rhetorical question, of course, but hey, maybe this wonderful time of year seems too short simply because we want it to last forever…

Thankfully, there’s always prosecco—Italian summer in a bottle—to bestow upon us its sunny effervescence and bubbly joy. With the current increase in prosecco exports to the US market, and wider distribution of this refreshing sparkling wine, let’s stock up on the most wonderful brands from Italy for the National Prosecco Day on August 13, and for all the remaining summer days, and celebrate in style!

Bisol Prosecco

Among the Italian sparkling wines, famed for their impeccable quality and rich history, Bisol1542 with its almost five centuries-old production, stands as a prime example of liquid luxury—time-honored, true to its roots, and as fresh as a summer morning.   

Bisol is a family name, and 1542 stands for the year when it all began in the town of Valdobbiadene, in the historic Prosecco region that stretches through Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

At a recent virtual tasting of the Bisol wines, Gianluca Bisol, president and CEO of Bisol1542, joining directly from his native Valdobbiadene, Italy, started with emphasizing the difference between champagne and prosecco.

“Prosecco is not a subcategory of champagne,” said Bisol. “Those are two different wines. The goal of champagne producers is to obtain flavor from yeast. Champagne is valuable when it’s aged, when it has earthiness, when it has aromas of mushrooms and brioche, when it tastes “old.” It’s made from a variety of grapes, and must be aged for at least three years. Prosecco is all about freshness, fruitiness, flowery aromas, and minerality—a direct expression of the terroir in Glera grapes. Our goal is to preserve the flavor of the fruit.” 

By harvesting and bottling organically farmed wines, Bisol completely controls every step of the process, sticking to the old tradition of prosecco production, and striving for the purest interpretation of the beloved Italian grape.

Anthony Giglio, a New York-based sommelier, author, and wine educator, who co-hosted the video tasting of Bisol1542’s wines, explained the importance of Prosecco Superiore.

“Prosecco is very sensitive to exposure,” said Giglio. “People might not know that there’s classification of prosecco depending on quality. The word ‘superiore’ is key, just like ‘classico’ for chianti. Only one bottle of ‘superiore’ is produced for every seven bottles of prosecco.”   

While introducing his flagship wines, Bisol named five reasons why we should choose Prosecco Superiore.

First, versatility. Superiore is as good as aperitivo, as it is fitting to be consumed throughout a meal.

Second, the expressed character of the Glera grape thrives on the rich soils, altitude, exposure, and climate of Cartizze hill (where some of Bisol family’s vineyards are located).

Third, the grapes are harvested by hand on the steep slopes, and gathered in small crates, so as not to break the delicate Glera skin.

Fourth, Bisol’s viticulture methodology and controlled process places their quality a tier above the entry-level Prosecco DOC and encompasses the region’s two DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) zones: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco and Asolo. DOCG wines must pass five quality tests that include planting regulations and control of winemaking practices, and Bisol focuses on promoting vine health through environmentally sustainable techniques.

Fifth, the winemaking history and Bisol family tradition is upheld with the 21st consecutive generation of grape growers and winemakers. Bisol family owns and cultivates 55 hectares in 21 different hills overseeing the entire production process from vine to glass.

Each of the three wines, presented at the tasting, bore Superiore classification, while each demonstrated its own unique characteristics, especially interesting for summer outings.

Jeio Brut, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, first released in 1999, and nicknamed after Gianluca’s father, has bright aromas of green apple, citrus, peach, apricot, and banana. Dry, elegant, and crisp, it offers notes of white flowers and freshly cut grass well into the long finish. 

Bisol1542 Crede, Valdobbiadene Prosecco` Superiore DOCG, “a symphony of floral notes,” comes from the soil most suitable for Glera. Its color is a brilliant straw yellow with green highlights; wildflowers on the nose, and apples and pears on the palate. Rich and well-balanced, it makes a great aperitif, but has enough crispness and acidity to refresh a palate between courses. Deriving its qualities from the south-eastern exposure on the hills above Venice, this wine delivers sea influences along with naturally occurring references to the surrounding wild flowers and underground life of the vineyard. Crede is perfect for oysters and raw fish, as well as fresh salads and other summer dishes.   

