Prosecco is easily Italy’s largest DOC zone, and it continues to grow: 3,000 hectares have just been approved in a recent expansion, taking the total hectares planted to more than 23,000. Picture the entire city of San Francisco under vine—twice over. This equates to almost half a billion bottles of Prosecco each year, most of which hail from mechanizable flatlands. Call us snobs, but we wouldn’t even use most of this overcropped plonk in our mimosas. However, the beating heart of this massive region is undoubtedly the Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG subzone, a real mouthful that ultimately designates the most qualitative terroir for Glera, the Prosecco grape. In the shadow of the Alps, poor, well-draining soils at higher altitude yield elegant, aromatic bubbly worlds apart from the mass-produced wines flooding the market. Cinzia Sommariva is an adamant ambassador of the style, following in her parents’ footsteps to consistently craft a Prosecco of total class and charm—no mimosas necessary.
|Appellation:||Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore|
|Winemaker:||Caterino & Cinzia Sommariva|
|Vineyard:||Up to 25 years|
|Soil:||Mineral-rich and Rocky Clay|
|Aging:||All vinification in stainless steel|
For generations the Sommariva family worked vines on the Venetian high plains, but it was Caterino Sommariva who began purchasing hillside vineyards, having great faith in the Prosecco varietal and deciding to plant it exclusively. Their daughter Cinzia remembers the difficulty of harvest; choosing to pursue studies in marketing. As she got older, she began to see her parents’ work differently, discovering her own passion for winemaking. She eventually joined them and became an enthusiastic and dynamic partner. The Sommarivas take their work very seriously, closely watching over every step of production. These perfectionists only sit back once the work is done and it’s time to enjoy the delightfully fresh fruits of their labor.
Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.
Inspiring Thirst, page 312