The Giro Pops Prosecco on Stage 14 By Clive Pursehouse

Stage 14 of the 2020 Giro d’Italia is an individual time trial that will have decisive implications for the maglia rosa the much as it did in the 2015 iteration when Contador took pink in the hills of Prosecco. The stage traces a course that defines an Italian original, and one of the world’s most widely popular wines, Prosecco. It starts in the medieval city of Conegliano, which lies in the wine’s broader production zone, and heads to the heart of Prosecco Superiore in the Alpine foothills towards Valdobbiadene.

PELOTON

Popular the world over, Prosecco is prized for its fresh, fruit-forward aromatics and flavors and, of course, its bubbles. Prosecco’s true home lies in the gravity-defying vineyards found in the valleys of Veneto’s Treviso Province. The Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. (or Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), which winds from the west to east beginning in the town of Valdobbiadene and ending in Conegliano, was granted in 2009 after Prosecco’s global popularity resulted in a disconnection from its birthplace.

Italy’s quality Prosecco producers have heightened their focus on the preservation of a region’s cherished history and culture found in that sparkling white wine. For those producing Prosecco within the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G., it’s about bringing this famous and important wine back to its roots. The region of Prosecco as an important wine producer was thought to have once been the source of wines most prized by Pliny the Elder. In those ancient times, Prosecco would have been a still white wine because the sparkling method used today in Prosecco production, known as Metodo Martinotti, was not invented by Federico Martinotti until 1895.

Part of what makes Prosecco so popular is what differentiates it from that other world-famous sparkling wine produced in France. Metodo Martinotti is also known as Metodo Italiano (or the Méthode Charmat in France, after Frenchman Eugène Charmat adopted the process for broader production). It is contrasted to the production method used in making Champagne in that the secondary fermentation process—where the bubbles come from—takes place in large stainless steel tanks as opposed to inside each individual bottle, as with Champagne. The result is a wine that is fresh, fruit-forward, approachable and reliably crisp.

Prosecco Pop from Castelli

Castelli celebrates the region’s importance with a “bottle green”  Italian-made 50/50 wool/polyester fabric that Castelli states “is probably the softest you’ve ever felt.” You get the comfort and softer look of wool, but with thoroughly modern moisture management. And the 2020 commemorative Giro threads will have you looking cooler than the other side of the pillow, particularly with the understated woven Prosecco Superiore arm patch.

$150; catelli-cycling.com

Pop Your Own Prosecco

Valdo Marca Oro Brut Prosecco DOC

Founded in 1926 Valdo has been doing it for a long time, making traditional Prosecco from the Glera grape in and around Valdobbiadene. This wine balances freshness and fruit with the classic notes of Prosecco, and can often be had for about a Hamilton. Well-balanced structure, matched with aromatic fruity fragrance make it the perfect pairing with starters and particularly with delicately flavored dishes such as seafood.

$12-$15; valdo.com

Villa Marcello Millesimato Prosecco DOC Brut

Villa Marcello was built in the 17th century in Fontanelle, within the Prosecco DOC of Treviso. Used as a former hunting mansion, the estate was given new life when the land was converted to vineyards by the Contessa Elisabetta Galvani Onigo. On the nose, complex with fruity notes of pears and apple, with a dominant floral note of wisteria and acacia blossom. Elegant, intense, and full-bodied on the palate with a long lasting finish. For less than a Jackson you approach Prosecco’s real sense of elegance.

$18; mazzei.it

Mionetto Prosecco DOC Organic Extra Dry

Made from grapes cultivated without the use of chemicals or synthetic fertilizers, it’s produced using a specific vinification process, separation from Mionetto’s other Prosecco wines. A sparkling Prosecco with a persistent perlage, it merges delicate fragrances of acacia blossoms and strong tastes of golden apple, pineapple and orange. The fact is that this wine packs an incredible value and if you were to pour it for your hoity-toity wine friends blind, they may mistake it for a bubbly from a particular part of northern France. Incredible value, even by the standards of a region that always over delivers like Prosecco.

$14; usa.mionetto.com