Alcoholic Strenght is the measurement of the concentration of the ethyl alcohol in wine. The degree of alcohol is equivalent to its percentage by volume. In most countries, it is mandatory to specify the alcoholic strength of wine on the label. In Europe, the fermented grape juice must reach at least 8.5 %alcohol before it legally constitutes wine, and as a general rule should not exceed 15%.


The characteristic aroma or fragrance of a wine.


Corked wine.


In Italy, by law, the label of a Prosecco bottle must state the amount of residual sugars present in the wine (see Residual Sugar). Said amount is defined through technical words particular to Prosecco. Brut means that the wine bears less than 12 g/l of residual sugar; the taste is quite dry, albeit fruity.


Superiore di Cartizze is the cru (see Cru) of Valdobbiadene, the heart of the Prosecco region; its 107 h are located is the small, very hilly area the Valdobbiadene municipality. The production of Cartizze is regulated in the Consorzio Tutela del Prosecco DOCG Book of Rules, where the boundaries of the Cartizze vineyards are specified, and its production (no more than 120q/ha) regulated. The name of Cartizze on the label of a bottle is only granted to the winery which can certify that their grapes come from the Cartizze vineyards. Coming from such a small, protected and delimitated area, Superiore di Cartizze is the top selection of the Prosecco production, thus its higher price.


Also known as Martinotti Method or bulk process, is the method used to produce Prosecco. The wine undergoes the second fermentation (see Presa di Spuma) in stainless steel pressure tanks (see Pressure Tank).


Colfondo is the name of Prosecco made with the traditional wine-making technique. The second fermentation takes place in the bottle instead of the pressure tank. Through this method, the wine stays on its lees, and the traditional bubbles form naturally. By law Colfondo is classified as Frizzante, that is semi-sparkling, as it contains less carbon dioxide than Spumante. Colfondo is the original Prosecco; it is how the wine was made before the invention of the Charmat method (see Charmat Method). It is now drunk by connoisseurs, as it is a small production.


Cru means vineyard selection; it is a vineyard producing a wine of high quality, usually classified and regulated by governing bodies. For Prosecco, Rive and Superiore di Cartizze is the top cru.


French winemaking term relating to the specially blended base white wine that will be made to undergo a secondary fermentation in the production of sparkling wines. It also refers to a blend of different wines in general.


DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata: this means that the provenance of the grapes used in a wine is certified by law. In particular to Prosecco, in order to be able to write DOC on its label, the wine must be made of at least 85% of Glera grapes and 15% of Verdiso, Perera, Bianchetta, Pinot e Chardonnay, and said grapes must come from 9 municipalities in the Veneto and Friuli regions as specified by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture; also, the wine must be bottled in said municipalities. The production must not exceed 180q/h.


DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. This is a step up from DOC, as for Prosecco there are only two DOCG, Conegliano-Valdobbiadene and Asolo. It is a certification of the guaranteed provenance of a wine, along with a quality reassurance. In order to have the DOCG brand on the label the wines undergo 5 technical steps every year, vineyards must not produce more than 135 q/h and are restricted to particular municipalities in the Veneto region. Inside DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene there are two crus, that is Cartizze and Rive.


In Italy, by law, the label of a wine bottle must state the amount of residual sugars present in the wine (see Residual Sugar). Said amount is defined through technical words: Dolce refers to residual sugars content higher than 50 g/l. It is a remarkably sweet wine.


In Italy, by law, the label of a Prosecco bottle must state the amount of residual sugars present in the wine (see Residual Sugar). Said amount is defined through technical words particular to Prosecco: Dry means that the wine bears residual sugars between 17 and 32 g/l. The taste is toward the sweet taste, in oenology, it would be called semi-dry.


In Italy, by law, the label of a Prosecco bottle must state the amount of residual sugars present in the wine (see Residual Sugar). Said amount is defined through technical words particular to Prosecco: Extra Brut means that the wine has residual sugars comprised between 0 and 6g/l. Extra Brut is a very dry type of Prosecco, the ideal of who wishes to eat a full meal accompanied by Prosecco.


Semi-sparkling. Wines with bubbles that contains less than 2.5 atmospheres of carbon dioxide at sea level and 20 degrees C; semi-sparkling wines have less carbon dioxide than regular sparkling wines. As far as Conegliano- Valdobbiadene Prosecco is concerned, Frizzante is the classification found on the label of Colfondo (see Colfondo).


Glera is the type of grape which by law must be 85% of the Prosecco composition. The remaining fraction can be composed of Verdiso, Perera, Bianchetta, Pinot or Chardonnay. All the grapes must come from the area indicated in the Prosecco Book of Rules.


Incrocio Manzoni is a Veneto autochthonous vine created during the ’20 by Dr Luigi Manzoni, the Dean of the Scuola Enologica di Conegliano. Dr Manzoni created 4 vines: Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13 Riesling Renano x Pinot Bianco (white grapes), Incrocio Manzoni 2-15 ProseccoxCabernet Sauvignon (red grapes); Incrocio Manzoni 13.0.25 Raboso PiavexHamburg Muscat (red grapes); Incrocio Manzoni 1-50 (pink grapes)


The spent yeast cells that accumulate on the bottom of winemaking vessels after the population has completed the fermentation and has died out. Wine is usually racked (syphoned) off the lees to make it more presentable and to exclude any undesirable sensory effects that extended lees contact might impart. In Prosecco “on the lees” often refers to the Colfondo variety (see Colfondo).


