Sunday, May 21, 2017

24K Magic in the Air: Bottega Gold Prosecco

It Really is Liquid Gold!

Ok, so if you know me, you know that I love vini Italiani and I loooovvvvee prosecco!  I sip prosecco almost every day as an aperitivo.  I stumbled upon these beauties a few years ago while in Italy and I fell in love.  It's about time that I share the goods...or should I say, 'gold?'  Bottega Gold Prosecco is definitely a liquid treasure!

Photo Credit: Bottega SpA

About Bottega

Photo Credit: Bottega SpA
Alexander Blown Glass
on Bottega Grappa
Bottega SpA, originally known as Distilleria Bottega, is located in the Veneto region of Italy and was established in 1977 by Aldo Bottega, who followed in the footsteps of his forefather, winemaker, Domenico Bottega.  While Bottega initially made grappa, in 1992, they began producing Il Vino dei Poeti, a Prosecco that was their segue into the wine market. The 1995 launch of Fragolino helped to solidify their position in the industry.  Bottega acquired their head office in Bilbano di Godega di Sant'Urbano in 2007.  This area, which is close to the Venetian alps, proves to be ideal for wine-growing and producing prosecco due to its climate and the hills of Valdobbiadene.  As Bottega continued to grow, direct management of two wineries in Valpolicella and Montalcino followed between 2009 and 2011. This acquisition served to help them control the production of Amarone, Brunello and other varietals indigenous to these regions.  In 2011, the Alexander Blown Glass factory was opened in Pianzano.   Alexander is a trademark under Bottega, where artistic bottles are produced.  Today, Bottega SpA is distributed in more than 120 countries worldwide.  
Hills of Valdobbiadene, Italy

Here's a little more about Bottega's History:
BOTTEGA - Presentazione Aziendale (ITALIANO)

About Prosecco

The sparkling Italian white wine, known as Prosecco, is made from Glera grapes.  Glera, formerly known as Prosecco grapes, was named after a regional town with the same name.  In making prosecco, up to 15% Glera grapes are used, along with other varietals such as Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Verdiso and a few others.  Both Prosecco DOC and DOCG are produced. Prosecco DOC, which is produced in nine provinces between Veneto and Fruili Venezia Giulia, can be sparkling (spumante), semi-sparkling (frizzante) or still (tranquillo).  Prosecco Superiore DOCG is available as Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, which can only be made in Treviso between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, and Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, which is made near the town of Asolo.

Charmat, also known as Metodo Martinotti or Metodo Italiano, is the method used when making Prosecco.  This method was first developed and patented Federico Martinotti in 1895 and expounded upon by Eugène Charmat in 1907.  In regards to production, the wine, sugar and yeast are mixed in stainless steel tanks. Once the sugar is converted into alcohol, the yeast is filtered and removed. Second fermentation takes place and the wine is bottled until the desired bubble or sparkle quality is achieved. 

Now, let's get more acquainted with Bottega Gold Prosecco.

The Wining Hour's 24K Prosecco Tasting: 

The Bottega Gold line was launched as a limited edition in 2001. It wasn't long before everyone wanted the gold, and it was distributed in Duty Free and the best bars all over Europe, America and Asia.

Although the focus of this writing is on my other tasting (below), I would be remiss if I didn't include my this one.

Bottega Gold IL Vino Dei Poeti,  Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Spumante Extra Dry
My first experience with Bottega SpA was in Italy, of course.  I had the pleasure of tasting Il Vino Dei Poeti, and this is, by far, one of the best Proseccos I've ever tasted. According to Bottega SpA, "Vino dei Poeti is a name that evokes the way poets, artists and art lovers raise their glasses to toast the joy of being alive and drink their beloved light, fragrant sparkling wine." Exactly. This prosecco transports me to Italy with every sip. There is no question that this is a high quality prosecco. Glera grapes are picked in cases by hand to produce this wine. The must is extracted via soft pressing. Following is "static decantation and fermentation with selected yeasts coming from the production area. Second fermentation (usually with must and wine) in autoclave occurs according to the Charmat method at a temperature of 14-15° C. The wine is then cold stabilized at a temperature of -3° C and finally filtered and bottled."

Il Vino Dei Poeti is pale yellow to the eye.  On the nose, are floral notes of acacia and honeysuckle. The palate delights with yellow apple, pear and honeysuckle. Fresh, crisp and dry.  Rich and persistent.  IL Vino Dei Poeti is perfect as an aperitivo and will go well with almost anything.

