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Wednesday 23 July 2014

Sparkling personality

6th November, 2003 by db_staff - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3

Family-owned Prosecco producer Bisol is making waves with its single-vineyard sparklers. By Patrick Schmitt

IT’S BEEN well documented that Italian sparkling wine lacks the glamour and gravitas of Champagne, but not that the steep hills of DOC-designated Prosecco produce some surprisingly elegant spumanti.

Covering 4,100 ha – and divided among 3,500 growers – the region churns out some 39m bottles each year, which, to use the proverbial, is a drop in the ocean compared to Champagne’s 260m.

Among these is a producer some have called the Krug of Prosecco.  A brand known for the quality, as well as complexity, of its wines.  And its name? Bisol.  This family-owned company makes some 500,000 bottles of Prosecco each year from 50 hectares in 16 different areas of the DOC.

It also has the biggest landholding on the Cartizze Hill, the top terroir for the Prosecco grape (Prosecco is both the name of the DOC and the grape) and home to the most expensive vineyards in Italy, which cost up to US$1m per hectare.

Here, at 500 metres above sea level, maximum sun exposure on Cartizze’s steep slopes ensures perfect grape maturation, while a high daily temperature range encourages an aromatic and fruity nature to the wines.

However, this is far from the only style of Prosecco Bisol produces because its approach is to create a series of single vineyard wines called "Crus".  For instance, there’s the Salis, Molera (a still wine) and Crede, each named according to the nature of the soils on which the grapes are grown – Salis being sandstone, Molera morainic outcrops, and Crede clay.

Then, as well as the already-mentioned Cartizze, there’s Fol and Garnéi, named after the particular area where the vines are situated – places famed for their terrain.  And five years ago Bisol introduced a new brand called Jeio.

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