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Prosecco DOC 101: The Essential Guide to Italy’s Bubbly Treasure

Discover Prosecco DOC: Italy’s sparkling white wine. Crafted from Glera grapes, it delights with a range of dry to sweet flavors. Cheers! 🥂

Prosecco DOC is a sparkling white wine that originated in Italy. It is made from Glera grapes and can range from dry to sweet in taste, depending on the area of production and production methods. With the ever-increasing demand for Prosecco worldwide, it is important to understand its history, production methods, and regulations to appreciate and enjoy this delightful Italian classic.

In this article, we will discover where Prosecco DOC is made, the grapes used in its production, the tank method of production, and regulations designed to protect its integrity. By understanding what differentiates Asolo Prosecco DOCG from Colli Asolani Prosecco DOCG, you can learn to recognize the nuances between the two styles and why they are so popular today.

Amidst the growing popularity of Prosecco worldwide, Bella Principessa stands as a shining example of exceptional quality and sophistication. Discover the distinctive qualities that set Bella Principessa Prosecco apart and embark on a refined and memorable sparkling wine journey.

Moreover, you’ll get to grips with the Prosecco DOC Consortium, the mysterious government seal, and much more! So, if you’re ready to discover everything you need about Prosecco DOC, keep reading!

Short Summary

  • Prosecco DOC is an Italian sparkling white wine with a protected geographic designation label made from Glera grapes.
  • The tank method is a winemaking process to produce sparkling wines such as Prosecco, Asti, and Lambrusco.
  • The Prosecco DOC Consortium has implemented a rigorous authentication system and selling regulations to protect the reputation of Prosecco DOC.
Bella Principessa Prosecco bottle in the vineyard
Have you ever wondered how many types of Prosecco are there? Join us in the vineyard and discover the secrets of Prosecco, from the classic DOC to the complex DOCG.

What is Prosecco DOC?

Prosecco DOC is a type of sparkling wine produced using the tank method, which can be either dry or off-dry. It is the flagship wine of the Prosecco region in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, and is made from Glera grapes, formerly known as Prosecco.

Prosecco DOC comes in two varieties: fully sparkling and lightly sparkling styles. The fully sparkling variety is called Spumante, while the lightly sparkling variety is known as Frizzante. Both types are highly aromatic and flavorful, with hints of yellow apple, pear, white peach, and apricot.

What is Prosecco Superiore DOCG?

Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a designation that represents the highest quality tier of Prosecco wines. DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, which translates to “Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin.”

This prestigious classification ensures that the Prosecco Superiore wines are produced in a specific region in northeastern Italy, encompassing the hilly areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.

The DOCG status imposes stringent regulations on grape cultivation, winemaking techniques, and aging processes, resulting in exceptional sparkling wines with superior characteristics. Prosecco Superiore DOCG is known for its finesse, delicate aromas of white flowers and fruits, and a crisp, refreshing taste that delights the palate. It is the epitome of excellence in Prosecco, making it a sought-after choice for those seeking a truly exceptional sparkling wine experience.

Is Prosecco DOC sweet or dry?

Prosecco DOC offers a range of sweetness levels, from the dryest to the sweetest, including Zero, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, and Dry. Zero and Extra Brut contain less than 5 grams of residual sugar per liter.

The dryest styles of Prosecco DOC offer a clean and crisp flavor, while the sweeter varieties are more full-bodied and flavorful. The amount of residual sugar in the wine determines sweetness levels in Prosecco DOC. Prosecco DOC can range from dry to sweet depending on the desired sweetness level, with the sweetest styles offering an aromatic and fresh taste.

"Bella Principessa's high quality Prosecco Superiore DOCG from Asolo -
Enjoy the exquisite Bella Principessa Prosecco Superiore DOCG from Asolo –

Where is Prosecco DOC made?

Embark on a journey through Prosecco Italy with our road map itinerary
Experience the beauty of Prosecco, Italy, with our road map itinerary in Conegliano Valdobbiadene.

The Prosecco region is situated in the northeast corner of Italy, south of the Alps and the plains between Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto. Prosecco DOC, Asolo-Prosecco DOCG, and Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG are officially recognized production areas for Prosecco. These areas produce some of the best Proseccos in the world.

The unique conditions of each Prosecco production area yield wines with distinct flavor profiles and quality levels, with Asolo and Conegliano-Valdobbiadene widely regarded as the most premium denominations of Prosecco.

Superiore di Cartizze is a highly esteemed Prosecco, produced exclusively in the Cartizze valley, characterized by its steep hills and south-facing vineyards.