Bisol1542 Cartizze, Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG is by definition the most valuable prosecco. There’s only one Cartizze per every 700 bottles of prosecco. Coming from the precious two acres of expensive, sandy and rocky soil, and from cold-nights climate in the Dolomites, which makes the maturation period longer, this “Formula One of prosecco wines” by Bisol’s definition, is ten times more expensive to produce than other wines, even though consumers don’t have to pay much more for this superior prosecco. Straw yellow color with fine perlage; rose and wisteria mixed with tropical fruit on the nose, and flavors of apple, pear, peaches, mango, papaya, and lychee dissolve in the creamy yet clean palate of this rich, intense, sweet, and full-bodied wine. It pairs well with strong-flavored grilled lobster, sushi, and other Japanese foods.

In conclusion of the fun and educational Bisol1542 tasting, Gianluca Bisol suggested an easy summer spritz made of Cartizze and Campari—that we must try out before the summer ends!

Find out more at https://www.prosecco.it/en/scheda-cantina/bisol/.

Guinigi Prosecco

Named after la Torre Guinigi, in Lucca, Tuscany, Guinigi wine bottles bear a logo with a schematic depiction of the historical tower. Built in Romanesque-Gothic style around 1384, the red brick tower has more than 200 steps to the top, where several ancient evergreen Holm oaks create a fluffy green hat that first appears in a 17th century drawing of the city. Affluent landowners in Tuscany were actively building defense towers in the turbulent 14th century, and the Guinigi family that ruled the town of Lucca, was no exception.

Restored and reopened in the 1980s, the tower’s rooftop oak grove is accessible today. The wine producing family states on the company website, “Our family roots run deep in this storied land, and we honor that heritage with Guinigi wines. Like the oak trees that symbolize strength, beauty and renewal, it is our belief that each new vintage will inspire a sense of awe in you.”

Harvested in the northeastern province of Treviso (Veneto), Guinigi prosecco wines are light and energetic, full of lively, invigorating bubbles, with flowery and fruity aromas.  

Guinigi Prosecco D.O.C. Treviso Spumante Brut is made with traditional Glera, grown in alluvial clay soils of the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene hillsides, where mild climate allows the fruit to mature by mid-September.   

Guinigi Prosecco has floral notes of acacia and wisteria on the nose, and subtle flavors of apple, white peach, and citrus fruits on the palate. A perfect balance between acidity and softness makes this wine suitable for seafood dishes, cream-based sauces, and pizza, and helps create simple and memorable cocktails with it.

Guinigi Torre Frizzante

Ingredients: Guinigi Prosecco, .5 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Lemon Twist, Rosemary Sprig. Method: Pour elderflower liqueur into bottom of prosecco flute, fill with prosecco, garnish with a lemon twist and rosemary, and serve.

Guinigi Spritz Lucchesi

Ingredients: Guinigi Prosecco, 1.5 oc La Pivon Vermouth Rojo, Orange Twist or Slice. Method: Fill coupe glass with ice, add vermouth, fill with prosecco and garnish with orange.

Guinigi Prosecco Rosé D.O.C. Treviso Millesimato 2020

This delicate wine is a blend of Glera and pinot noir grapes. The Glera harvested from the hills of Treviso, and the pinot from Fruili Venezia Guilia, known for its mild climate and mineral-rich clay soil.

Guinigi Prosecco Rosé has a soft pink hue, a nose of blood orange, wild strawberry and peach blossom, and a palate of apple, white peach, and citrus with refreshing acidity.

It makes great pairings with Caprese salad, creamy risotto, grilled vegetables, and fresh seafood.

Find out more at https://www.guinigiwines.com/.

For your upcoming celebration of the National Prosecco Day, some words of wisdom from the prosecco experts:

“Prosecco should be poured chilled. Prosecco is young and should be drunk as soon as the bottle is opened. Prosecco should be consumed within the first year, as it doesn’t have the same preservatives as Champagne. Prosecco is best enjoyed as an aperitif or after dinner.” Saluti!