What is Prosecco? An Introduction

The origins of Prosecco have been traced back to around 200 BC

So what is Prosecco, and how is it different from Champagne? As the popularity of Prosecco spreads outside Italy and throughout the rest of the world, this is a question that more and more people are asking. Like Champagne, Prosecco is a dry, sparkling wine, and, like Champagne, it’s a protected wine, which is defined by both its unique qualities and its history.

Prosecco takes its name from an ancient village near Trieste, where the wine was first produced from the Glera grape. The origins of Prosecco have been traced back to around 200 BC, when the Romans colonised this part of Italy and planted the first grapevines. What today we call ‘Prosecco’ is thought to be the same drink that the Romans refer to as ‘Puccino’ in ancient writings. The first written documentation of the word ‘Prosecco’ doesn’t appear until the mid-eighteenth century, when Aureliano Acanti famously wrote ‘And now I would like to wet my mouth with that Prosecco with its apple bouquet.’

It is this light, fruity flavour of Prosecco which, to this day, remains one of its defining characteristics. Prosecco’s aromatic nose and velvety bubbles make it a refreshing aperitif, so you can understand why the drink has been one of Italy’s most valued exports for hundreds of years. By the 1700s cultivation of the Glera grape had grown significantly, and Prosecco had become a profitable export to Venice and the Germanic countries nearby. Now, over 200 years later, Prosecco is experiencing a new wave of success. But what is it about Prosecco that makes it so appealing today?

The renewed success of Prosecco is due to a combination of different factors. Its characteristically fresh and fruity taste is easy to enjoy, and its relatively low price-tag makes it an increasingly popular alternative to Champagne. Add to this the introduction of new laws in 2009 designed to protect the high quality and authenticity of Prosecco, and you’re halfway to discovering what it is that makes Prosecco so popular. If you want the full answer to ‘What is Prosecco?’ – then read through the rest of this web site to find out more.