Prosecco DOC

Prosecco DOC is an Italian sparkling white wine with a protected geographic designation label of DOC, which stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or “controlled designation of origin”. This sparkling wine is produced using the Martinotti or Charmat method, which involves secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Prosecco DOC is typically crafted in a dry, brut style. This sparkling wine is typically served chilled and is characterized by its delicate aromas and light body, making it a popular and refreshing aperitif.

The most popular Prosecco DOC wines are made from the Glera grape variety and may contain Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, and Chardonnay. In some areas, a semi-sparkling version of Prosecco DOC may be produced, referred to as Prosecco Frizzante. This type of Prosecco is lighter in body and typically has a lower alcohol content than the brut version.

Prosecco DOC is produced in Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino, and parts of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene – Prosecco DOCG

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG is an appellation in Treviso, Italy, renowned for producing premium wines with intense flavors. At least 85% of the blend must be composed of Glera grapes, with the remaining 15% allowed to be comprised of Italian white grapes or international varieties such as Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG has a crisp acidity and offers notes of green pear, ripe yellow apple, stone fruit, and white flowers. The persistent mousse balances these characteristics. This appellation is renowned for producing high-quality Prosecco wine with distinct and concentrated flavors. It is sourced from a smaller region south of the Dolomite Alps. It offers a distinct microclimate that enables the Glera grape to achieve a higher level of ripeness than in other parts of Veneto while preserving its acidity and aromatic complexity.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG typically carries a significantly higher price tag than standard Prosecco DOC. The subzone of this appellation, Rive, is renowned for its steep hills and unique microclimates that yield superior-quality wine.

Superiore di Cartizze

Superiore di Cartizze is widely regarded as the highest quality Prosecco and is the only subzone of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, located in the Cartizze valley. This Prosecco must be made from vineyards cultivated on steep hills in the valley, harvested by hand, and yield lower yields.

Superiore di Cartizze Prosecco is characterized by its highly concentrated and complex aromas, including notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, grapefruit rind, yellow apple, ripe pear, and almond. This Prosecco is typically finished in an off-dry style for the Italian market, labeled as ‘dry’ on the bottle. However, wineries have begun producing Cartizze Brut, and even Cartizze Zero, with only 0.5% residual sugar, to meet the demands of export markets that prefer dry wines.

The label typically denotes Superiore di Cartizze as Valdobbiadene – Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze DOCG, although Conegliano Valdobbiadene – Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze DOCG is also accepted.


Rive is a term used to describe vineyards on steep slopes renowned for producing some of the finest examples of Prosecco. These vineyards are situated in five provinces of the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions, stretching from the foothills of the Alps to the Adriatic Sea.

The distinguishing features of Rive vineyards are their steep inclines, which provide optimal drainage and exposure to the sun, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and develop intense flavors and fragrances. The Rive label is intended to showcase the unique character and flavor of the wines produced, creating a distinct identity for the product.

Currently, there are 43 Cru vineyards recognized by the term Rive.

Grapes Used in Prosecco DOC

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Join us for a memorable Prosecco vineyard luncheon in Asolo Veneto with Bella Principessa Prosecco Blog.

Glera is the primary grape variety utilized in producing Prosecco DOC, capable of yielding high quantities and well-suited for sparkling wine due to its delicate body and elevated acidity. Pinot Nero is the grape variety employed in producing Prosecco Rosé, crafted from at least 85 percent Glera grapes and 10 to 15 percent of the grape.

The Prosecco grape was officially renamed to Glera as a result of legal considerations, and Prosecco DOC regulations permit the inclusion of up to 15 percent of the following grape varieties: Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera Lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Nero.

The Prosecco DOC designation has been extended to encompass nine provinces in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions.

Renaming of Prosecco Grape

The Prosecco grape was renamed per the Prosecco DOC and DOCG regulations, and the current appellation of the Prosecco grape is Glera. Before its renaming, the Prosecco grape was referred to as Prosecco Tondo, and the change of the Prosecco grape’s name to Glera was undertaken to differentiate the grape from the wine and safeguard the Prosecco name.

This alteration of the Prosecco grape’s name is of great importance, as it allows the Prosecco region to protect the quality of its sparkling wines and maintain a high level of excellence.

What is Prosecco Doc Rosé?

Prosecco DOC Rosé is an enchanting pink sparkling wine from Italy’s Prosecco region. Crafted with a blend of Glera and red grape varieties, it captivates with its refreshing taste of strawberries and raspberries. Sip it as an apéritif or pair it with light dishes for a delightful experience.

In 2020, the esteemed Prosecco Consortium authorized the production of Prosecco DOC Rosé, ensuring its adherence to strict quality standards and granting it the prestigious DOC designation.

