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Winemaker Luca discusses Glera as a historic name for Prosecco

glera prosecco tondo lungo

Blog curator Jeremy recently asked Bele Casel winemaker Luca to share his thoughts on the grape name Glera.

Here’s a little background…

According to Wine Grapes (Robinson, Harding, and Vouillamoz, Ecco [HarperCollins], London-New York, 2012, 853), “As part of the promotion of Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene to DOCG status and the enlargement of the Prosecco DOC zone in 2009, the Prosecco Consorzio set in motion an official name change so that this principal grape variety is known as Glera, its supposed Friulian synonym, and Prosecco is reserved for the designation of origin, effectively preventing producers from other regions or countries taking advantage of the name Prosecco to designate any old sparkling wine…”

Here’s what Luca had to say…

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How do you feel about the name Glera for Prosecco, a usage that was adopted in 2009 by the Prosecco Consortium?

The name “Glera” is horrible. But in my view, it was the quickest and easiest path to protect Prosecco.

Which clone is more prevalent these days, Prosecco Tondo or Prosecco Lungo?

Prosecco Tondo is no longer used. These days, only Prosecco Lungo clone ISV [Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura] 19 is used. It’s one of the best, a less productive variety with sparse bunches.

What are the advantages for a winemaker/bottler who reclassifies her/his wine as Glera IGT as opposed to Prosecco DOC or DOCG?

In certain areas (and unfortunately they are too large), the wines made from Glera take their name from the Prosecco DOC or the Prosecco DOCG.

The choice to make a wine called Glera [and not Prosecco] can be due to a variety of reasons.

1) In Asolo, maximum yield is 120 quintals per hectare; 134 for Conegliano-Valdobbiadene; 180 for the DOC; and 250 for Glera IGT.
2) Wines made from Glera grapes are not monitored in the vineyard, nor in the cellar.
3) [An official neck] band is not required and so a case or two (and sometimes many more) can be sold under the table.
4) Glera IGT costs less when purchased in bulk and the reduced cost makes for lower retail pricing.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. friend and winemaker Renzo Montesel told me years ago that the lungo variety was his preference. in another life he was/is an agronomist and through his research found that variety to be great to work with. His Prosecco is delicate and ethereal as well. thanks for the report – there are good Prosecco wines out there -

    January 19, 2013

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  1. Glera, “the name is horrible but…” #Prosecco « Do Bianchi

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