The Wine Blog

Italian Sparklers

February 13, 2014

Untitled3Italy is a remarkable source of wine. From the time of the Etruscans to the Greeks to the Romans an unparalleled variety of vines has flourished throughout the country. And sparkling wine enjoys a long standing tradition of both production and appreciation. Even in areas where the principle wines produced are red, such as Piemonte, there is substantial
sparkling wine production.

From the historical Asti Spumante DOC and Moscato d’Asti DOCG, to the fantastic Franciacorta DOC and hugely popular Prosecco from Valdobbiadene DOCG, these wines are meant to celebrate a moment of the day rather than held for special occasions.

 One country: 20 wine-growing regions!


Much like France, Italy categorizes their wines in a hierarchy, according to quality

73 DOCGs: Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita denotes the highest quality recognition for Italian wines. It is comprised of a small number of first-class wines. Strict rules and regulations must be followed for a wine to make it into this category.Untitled2

 330 DOCs: Denominazione di Origine Controllata Wines that fall under the DOC category must be made in specified, government defined zones, in accordance to particular regulations that are intended to preserve the wine’s character.

120 IGTs: Indicazione di Geografica Tipica These table wines are often native wines that are grown in specific geographical growing regions. There are exceptions however – some of Italy’s best wines fall under this category simply to avoid the strict regulations associated with higher categorizations.

Vino da Tavola: This designates wines that are considered “lower end”. Consisting of what many consider Italian “table wines”, whose only criteria is that they must be produced somewhere in Italy.


Sparkling wines of Italy categorized

Asti Spumante (Piedmont)Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 5.04.22 PM

Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont)

Franciacorta (Lombardia)

Classic Oltrepo Pavese  (Lombardia)

Classic Talento Spumante (Trentino)

Prosecco Conegliano- Valdobbiadene (Venice)

Prosecco (Venice)


Types of Prosecco:

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 5.04.46 PM“Il Fresco’ Brut Prosecco: 90% Glera, 10% other

“Rustico” Valdobbiandene Brut: 100% Glera

“Il Fresco” rosé brut: 90% Glera, 10% Pinot Noir

“Riva di San Floriano” Valdobbiadene Superiore brut: 100% Glera


Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 5.04.57 PMSweet Sparklers from Piedmont:

Coppo Moscato d’Asti: 100% Moscato bianco

Banfi Rosa Regale: 100% Bracheto

Martini & Rossi Asti: 100% Moscato

The US is the biggest importer of Italian Sparklers

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 5.06.54 PM

Untitled4Ciro Pirone is the Director of Italian Wines at Horizon Beverage Group. He has worked and studied in Italy and England, and moved to the US in 1999. He has worked in restaurants and the hospitality industry since he was 14. Ciro is happy to share his passion for Italian wine and culture in an effort to give the American wine consumer a better understanding and appreciation for Italian wine!