This bottle of bubbles absolutely evokes life and energy.  I search for it on every trip to Italy and I am beyond delighted when it is in my glass.  However, Bottega Gold does not stop here.  Their sparkling portfolio is hidden treasure. 
Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC
Bottega's Venetian Gold Prosecco is a spumante made with Glera grapes grown in the Valdobbiadene hills. The grapes are picked manually and then soft pressed.  In line with the Charmat method, the must is stored in stainless steel then fermented for nearly 40 days, with the addition of selected yeasts. Afterwards, it is filtered and bottled. The length of fermentation affects the quality of the bubbles, as longer fermentation preserves aromas and leads to finer and bubblier bubbles. Bottega Gold Prosecco is a straw yellow spumante, with floral and fruity scents of lily, pear and melon.  The palate is dry, tasting of green apple and citrus blossom. Elegant and persistent.

Bottega Rose Gold Prosecco DOC
Bottega's Rose Gold Prosecco is a spumante made from Pinot Nero grapes. Those who love rosé or bubbly rosé will love this one. As Bottega harvests manually, these grapes are hand picked and vinified at a controlled temperature. Typical when making rosé or other skin-fermented wines, the skins stay in contact with the must for 24 hours. Then the must and skins are then separated by soft pressing and followed by fermentation. The year after the harvest, second fermentation occurs in steel containers.

Bottega Rose Gold is salmon-pink in color. A nose of cranberry, strawberry and rose petal and wild strawberry, red currant and celery on the palate.  This bubbly rosé of Pinot Noir is a real treat, perfect for any occasion.  It is delicate with good acidity.  

The golden, metallic bottles were selected to protect the wine from light, preserving its aroma and freshness thus giving the wine a longer life.  Note: Unless you are a very skilled at taking photos, it is very hard to photograph these beautiful bottles without capturing the reflection of the surroundings as well!  Nevertheless, these bottles are very classy and the contents are golden!
Despite the fact that these bubbles did not stay around long in my house, Il Vino Dei Poeti, as well as both Bottega Gold Prosecco and Bottega Rose Gold Prosecco demonstrate excellent perlage, or the ability to retain its effervescence.  Bottega Gold Proseccos are trendy, deliciously refreshing and worth their weight in gold.  These sparkling wines will definitely get a party started, take any celebration to the next level and make anyone feel special whenever they are consumed.  Go for the gold.
Photo Credit: Bottega SpA
About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #WiningHourChat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit­­­

Saturday, May 13, 2017

#Vinitaly2017: 51 Years Of Innovation #Wine #Vino

Highlights from Vinitaly 2017 Verona, Italy

Vinitaly “where business meets tradition, innovation and glamour,” is “the leading wine event in the world in terms of exhibition area and international operator and visitor numbers.”  This international wine and spirits exhibition event embraces the historic city center of Verona and, for 2017, it extended to Bardolino on Lake Garda. Vinitaly included many activities, b2b meetings, workshops and a multitude of tasting events.  There was the Executive Wine Seminar organized by VIA-Vinitaly International Academy, Tasting Ex…press and other numerous tasting events.  Additionally, Sol&Agrifood and Enolitech were held in conjunction to highlight the biodiversity of the local area and to provide an overview of the quality Italian food and wine sectors based on culture, products and unique technology.

Milan Expo 2015:
Vino: A Taste of Italy
Milan Expo 2015:
Vino: A Taste of Italy
Vinitaly debuted in 1967 and has continued to expand each year and receive global recognition. Milan Expo 2015 showcased the Vino: A Taste of Italy pavilion, which was the first ever dedicated to wine in the history of the Universal Exposition. The expo featured 150,000 bottles, about 800 tastings and was visited by 2.1 million people.  Read more with our post on Milan Expo 2015

Milan Expo 2015:
Vino: A Taste of Italy
 The 50 year celebration in 2016 was inaugurated by President Sergio Mattarella.

This year (2017) marked the 51st anniversary of Vinitaly in Verona.  Verona, Italy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Verona is beautiful and the whole city relishes in the festivities.  Vinitaly was held for four days, April 9-12 and attendance is always extremely diversified, with Vininternational and international exhibitors, as well as many international buyers. While the event attracted more than 49,000 international visitors from 140 countries last year, 2017 saw even greater numbers. There were over 4200 exhibitors and over 2100 journalists in attendance from all over the world.

The City of Verona, Italy

Arena di Verona, Piazza Bra

Ponte Pietra, Verona
It is without question  that Vinitaly is “the event that more than any other has marked the evolution of the wine system on a national and international scale, helping to make wine one of the most exciting and dynamic realities in the primary sector.”

