Prosecco DOC Tasting With Neil Phillips aka The Wine Tipster
16th May 2022
Step into the world of Prosecco DOC with our experienced tour guide, Niel Phillips aka The Wine Tipster
Neil Phillips is the UK brand ambassador for Prosecco DOC, representing and showcasing the world of Prosecco DOC to the UK since 2014.
Prosecco can only be produced in a certain region in the North-East of Italy, called the Prosecco Region.
You can identify any bottle of Prosecco DOC by the blue DOC label around the next of the bottle
DOC stands for ‘Denonimazione di Origine Controllate’
Prosecco DOC, in 2020 had 24,450 hectares of vineyards with 1,169 winemakers and 347 Prosecco houses.
Prosecco is made possible by the Glera Grape, at least 85% of the Prosecco must be made from this grape, and if you want a Rosé Prosecco, between 10-15% of the Nero grape must be added.
The Sweetness Levels of Prosecco
- Brut Nature (0 grams of sugar)
- Extra Brut (3-6 grams of sugar)
- Brut (6-12 grams of sugar)
- Extra Dry (12-17 grams of sugar)
- Dry (17-32 grams of sugar)
- Demi-sec (32-50 grams of sugar)
How Much Prosecco is Produced?
In 2020, 500 million bottles of Prosecco DOC were made, turning over an estimated 2.4 billion euros. Villa Sandi, one of the Proseccos which we tasted with Neil Phillips, turned over 121 million euros in 2021, which was an increase of 33% from 2020.
Out of the 500 million bottles produced, 79.9% with Sparkling, 3.4% with Sparkling Rosé, 16.7% was Semi-Sparkling and less than 0.1% was Still.
Out of the 79.9% Sparkling, the following numbers is split down into the sweetness levels each produced.
- Brut Nature (0.1%)
- Extra Brut (0.3%)
- Brut (24.1%)
- Extra Dry (67.1%)
- Dry (8%)
- Demi-sec (0.4%)
Going onto the Sparkling Rosé, the highest production was the Extra Dry
- Brut Nature (0.1%)
- Extra Brut (0.3%)
- Brut (26%)
- Extra Dry (73.6%)
Brut Nature is the hardest to find Prosecco, with Extra Brut and Demi-sec following close behind, because of how small the production is, Extra Dry and Brut are the two most common levels of Prosecco.
Where Does All The Prosecco Go?
In 2020 they exported 70.8% of Prosecco DOC to England and Europe, and 22.5% to North America, third place would be taken by the Russian and Asian markets with only 3.6%, although Prosecco has been breaking through more in the Asian market.
When it comes to sales, during 2020, the USA took home the title of most money spent on Prosecco DOC.
- United States – 128.6 euros
- United Kingdom – 114.9 euros
- France – 27.4 euros
Considering a lot of Prosecco DOC is exported across the world, Italians themselves still enjoy Prosecco, in 2020, 106 million bottles of Prosecco DOC were opened and enjoyed in Italy, accounting for 21.5% of the market. The foreign market takes 78.5%, with 394 million bottles.
When looking closer to see where in Italy Prosecco is enjoyed, the North of Italy takes the crown, with the North East account for a whopping 39% and the North West following close behind with 34%, heading down to Central Italy, they account for 18% and the South and the Islands amount to 9%.
As with many of the Prosecco Houses, Sustainably is vitally important to them, I’m going to use Villa Sandi as an example as they are at the forefront of this endeavor, in 2020 they won the Glass of Bubbly Sustainability Award in Partnership with SlowFood, and the bottle of Prosecco DOC which we tasted from Villa Sandi with Neil Phillips is 100% Organic and you don’t lose a bit of the quality in making Prosecco this way.
Following will be the tasting notes from myself and Christopher Walkey, the No.1 Prosecco taster on Vivino.
Aroma 👃 “White fruits, white floral with ripe pears on the aroma.”
Flavour 👅 “Dry and silky green apples, green citrus, saline and white blossom flavours”
Aroma 👃 “Extra brut though still fruity in style. White fruits, green pear, white floral aromas.”
Flavour 👅 “Dry initially then a silky burst of green apple, dark green pear, white blossom, soft citrus / saline.”
Aroma 👃 “Silky and smooth green pears and green apples, green grapes, grass and more on the aroma.”
Flavour 👅 “A lovely green fruit expression, freshly cut grass, hints of herbs, perfectly ripe pears and more on the palate.”
Aroma 👃 “Silky lime zest, green fruit aromas.”
Flavour 👅 “Green apple, dark green pears, freshly cut grass in flavours. Always a silky, creamy taste sensation from wine making Stefano.”
Aroma 👃 “White floral, green fruits and minerals on the aroma.”
Flavour 👅 “Apple flesh, white floral, green citrus and soft lemon zest on the palate.”
Aroma 👃 “Floral, mineral, green pear aromas.”
Flavour 👅 “Fruity with a touch of green fruit zest. Apple flesh, white floral, soft lemon zest in the palate.”
Bosco Del Merlo
Aroma 👃 “Elegant creamy floral, blossom, yellow rose petals, and white pear aromas.”
Flavour 👅 “Delicate flavours, with white floral, blossom and fruits and honeysuckle, this taste of the highest quality.”
Aroma 👃 “Very impressed. Almost Cartizze’esque! Very high quality vintage, DOC though biting higher levels so shows the advancement of DOC region. Soft, silky white floral, yellow rose petal, white fruit flesh, hints of citrus in aromas.”
Flavour 👅 “Fruity yet with immense elegance. Clever winemaking. Yellow pear, light green apple, white floral / blossom / honeysuckle in the palate. A 4.5 star for a DOC Prosecco from me! Hearty congratulations.”
Aroma 👃 “Lovely pink rose petals and pink floral, with wild strawberries, red apple flesh and red berry flavours.”
Flavour 👅 “Delicious strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant, with hints of saline and wet stones on the palate.”
Aroma 👃 “Extra brut so very rare production. Soft expression of pink rose petals, wild strawberry, red apple flesh on the nose.”
Flavour 👅 “Fruity style, touch of saline acidity in mid-length then relaxes to a silky raspberry, pink floral close. Fine for gastronomy.”
Aroma 👃 “Pink floral, pink blossom, freshly squashed strawberries, coming onto strawberry ice cream on the aroma.”
Flavour 👅 “Creamy strawberry, so close to strawberry ice cream, hints of raspberries with minerals on the palate.”
Aroma 👃 “Silky, yet zesty pink fleshed fruits, pink floral on the nose.”
Flavour 👅 “Relaxed pink character. I’m loving the balance between Glera and Pinot Noir. Red apple flesh, strawberry, raspberry, touch of strawberry pastry on the palate. Most enjoyable glass of DOC bubbly.”
Aroma 👃 “Silky pink floral, strawberries and raspberries aromas.”
Flavour 👅 “Lovely delicate red berries, strawberries, raspberries, with garden herbs flavours.”
Christopher Walkey Tasting Notes – “I have been to this winery a few times, well worth a visit! Soft, almost creamy pink rose petals, raspberry juice, strawberry palate. “
You can watch the full video of the tasting here:
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Information Credit: Export Sales
Source: Institutional Bodies and House Sparkling Companies
Image Credit: Italian Flag
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.