Prosecco and UNESCO World Heritage
2008 marked the beginning of another historical moment for the green embroided hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene.
An aim... a dream... a project... to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 2019 that dream came true, this stunning geographical area has finally been recognised globally as a region which requires protection and sustainability...
Vine growing dates back to ancient Roman times where there is record of celebrations during harvest. San Venanzio Fortunato who was the Bishop of Poitiers (530-607) and from the area describes his home as "Quo Vineta Vernatur, Sub Monte Jugo Calvo, Quo Viror Umbrosus Tegit Sicca Metalla" (“an area where vines bud below the high mountains, and in which the lush greenery protects the more barren zones”)
King Henry III of Poland passed through this area in 1574, on his way to Paris to be crowned King of France, it was in Conegliano that he sourced the white wine which would continuously flow from the Fountain of Neptune.
In 1868 Count Marco Giulio Balbi Valier, published a book about his vineyard where he identified one Prosecco vine which he claimed was superior to all varieties of Glera grape , known as “Prosecco Balbi”.
1876 was a significant one, not just for Prosecco, but for the wine industry in general, when The Conegliano School of Winemaking was founded, it was the first of its kind for Italy and leading the new wave of education that would go on to influence the work of many of the winemakers that the next century.
We are now in the 1900's... and innovation continues with the establishment of the Experimental Station for Viticulture in 1923, followed by the implementation of more distinct geographical boundaries in 1930, limiting production and ensuring a higher quality of all vintages. And as WWII came to an end, the 'Brotherhood of Prosecco' was founded, which in 1962 was renamed the 'Consortium for the Protection of Prosecco from Conegliano and Valdobbiadene' - both of these organisations strived to improve the Prosecco 'brand'.
In 1962 the first ever Sparkling Wine Exhibition was inaugurated in Valdobbiadene, followed by the opening of the Strada del Prosecco (Road of Prosecco) in 1966, the first ever recognised sealed road in Italy which opened its doors to wine tourism which lead the way to Prosecco finally gaining DOC status in 1969 for the 15 communes between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.
In the 1970''s experience was now building and one of the most important contributions to improving the quality of production was a series of books written by Prof. Tullio De Rosa. His texts, such as 'Tecnologia dei Vini Spumanti' has been studied by several generations of students and references the art of perfecting the Conegliano Valdobbiadene method of making sparkling wines.
The industry boomed through the 90's with exports growing and more land being assigned to growing the Glera grape and by 2003 the region was awarded the status of 'First Sparkling Wine District in Italy'. In 2004 the 'District’s Research Centre was founded' and finally in 2009 Conegliano Valdobbiadene became Italy’s 44th D.O.C.G.
Click here to read more about D.O.C and D.O.C.G.
On July 7, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee unanimously voted the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene to join the list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites
Types of Prosecco
- DOCG: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore is a D.O.C.G. sparkling wine produced exclusively in the hills of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene zone, from the Glera grape variety, grown in a denomination made up of 15 communes (municipal areas).
- DOCG Rive: The term “Rive” indicates, in the local way of speaking, the slopes of the steep hills that are characteristic of the zone. This category of wine highlights the diverse expressions of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. Rive wines are often obtained from the most precipitous, high-quality vineyards, from grapes grown in a single commune or area thereof, thus underlining the characteristics that a particular terroir gives to the wine.
- DOCG Cartizze: Absolute top quality within the denomination, Superiore di Cartizze comes from a sub-zone that has had its own specific regulations since 1969. It covers just 107 hectares of vineyards, lying amidst the steepest hillsides of San Pietro di Barbozza, Santo Stefano and Saccol, in Valdobbiadene.
- DOCG Sui Lieviti: This is the name of the traditional Prosecco “col fondo” (“with sediment”), the first version with bubbles to be made in these hills. The yeasts ("lieviti") that give the name to this type of wine are those that fall to the bottom of the bottle in which the re-fermentation takes place, in accordance with an ancient method of making sparkling wines that now is increasingly sought after.
Tours which Visit The Prosecco Region
Bike in one hand, Jug of Prosecco in the other?? Why not!
We have several tours which travel through visiting the Prosecco Region, click here to read more
Prosecco Tours are regularly treated as Custom Tours as to provide the most uinique experience in this very unique region.