Prosecco is produced exclusively in the neighbouring regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in north-eastern Italy. Situated in between the Dolomite mountain range and the warm, Adriatic sea, the Prosecco region enjoys a mild microclimate with generous rainfall and sunshine. The lush, green hills surrounding Trieste, Treviso and Padua are home to thousands of hectares of vineyards, interrupted only by ancient churches and picturesque villages.
The exact soil type here varies between vineyards, but is generally a mixture of limestone, clay, marl and marine sandstone. When coupled with the temperate climate, these soil conditions make this region ideally suited to cultivating Prosecco’s Glera grape.
Within the Prosecco region, there are a number of smaller terroirs that are thought to produce superior quality Prosecco. A length of hillside running between the small towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene provides one of these terroirs: this is part of the DOCG zone, where a complex combination of environmental and human factors creates exceptional conditions for wine production. The south-west facing vineyards on this hilly strip in the Province of Treviso get plenty of sunshine, and the chalk and limestone soil means that the roots of the vines must penetrate deep below the surface to absorb water and nutrients. The hills around Cartizze are equally famous for their Prosecco; here, the hills are so steep that the grapes must be picked by hand. The challenging terrain makes for a high quality wine, as vines produce the best grapes when their roots have to dig deep for water and nutrients. In the DOCG zone, which includes Cartizze, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, and Il Rive, the harvests tend to be much lower than elsewhere because the vines are so difficult to access. The low harvests, together with the superior quality of the grapes, means that Prosecco DOCG tends to be more expensive than its DOC counterpart.