Racing to Glory – Bubbles and Fizz – An F1 Story

22nd March 2024

F1 Crowd

Have you ever looked carefully at the glass or better – the flute of the sparkling wine? What do you see?

Bubbles…Right? Bubbles which are rising from the bottom towards the top, some together, some ahead of the others, literally racing to the top to unleash happiness!

It is but the destiny of the bubbles to reach to the top and their character to race up to that point, sounds familiar right? Because there is one more place where exactly the same thing happens… which is Formula 1 Racing (And Also LIFE if you are Confident and Competitive enough)!

Most of the Sparkling Wine Fans know what Formula 1 is, but for those who don’t, Formula 1 is the apex motor racing sport in the world, with the fastest engines and speediest cars racing every season which lasts a year, all over the world, on closed loop tracks called circuits garnering points to ultimately be crowned champions.

The F1 is a costly affair and strictly regulated by a stringent set of rules called the ‘Formula’ hence the name, Formula 1 where 1 signifies the grade level of the Formula Rules.

Now, to all my Vinophile friends… do the words “Stringent Rules – To Be Followed By Everyone Involved – Costly Affairs – Luxury – Hierarchy – And A Healthy Competition” ring a bell?

It sure does for me, as it reminds me of the AoPs, DoCs, PDOs, AVAs and all sorts of Wine Quality Hierarchal Classifications, where in to produce the finest quality of wines the Vineyards and Wineries are categorized, classified as well as regulated for quality and even quantity.

Now, everyone may or may not know the nuances of these classifications but they sure know at least one of these that is… the AOC of Champagne! This region in Northern France has popularized, acquainted and made people fall in love with sparkling wine all over the world. The peculiar method of production, high quality and refined taste have taken Champagne – The sparkling wine this region produces, to almost insurmountable heights.

Yet, there are brilliant sparkling wines other than Champagne which possess their own set of unique qualities and characteristics and have their own niche and fan following, be it Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy or Sekt from Germany or the vibrant Australian Sparkling Reds, bubbles spread happiness wherever they are!

One such sparkling wine is the ‘Spumante’ from Italy which is not a Prosecco (Since Prosecco uses only Glera Grapes) produced in the Trento DOC of Italy, and that is what we are going to talk about today.

The Trento DOC is one of the 332 DOCs (Denominazione d’Origine Controllata) in Italy and is nestled in the North Eastern hilly South Tyrol region of Italy.

Now, why Trento, because a particular wine house in Trento is breaking new ground in the world of sparkling wine, not only this but Viticulturally speaking, the Sustainable Ethos of Trento has raised this region in high regard and impressed the Viticultural minds everywhere including me.

So before getting into the particulars of this special wine house and into the factors of what makes it special, let’s have a look at the Trento DOC and its mysticity…

The Trento DOC has a unique Terroir of mountainous terrain from the Dolomites along with a Mediterranean climate; this, coupled with the strong diurnal variations, microclimate from the vicinity to Lake Garda and the perfect altitude of 200m to 800m (656ft to 2625ft) gives it a prized favourable climate for growing our favorite varietals and making some really excellent wine or as they say in Italian Ottima Vino!

The Trento DOC is blessed with a good climate, but what makes it more special is its Viticultural approach, which is strictly sustainable with an upward graph in area under organic vineyards as well as their philosophy of respecting Nature and harmonizing production in accordance with its rhythms and cycles.

All this assures quality of production and here there is one more good thing that the climate is not just favourable for growing grapes but also for processing them and how, by facilitating the classical method for making sparkling wines and that is exactly what the people at Trento are doing… Making sparkling wine called Spumante!

This Spumante is different from Prosecco which is mostly made from the Glera grape variety, such that the Spumante is made up from Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), Pinot Bianco is also sometimes used.

These grapes are grown on special Trentino Pergolas which are best suited to the sloping hilly terrain and are harvested meticulously by hand to create one of the finest Spumantes.

Now, there are 67 wine houses which are involved in sparkling wine production in Trentino, one of which is the one we are about to explore… The house of – Ferrari Trento was established in the year 1902 by Giulio Ferrari, a maestro vino creating an excellent sparkling wine as good as Champagne, from the grapes used in Champagne, by the Methode Champanoise i.e. the Classical Method, in Italy; and the result was amazing, where by the year 1952, the production had reached upto 9000 bottles. At this point in time, Giulio being old and without a child chose a fellow vinophile and wine shop owner Bruno Lunelli as his heir and now as of today Ferrari Trento is governed by the third generation Lunellis and makes about 7 to 8 million bottles per year!

But the reason why Ferrari Trento is making waves is its association with one of the world’s most coveted Sports Leagues – The F1, Ferrari Trento has been the official toast of F1 since the year 2021 and is stated to be so until the season of 2025.

The apparent reason for Ferrari Trento replacing its predecessors Carbon (2017-2019), Domaine Chandon (2016), Mumm (2000-2015) and Moët & Chandon (1966-1999) was saving on cost where on average Champagne costs approximately at least 6 times the cost of the Ferrari Trento, but not the least of this means the quality is downgraded, in fact, if not better I would definitely say it is comparably good.

Although, the reason for the selection of Ferrari Trento, I believe it has to be its Sustainability approach, the way they are handling climate change with 100% Organic and Carbon Neutral Vineyards. I believe that Ferrari Trento is way more than just an F1 toast, it is a solid voice in Sustainable Viticulture which has found a perfect stage in F1!

Yet, it must be noted that Giulio Ferrari and his company Ferrari Trento are completely unrelated to Enzo Ferrari and the team Scuderia Ferrari (literally meaning The Stable of Ferrari). Enzo was born 19 years later and 200km South of Giulio; the commonness of the last name is just a divine coincidence!

Talking about the bubbles in the bottle, a Ferrari Trento Jeroboam, yes a Jeroboam which is a 3 litre bottle format used for prolonged celebrations as well as to elevate the victory aesthetic would contain a beautiful Cuvée of 100% mountain side Chardonnay, a Blanc de Blanc of fine perlage and smooth finish, and the perfect expression of the Dolomite Terroir in its intense nose of ripe fruit and hints of hazelnut, along with the yeast speaking to you through the whiffs of bread crust and the Mediterranean climate pronouncing its way with the mineral and citrusy finish. The aging is done for 38 months on the lees making it a Reserve which makes it a premier sparkling wine with soft, fine bubbles in a beautiful bright straw yellow elixir of happiness…

Champagne is no doubt one of the best and most acclaimed sparkling wines and its crown is here to stay, but there are many upcoming wine houses which may not be in Champagne but are rulers of their own kingdom and exude that same richness which is desired by every sparkling and fine wine lover. That being said, let it be noted that this article is not in any way sponsored or an endorsement of Ferrari Trento. It came straight from my heart as Ferrari Trento happens to be at the exact intersection of my love for Vines, Wine, Sustainability, Bubbles and F1 and when it came to writing my first article on Bubbles at Glass of Bubbly, it was my obvious choice without any second thought.

On a lighter note, in today’s times when people are concerned about the popularity of wines, it is exhilarating to know that the thing which is symbolizing victory and happiness in one of the most elite and exciting sporting events in the world is our very own sparkling wine – Champagne or Trento or any other bubbly… it assures us that the bubblies and the wine is here to stay – Creating Fizz and Spreading Love.

Aditi Patil

Green Coach, Green Designer, a Horticulturist and Chairperson at Greenflorescence, taking the world a step closer to Nature with Landscaping and Viticulture! Aims to initiate meaningful conversations and educate people about the grapevine and highlight the importance of sustainability through viticulture and through courses, articles, podcasts and content.