During its creation, Glera and red grapes are carefully harvested and then skillfully blended. The red grape skins gently infuse the juice, imparting alluring colors and flavors. Through a secondary fermentation process in closed tanks, the wine achieves its signature effervescence.

Prosecco DOC Rosé delights with its delicate character, offering an enticing bouquet of strawberries, raspberries, and floral nuances. Its pale pink hue is a sight to behold. Joining the ranks of Prosecco classics, it is perfect for celebratory toasts and pairs harmoniously with light and flavorful cuisine.

Remember, Prosecco is exclusively reserved for wines originating from the illustrious Prosecco region, ensuring unrivaled quality and authenticity. Bella Principessa Prosecco DOC Rosé invites you to discover a new dimension within the Prosecco category, where sparkling wine embraces the allure of rosé. Indulge your senses and embark on a sparkling journey with Bella Principessa Prosecco DOC Rosé. Here’s to the most enchanting moments in life!

Experience the best Prosecco Rose with Bella Principessa Prosecco Doc Rosé from
Indulge in the finest Bella Principessa Prosecco Doc Rosé from

Pinot Nero

Pinot Nero is the Italian name for the red wine grape, commonly called Pinot Noir. Pinot Nero wine is typically characterized by its dryness, light- to medium-bodied structure, and vibrant acidity. Its complex flavor profile includes cherry, raspberry, mushroom, and forest floor notes, with a hint of vanilla and baking spice when aged in French oak.

This grape variety is highly suitable for blending with other varieties to create a more complex and interesting sparkling wine.

Production Methods

Unveiling the secrets of Prosecco's best bubbly: Martinotti Charmat Method. Read the article on
Discover the fascinating secrets of Prosecco’s best bubbly with our exclusive article on

The tank method, also known as the Charmat method, creates Italian sparkling wines such as Prosecco and Asti in large stainless steel tanks under high pressure. This method is advantageous as it is cost-effective and requires less labor.

In the production of Prosecco, the tank method yields a fresh and fruity beverage that is best consumed while young. The process begins with crushing and pressing white grapes, from which the free-run juice is extracted and poured into a stainless pressure tank known as an autoclave. This initiates the first fermentation, resulting in the production of a lower-alcohol base wine.

Subsequently, yeast and sugar are added to the same tank, sparking the second fermentation. As the yeast converts the sugar into alcohol, carbon dioxide is produced, creating the sparkling character of the wine.

The tank method intends to facilitate a more cost-effective and less labor-intensive process, achieved through utilizing large stainless steel tanks and high pressure.

Tank Method

The tank method, also called the Charmat method, is a winemaking process involving a secondary fermentation in sealed tanks containing the carbon dioxide produced from the fermentation process. This method is primarily used for the production of Prosecco and Lambrusco wines. It is employed to create Italian sparkling wines such as Prosecco and Asti in large stainless steel tanks under high pressure.

The tank method yields a vibrant and refreshing Prosecco that is best consumed while young. Additionally, it is cost-effective, thus contributing to the international success of Prosecco in Italy. Prosecco produced using the tank method is characterized by its fruity and fresh flavor and is best enjoyed when consumed young.

Furthermore, the tank method is a more efficient and cost-effective approach to producing sparkling wine when compared to the traditional method. Additionally, it is better suited for producing larger volumes of wine.

Nevertheless, some winemakers contend that the traditional method yields wines of superior quality with more intricate flavors and aromas.

Protecting Prosecco DOC Sparkling Wine

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The Prosecco DOC Consortium is a body dedicated to promoting and preserving the esteemed reputation and traditions of Prosecco DOC. It ensures that Prosecco DOC is produced by established production regulations and approved provinces, thereby safeguarding its reputation.

The Prosecco DOC Consortium has implemented a rigorous authentication system to ensure that only wines produced per the regulations can use the Prosecco DOC name. This system is designed to protect the reputation of Prosecco DOC.

Additionally, Prosecco DOC is only available in glass bottles to ensure that the quality and authenticity of the wine are maintained. Selling Prosecco DOC on tap or in cans would make it difficult to guarantee that the wine adheres to the stringent production regulations and authentication system.

Asolo Prosecco DOCG or Colli Asolani Prosecco DOCG

The Prosecco DOCG regions of Asolo and Colli Asolani differ in altitude, weather, and flavor. Asolo Prosecco DOCG is noted for its fuller, creamier texture and finer, more sophisticated bubbles. At the same time, Colli Asolani Prosecco DOCG produces a wine that is slightly less effervescent and more citrusy in flavor.

