2018 update: the dates for the new bottle/vintage degustation this spring season are 17th - 26th March by the territory association of La Pro Loco di Santo Stefano and 31st March to 15th April by La Pro Loco di San Pietro di Barbozza. Information on the entire territory and contact details of individual wineries in the area can be found here.
(ps, if you find it difficult to navigate the Italian sites, drop us a line on social media and we will gladly help you!)
No doubt that all you bubbly wine lovers would have had your fair share of prosecco (or prosecci - its plural form in Italian). Just like the geographical denomination for French champagne, for a bubbly to earn its right to be called a prosecco - it has to be grown and cultivated in a special zone located in the hilly village of Valdobbiadene in Italy's Treviso region.
The vineyards circle the hills along a route known as the Strada del Prosecco (The Prosecco Road), which was anointed a little more than fifty years ago, and is best travelled by car, especially if you are indulging in the signature wine tasting trail.The Prosecco trail is not only a picturesque sight with rolling hills and medieval architecture but also offers an opportunity to discover the history and culture of the Treviso region and a slice of the peaceful country life. Most of the vineyards operate an open door policy during business hours, as in you can drop in, say hi and try a few glasses of their most recent bottles. Some require advance notice but it is usually easily arranged even if you were to tell them you might drop in in 30 minutes time!
The growing interest in prosecco in recent years has really helped the winemakers in this region flourish and many now offer B&B and restaurant services to wine enthusiasts who want to spend a night or two in the village.
Some like the Cantina Fasol Menin even offer tango and jazz performances on weekend (the owners are big art and culture aficinados) along with the usual winery tour. The town square is small but charming with a historical church and in spring, the hills go abuzz with activities as the latest harvest have been bottled and it's time to drink up.
It is best to drive to Valdobbiadene from whichever big Italian city that you are coming from, as having a car would really help you discover more of the little corners of the hills, or you could choose to hire a chauffeur and car from the town's tourism office so that you can avoid 'drinking and driving'! If you do come in by train, remember to arrange for pick-up in advance as taxis are hard to come by. Public transport is not for the faint-hearted here.
The full list of recognised prosecco producers are available at the Association's website which also lists down recommended itineraries for visitors including where to stay and what to do. One of our all-time favourites is Gemin - a small family-run producer that has one of the crispiest (perfect for summer) wines we have tasted.