From Bottega, Innovation And Tradition Reveal New Treasures Of And From Prosecco

He writes with love a book so finely illuminated and conceived, it makes the heart ache. The 100 Prosecco Recipes is by Sandro Bottega who, with his siblings Barbara and Stefano, leads the eponymous third-generation, family-owned and run distillers and winemakers based north of Venice. It is true to the exquisite prosecco and grappa tasted below. 

Il Vino Dei Poeti Ancestrale Spumante is a vintage (2018, we think!) prosecco made in the artisanal way that predates methode traditionelle used for champagne. It is bottled while fermenting, the process being completed in-bottle. Unlike champagne, no secondary fermentation is initiated by dégorgement and dosage. It is unfiltered, ages on its lees until drunk, and bone-dry. Grapes are glera, with a little moscato—the former from clay-rich, alluvial soil, the latter on well-drained, sea bed and volcanic rock. Growing conditions: mild winter; warm, dry summer; wide diurnal temperatures. In a word: ethereal. More: caviar, honey, white flowers, fresh apple, pear. Just fabulous. 

Exquisite Grappa Invecchiata Prosecco is made with the pomace of aromatic Glera grapes used to make prosecco, triple-distilled. Bainmarie and vacuum distillation are employed using certified water from the Alps—the former uses a copper still with an inte rnal chamber immersed in boiling water avoiding contact with naked flame, ensuring gradual, even heating of the pomace, and avoiding burning its essential oils. (As with how steaming is the finest method of Chinese food preparation.) Vacuum distillation reduces pressure, decreases boiling points, and preserves aromatics. The distillate is double-filtered at -20ºC and aged for 12 months in oak barrels made from wood air-dried for at least 24 months in the open (to remove astringent tannins) before being forming barrels that are toasted intensively, in the process, triggering natural reactions in the wood to enhance and soften the grappa’s bouquet.  

A beautiful nose of vanilla and dried fruit that is finely lingering and continuous, like cream, lightly infused with spice; seguing into a melodic finish of cooked or dried fruit dessert, petit fours. Harmony, poise, elegance; not a hint of the cloying. A Maestri Aged Grappa Invecchiata Bottega—dedicated to the Masters of Art and Culture—is also derived from a similar Glera pomace, offering a beguiling profile with spicy hints and an ‘intense persistence’ thanks to its long ageing in wood.

These elixirs are made by “people who live in difficult places”, as Bottega writes. “Simple and intelligent men and women who are tireless and have a sharp memory, ones for whom a handshake is enough to seal a contract. Their strongest feature is their serenity, which they draw day in and day out, and they cherish and hand down ‘the treasure of Prosecco’ from one generation to the next.”


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