The tank method of Prosecco production involves the crushing and pressing of white grapes, the fermentation of base wine, the addition of yeast and sugar for a second fermentation, the trapping of CO2, the filtration, and the bottling. This process was pioneered by Federico Martinotti and Eugène Charmat, who granted patents in 1895 and 1907, respectively. The resulting wines produced using this method are commonly referred to as spumante, and in some cases, wines using the Glera variety are called Prosecco Frizzante.


In conclusion, Prosecco DOC is an Italian sparkling white wine protected by the Geographical Instruction of DOC label and various production techniques. Made from the Glera grape, Prosecco DOC can range from dry to sweet, depending on the amount of residual sugar in the wine. Produced in the northeastern corner of Italy, its two varieties, Spumante and Frizzante, offer distinctively aromatic and crisp flavors with hints of yellow apple, pear, white peach, and apricot, making it a popular choice for special occasions.

Three distinctions are closely associated with producing quality Prosecco: Conegliano Valdobbiadene – Prosecco DOCG, Superiore di Cartizze, and Rives. The Prosecco DOC Consortium has implemented stringent authentication and selling regulations to ensure the reputation of Prosecco DOC. Asolo Prosecco DOCG and Colli Asolani Prosecco DOCG offer unique flavor profiles due to the difference in altitude and climate, making them an exquisite addition to a meal or gathering.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or looking to host a dinner party with friends, Prosecco DOC provides a wonderful addition sure to please every palate. After all, as we’ve come to discover, there is simply no substitute for high-quality Prosecco DOC.

Prosecco DOC 101: Bella Principessa Prosecco. An Italian Bubbly Treasure

Frequently Asked Questions

What does DOC mean on Prosecco?

DOC on Prosecco indicates a designation of controlled origin which guarantees that the wine originates from a specific geographical area. This area is the provinces of Valdobbiadene, Conegliano, and Treviso, certified by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, where bottles must follow certain production criteria to be identified as DOC Prosecco.

These criteria include the type of grapes used, the minimum alcohol content, and the maximum grapes yield per hectare. The DOC Prosecco also has a specific label that must be used on the bottle.

The Summer’s Pink Panther: Bella Principessa Prosecco Doc Rosé from

Why Is Prosecco DOC sweet or dry?

The most common type of Prosecco DOC is a dry, brut style, but its fruity flavors give it a perceived sweetness. Thus, the overall taste of Prosecco can be classified as dry yet pleasantly sweet.

What type of wine is Prosecco DOC?

Prosecco DOC is a sparkling wine produced in Italy that contains at least 85% Glera grapes and other permitted grape varieties. Its fruity flavor and aroma add to its widespread popularity among sparkling wines.

This sparkling wine is produced in the Veneto region of Italy and is made using the Charmat method, which involves a secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank. This method helps preserve the freshness and flavor of the wine.

Where is the DOC for Prosecco?

The production area of Prosecco DOC is located in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of northeastern Italy. The area comprises nine provinces: Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste, and Udine in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Belluno, Padua, Treviso, Venice, and Vicenza in Veneto.

What does Doc mean on Prosecco bottles?

Designation of Controlled Origin (DOC) is an Italian quality control system used to designate and guarantee wines of high quality from specific regions in Italy. DOC is a certification that a Prosecco has been produced using specific grapes grown within the protected designated areas, thus assuring superior quality.

Where is Friuli Venezia Giulia?

Friuli Venezia Giulia is a captivating region located in northeastern Italy. Bordered by Austria and Slovenia, it offers a unique blend of cultures and influences. This diverse region is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including the beautiful Adriatic coastline, the majestic Julian Alps, and verdant rolling hills. Friuli Venezia Giulia is also celebrated for its exceptional wines, with vineyards dotting the countryside producing world-class varieties such as Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Refosco. The region’s rich history and cultural heritage are evident in its charming towns and cities, where ancient Roman ruins coexist with elegant Venetian-style architecture. From exploring historical sites to indulging in culinary delights, Friuli Venezia Giulia offers a captivating journey for visitors seeking a unique Italian experience.

Why is Pinot Bianco Mentioned With Prosecco Wine?

Some Prosecco producers incorporate Pinot Bianco as a blending component to enhance their sparkling wines’ complexity and flavor profile. While the Glera grape remains the primary grape variety in Prosecco production, the addition of Pinot Bianco can provide fresh acidity and delicate aromatics contributing to a vibrant and well-balanced character. Not all Prosecco wines include Pinot Bianco, as the decision to use this grape variety in the blend can vary among producers based on their preferences and winemaking style.

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