GLERA GRAPE - chaTERISTICS OF THE GRAPE BUNCH WHEN HARVESTED
ANALYSIS OF THE SUGAR CONTENT OF THE GRAPES:
A very easy way to analyze the sugars in grape must is by using a refractometre which is based on measuring the various deviations of light rays (refracting index of light) in different solid soluble substances (in our case, the sugars diluted in must). The greater the density of the liquid (more sugar), smaller will the angle of refraction be and higher the reading of the refracting scale will therefore be. This instrument is completely optical – nothing electronic – and it is easy to use: all you need to do is place a drop of the must on the device’s prism and, by looking through the eyepiece, you can see the level of sugars on the graduated scale.
The amount is expressed in different scales which convert the refracting index into a unit of measurement such as the Brix, Babo or Oechsle scale. The refractometres can be used in different moments in the course of the grapes’ ripening in order to establish their sugar level and therefore choose the best moment to pick them, because a certain level of sugars makes it possible to foresee with a certain precision the alcoholic strength of the future wine (for example, 100gr of sugar turn into about 60mL of alcohol after fermentation).
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND ENERGY VALUES OF THE GLERA GRAPE (VALUES BASED ON 100GR. OF EDIBLE PART)
In addition to the chemical macroconstituents listed here, Glera grapes contain more than 300 different chemical substances. In particular, the family of aromatic substances (for example, terpene, norisoprenoids), amino acids, phenolic compounds, etc., is extremely large.
VARIETAL COMPOSITION OF PROSECCO WINE
PROSECCO WINE & PROSECCO SUPERIORE
Ampelographic base: “Conegliano Valdobbiadene – Prosecco” wines must be produced with grapes coming from vineyards cultivated with the Glera variety; in the winery, up to a maximum of 15% of grapes of the following varieties can contribute to the wine, alone or together: Verdiso, Bianchetta trevigiana, Perera and Glera lunga.
Ampelographic base: The “Prosecco” DOC wine must be produced with grapes coming vineyards cultivated with the Glera variety; in the winery, up to a maximum of 15% of grapes of the following varieties can contribute to the wine, alone or together: Verdiso, Bianchetta trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris and Pinot noir (vinified in white),
Ampelographic base: The “Colli Asolani – Prosecco” or “Asolo – Prosecco” DOCG wines must be produced with grapes coming vineyards cultivated with the Glera variety; in the winery, up to a maximum of 15% of grapes of the following varieties can contribute to the wine, alone or together: Verdiso, Bianchetta trevigiana, Perera and Glera lunga.
CLASSIFICATION SPARKLING WINE
THE CURRENT CLASSIFICATIONS OF PROSECCO
BRUT NATURE, PROSECCO BRUT and EXTRA BRUT belong to the smaller category with lower sugary levels. Indeed, they contain less than 12 grams of sugar per litre.
BRUT NATURE is the driest of the three. It is characterised by an acidulous component which particularly stimulates salivation and therefore drinking. It is great if accompanied by an entrée of any kind.
EXTRA BRUT: the difference between this wine and BRUT NATURE is not always easy to tell. It remains well-structured and has a good level of flavour.
BRUT: As you smell it, floral notes stand out. As you taste it, it is similar to BRUT NATURE and EXTRA BRUT, but with a greater sugary residual which makes it slightly rounder. The nuance of these three is full, with a good level of flavour, acidulous and fruity. Because of the intense palate they are excellent to accompany all types of antipasti, and first course dishes based on vegetables and fish.
EXTRA DRY: its name is apparently deceiving, it has a sugary residual which varies between 12 and 17 grams per litre. It is softer than Brut. It is comfortable to drink as an aperitif and paired with delicate foods, such as vegetable soups and entrées not particularly robust like meat sauces (bigoli pasta with a rabbit and chanterelle mushroom ragù, fresh cheeses or cheeses that haven’t been aged long, and poultry in general).
DRY: This wine is less commonly found, but it is still on the scene, aiming at highlighting the fruity part, green apples and white peaches, its special sweetness turns towards more citrus flavours. It is very soft on the palate, with a semisweet and well-defined hint towards the end. It goes well mainly with puff pastry or fruit tarts and sweet focaccia. However, it is with dry desserts or not very spicy dishes that this wine finds its perfect union.
DEMI SEC: It is known even less and today only a small production within the entire market is dedicated to this wine. It is for the most part consumed with desserts that are not extremely sweet or yeast-based desserts such as “colomba” (Easter cake), sweet focaccia, “panettone” (Italian sweet- bread loaf) and “pandoro” (an Italian sweet yeast cake). Its aroma sends out hints of ripened fruit much more than the Dry version does. Always fresh and very sweet on the palate.