On the 20th June, Swirl Wine Group collaborated with Decanter to host a series of Masterclasses during Decanter’s prestigious Great Sparkling Exploration in the featured Region: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG.
Sarah Abbott MW and Decanter’s content director John Stimpfig hosted mini masterclasses where they presented five Prosecco Superiore DOCG wines paired with adelightful afternoon tea style canapés of smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, scones and mini onion & brie tarts.
Conegliano-Valdobbiadene is Prosecco’s ancient heart. The DOCG “Prosecco Superiore” was granted to Conegliano Valdobbiadene in 2009 (and also to its small western neighbour, Asolo). The 5,000 hectares of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene vineyards are sub-alpine, hilly, steep and stony. Yields are lower. Hand harvesting is unavoidable. Many small estates make and bottle their own wine, and diversity of wine style is high. Lees-ageing of base wine, slow second ferments, bottle-fermentation, col fondo styles, low sulphur, zero dosage, single site bottles, etc. etc. are all thriving techniques here. Large bottlers are here too (such as the highly praised Santa Margherita), but there are many more small growers and estates than in the DOC. The higher costs of production and the restrictions on scale make Conegliano Valdobbiadene a naturally niche, high quality wine.
Most producers label their wines as “Valdobbiadene” or “Conegliano-Valdobbiadene” more prominently than “Prosecco”. Their sense of patrimony, heritage and guardianship of these steep, ancient vineyards demands it.