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Prosecco: A Growing Promise

It is no secret that business is bubbling for Italy’s Prosecco producers. Total Prosecco sales here in the U.S. now easily surpass Champagne sales and are still growing at a 25% clip.  With a friendly, fruit-forward profile, lower alcohol content and moderate price tag, more and more customers are choosing to forego traditional Champagne and order Prosecco instead. It seems that Prosecco has carved out its own niche, a bubbly with a more informal, sprezzatura image, bucking the conventional notion of formality, celebration and splurge. In fact, along with a smaller, but undeniable Cava resurgence, Proseccos have boosted sparkling wine consumption in the U.S. by nearly 50% in less than a decade. 

Currently, with over 200 Prosecco brands in the U.S., a market segmentation has begun to take place and a few rare artisan brands stand apart from the crowd. VOVETI, a DOC Prosecco from Friuli-Venezia Giulia with a fresh, graceful profile and tempered acidity, is quickly becoming a popular choice in the on-premise. This new sommelier favorite is aged nearly four times longer than the average Prosecco and is bottled with higher pressure, producing finer, smaller bubbles, beautiful mousse and lasting perlage. Backed by more than 200 years of family winemaking expertise, VOVETI is an attractive choice for restaurants, from the casual communal-table bistro to the modern chef-driven dining room. 

“For Friulian winemakers, the flavor of the fruit and the natural acidity is everything,” notes Karen MacNeil, of The Wine Bible. “This devotion to purity is a fairly rare philosophy in the world of white wine.”

 

The Vow of Two Families

Built on the foundation of a sparkling wine heritage developed over generations, VOVETI began with an idea conceived by the Ferrers, the famed wine family of Barcelona. Their sparkling wine expertise and reputation has grown over four generations, and their portfolio includes the traditional method Cavas of Freixenet and Segura Viudas in Spain, Champagne Henri Abelé of France, and Gloria Ferrer, the ultra-premium sparkling wine from California's Carneros region. With such wealth of experience crafting notable sparklers in classic appellation like these, the family sought a suitable partner for a Prosecco.

The goal was to make a superb, limited production Prosecco, and after surveying possibilities, the Ferrers approached the Collavinis of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, an Italian family with an equally impressive reputation and pedigree.  As with the Ferrers, the heritage of the Collavini family spans four generations. They had established an enviable worldwide reputation for crafting balanced wines lauded for their freshness, finesse and unbridled personality. And they, too, remained steadfastly a hands-on family operation.

“After spending a great deal of time in Italy, our family developed a deep admiration for the Collavini wines, which have real charm and exuberance,” said Pedro Ferrer, Chairman of the Freixenet Group. “They make superb food wines, and we are very pleased to have them working with us on VOVETI. With a high quality but limited production, we intend to target mostly restaurants and fine wine stores.”

The promise of Friulian white winemaking precision that the Collavinis bring to the table is evident in VOVETI, an artisan sparkling wine that is both a pleasure to drink and expressive of Italy’s finest Glera fruit. “The families decided to call our Prosecco VOVETI, which is inspired by the Latin word, voveo,” says Ferrer. “It means to vow, to promise.” The experience, innovation, resources and collaborative attention to detail of these two venerable wine families ensure a noteworthy Prosecco imbued with style and substance – and yes, great promise.  

“VOVETI is different from other wines in the sparkling category because it is more complex than other Proseccos,” said Ashley Philips, sommelier at Island Prime in San Diego. “VOVETI is a great value for its taste.  It has a better bond and complexity and is refreshing and fits a lot of different palates.”

 

The Promise of Two Regions
Just as VOVETI unites two families, it also links two renowned regions of northeastern Italy: the famed Conegliano-Valdobbiadene corridor in Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, home of arguably the most gifted white wine producers.

VOVETI’s hand-harvested fruit predominantly comes from hillside vineyards in the villages of Valdobbiadene, Vidor and Col San Martino — all located in the famed Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG corridor.  Known as the vineyard epicenter of Prosecco, this 20 mile corridor is marked by rolling hillsides of chalky, clay, calcareous soils and bathed in cooling Adriatic breezes, ideal conditions for growing Prosecco grapes. VOVETI’s fruit is sourced from multiple vineyards (much like French Champagnes) which endow VOVETI with a lively fruit profile and a mosaic of complex flavors, textures and dependable consistency.

Upon harvesting, the hand-picked grapes are rushed 90 miles east to the Collavini Winery in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, considered the birthplace of some of Italy’s most modern and respected white wine producers. Winemakers in Friuli focus on modern, innovative techniques and technology designed to preserve the pure varietal flavors of the grapes to create clean, crisp white wines. Friulian wines are renowned for their finesse and personality in the glass, and VOVETI, which is a Friuli DOC, is an ideal example of Friuli’s exemplary heritage.

The VOVETI Promise Delivered
Since launching in the U.S. in 2011, VOVETI has seen significant, yet restrained growth and has been found in wine stores and prestigious restaurants across the country such as Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Lord Jeffrey Inn (Amherst, MA), Prezza (North End Boston), Piccolo Sogno (Chicago, IL), South Congress Café (Austin, TX), and even Gulfstream Park (Hallandale Beach, FL).  VOVETI is particularly popular in California, with a presence in  Bar Bocce (Sausalito), Bistro Sixty & San Diego Desserts (San Diego), El Encanto Hotel (Santa Barbara), Island Prime (San Diego), One Market Restaurant (San Francisco), San Ysidro Ranch (Santa Barbara), Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar (Sacramento) and Willis Seafood & Wine Bar in California wine country (Healdsburg).

With the expansive growth of this segment of bubbly, a more clear and defining market segmentation, plus new entrants of quality and style like VOVETI, the future looks very promising indeed for Italian Prosecco.

 

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