French word used in oenology to indicate on a bottle’s label the number of bottles produced per year. The word Millesimato on a bottle indicates a wine ’s additional level of special characteristics.


See Charmat Method.


Also known as the “Italian Method”, it is the sparkling wine winemaking by pressure tank refermentation. See Charmat Method – Presa di Spuma.


A French term referring to the bubbles in sparkling wine and semi-sparkling wine. The perlage is one of the key factors in determining the quality of a sparkling wine: the bubbles must form an uninterrupted string of minuscule pearls (perle in French) that travel upwards from the bottom of the glass. The more persistent and small, the higher the quality of the prosecco.


Secondary fermentation is the process that gives a sparkling wine its bubbles. It was created in Italy purposefully for the creation of Prosecco. DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, in particular, requires a brief secondary fermentation cycle; Leaving the wine too long on its lees would, in fact, reduce the fruitiness of its bouquet as it would be cancelled by its own lees.


The sealed high-pressure stainless steel vessel needed for the sparkling winemaking process. It is a technological mechanism through which temperature of fermentation the bubbles are managed in wines which need a short period of time on its lees.


Separate vinification, monovarietal grapes.


Residual sugars are Any sugars left in the wine after the fermentation is complete and the yeast have completed their life cycles and have died out. In Prosecco, residual sugars are the elements that give the characteristic aroma to the wine. In Italy it is regulated by Law how many residual sugars are allowed in a Prosecco; the words that define such amounts are on the labels of Prosecco bottles. It is important to note that these words seem to contradict the actual sugar content; that is due to the mixed use of Italian and French terms in winemaking over the centuries, thus creating this rather complicated classification. The chart below will help you navigate through a Prosecco label:

  • Brut Nature/ Pas Dosé: less than 3g/l – extremely dry to the palate
  • Extra Brut: residual sugars between 0 e 6 g/l – very dry to the palate
  • Brut: less than 12 g/l – dry to the palate
  • Extra Dry: residual sugars between 12 e 17 g/l – typical Prosecco
  • Dry: residual sugars between 17 e 32 g/l – semi-sweet to the palate
  • Medium Dry: residual sugars between 35 e 50 g/l – rather sweet to the palate
  • Dolce: over 50g/l – a sweet wine.

Each gram of sugar equals 4Kcal per Liter.


Rive is a classification of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore: along with Cartizze, is a cru (see Cru) of the area. The term “rive” refers to the very steep hillsides vineyards of 43 villages in the municipality of Valdobbiadene. According to the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Book of Rules, the Rive vineyards must yield no more than 130q/h of grapes only harvested by hand; on the label of the Rive bottle, it is mandatory to signal the municipality of the Rive and the Millesimo (see Millesimato), along with the other mandatory categories. This process is specifically designed to protect the peculiarity of the hillside territory within Valdobbiadene.


See Presa di Spuma.


Production of wine whose colour falls somewhere in the spectrum between red and white. To make a pink wine, you need pigment from dark-skinned grapes. Rosé sparkling wines are often created through white winemaking process (see White Winemaking).


See Presa di Spuma.


In white vinification, soft pressing is the modern mechanized operation used to crush the berries in their median area, thus obtaining the highest sugars content liquid.


Sparkling wine. In Prosecco definitions, Spumante is the type of Prosecco produced by the Charmat Method (see Charmat method).


The process of traditional sparkling winemaking. It also refers to the Secondary Fermentation process. See Presa di Spuma.


In order to understand the differences among Proseccos, it is important to understand the label on a bottle, which in Italy is strictly regulated by law. Superiore is a classification of sparkling Prosecco. On the label of a bottle of Prosecco, the Italian law regulates the definitions allowed: for DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene and DOCG Asolo spumante (see Spumante) after the title Prosecco you must see Superiore. This is a guarantee of grape’s provenance, wine-making method, and quality of the final product.


See Colfondo.


Any wine in which there is perceptible residual sugar. Sugar is perceptible, depending on the individual taster and the composition of the individual wine, at about 1.5 per cent.


French oenology word which means earthy local flavour. Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and terrain affect the taste of wine. Some regions are said to have more ‘terroir’ than others. It refers to the natural provenance of the flavours of a wine. For Prosecco is often used in the description of flavours of Cartizze and Rive


Tranquillo (literally calm, quiet) is a type of Prosecco without bubbles.


See White Winemaking.


White winemaking is the first step in the process used in the production of Prosecco: the first step is to liberate the juice from the berries through soft pressing (see Soft Pressing). Unlike in red winemaking, where you can crush the fruit and immediately begin fermentation without other preparation, white winemaking requires carrying out a series of steps before the juice undergoes fermentation. Also, the juice is more delicate and prone to oxidation, meaning that is less forgiving of technical mistakes. In particular, White Winemaking is used to make rose’ wines from red grapes, as the juice spends virtually no time on its skins.