Prosecco is more than just a type of sparkling Italian wine. Like many of the finest wines from around the world, it is named for the place it calls home. The finest Prosecco is from a region in Italy just north of Venice known as Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG. To make things easy – and to remind you that it is the best – it is also called Prosecco Superiore DOCG.
Made from native Italian grapes, the Prosecco Superiore DOCG is grown and produced in a designated area encompassing 15 Italian towns between Conegliano (KOH-neh-L’EE’AH-noh) to the east and Valdobbiadene (VAHL -dohb-BEE’AH-deh-ne) to the west.
All Prosecco made in this ancient region that benefits from stony soil and cooling Mediterranean breezes has an identifying DOCG strip on the bottle, as well as one or both town names Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. One hundred and seventy-eight wineries rely on grapes grown on steep hillsides by thousands of family farmers to produce mostly sparkling (and some still wines) with incredible flavor and complexity.
There are two “sub-zones” within the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, called Rive and Cartizze, which indicate even more specialized growing areas within the larger region.
Rive: In the local dialect, “rive” refers to steep hillside vineyards. Rive wines are made exclusively from hand-picked grapes grown in 43 different hamlets and villages. In addition to the DOCG designation on the label, Rive wines will also have the name of the specific commune on the label. Different soils and microclimate will produce subtle nuances in these limited bottlings.
Cartizze: Prosecco labeled “Cartizze Superiore”, is grown and produced on 262 hillside acres in three tiny towns within Valdobbiadene. Considered the “grand cru” of Prosecco, wines with the Cartizze designation offer a deeper color and elegant, full-bodied flavor.