The Wining Hour(s) at Vinitaly:
In terms of wine, Italy is confirmed as the world’s largest producer for the second consecutive year, with an estimated 50 million hectoliters in 2016.  The country is also the second largest exporter in terms of volume and value.* There are 75 DOCG, 344 DOC and 118 IGT wines.  Vinitaly celebrated and represented every part of Italy, and also highlighted wines from the main international wine-making countries.

*Source for world statistics: ISMEA based on OIV and HIS/Global Trade Atlas data 2016

A major highlight was our participation in a vertical wine tasting with Fattoria di Montemaggio. The Montemaggio Estate is located in Radda in Chianti and situated where there was once a 14th century tower.  MonteMaggio, or Monte Maggiore, means big mountain, indicating its elevated position. They specialize in Chianti Classico, of course, and their wines provide an elevated experience for the palate!

Montemaggio certainly did not hold back in giving us the good stuff!  Dennis (cellar guy) bought out wine after wine.  Our vertical tasting consisted of:

1999 Chianti Classico di Montemaggio
This vintage showed that it is still very much alive and kicking. Earthy, leathery notes, limited red fruits such as ripe plum.

2007 Chianti Classico di Montemaggio
This is an amazing vintage.  Notes of graphite, sand and ripe fruits, like cherry and blackberry. The typical light color of Sangiovese is evident.  We learned that no chemicals are used, but instead, indigenous yeast.  Dry ice is also used to preserve the must against oxidation.  This also preserves the aromas and further extract the color.  

2011 Chianti Classico di Montemaggio
This is the vintage on the market now. An intense and elegant bouquet, balanced, mineral, earthy notes.  This wine is a very different vintage.  It's young, more fresh, less concentrated.  It is a mixture of characteristics of the previous two.

Montemaggio Chianti Classico Riserva
paired with yummy Ribollito 

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva di Montemaggio
The riserva is clearly an old style, big barrel-aged wine.  Even after 20 years, the fruit is still there. This is a balanced vintage, with smooth, round tannins.

2004 Chianto Classico Riserva di Montemaggio
Only 4500 bottles of this vintage were made.  This wine would pair perfectly with ribollito, or wild boar stew (and it did!)  The color of this wine is much richer, deeper.

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva di Montemaggio
The color is a more intense ruby red and full of spice.  This wine is elegant, with smooth tannins and leathery notes.  It is very well balanced. 

2010 Chianti Classico Riserva di Montemaggio
Spicy plum, chocolate and vanilla on the nose.  Black cherry and coffee on the palate.  Pleasantly tannic with a lingering finish.

We discussed Montemaggio's new Etruscan logo, and how it represents women as growers of wine or viticulturists.
Montemaggio's Logo

Notetaking as Ilaria speaks about Montemaggio Vini 
2003 Torre di Montemaggio
Torre is a Merlot di Toscana, made with 100% Merlot grapes. It is aged in barrique and then tonneaux. This vintage was a low yield, but has long life. Great for aging.  Torre is intoxicatingly aromatic, with baking spices, vanilla, red berry fruit and anise on the nose. This vintage is packed with flavor, balanced and more towards the full-bodied end of the spectrum. Montemaggio's Torre is truly a game-changer.  This was my favorite vintage of Torre. 

2006 Torre di Montmaggio
The tower of Montemaggio is on the label. This vintage has aromas of vanilla with notes of clove. Very tasty.

2007 Torre di Montemaggio
Intense purplish-red and very aromatic.  Elegant and smooth like velvet on the palate, Torre is full of rich, dark berry fruit, ripened red plum and black cherry, spicy vanilla, chocolate, coffee and cedar. Ok, actually, I cannot decide between the 2003 and 2007.  I just need cases and cases of both vintages!

2015  Rosé di Montemaggio
This delicious, refreshing rosato is an IGT, and is an organic Tuscan wine made from 100% Sangiovese grapes.  Bright rose color, with strawberry and mineral notes.  A beautiful summer wine. We discussed the pink, reusable glass cork, which preserves the quality and the authentic taste of this wine. 

We had a wonderful vertical tasting and 'wining hour' experience with Montemaggio at Vinitaly 2017. Special thanks goes to Valeria (owner) and Ilaria (manager) for hosting, and to Katarina of Grapevine Adventures for facilitating this tasting.  Be sure to check out our other experience with this winery at their estate in The Marvels of Montemaggio Vini!

We had our pick of guided tastings, walk-around tastings, vertical tastings and a multitude of other tasting events and exhibits.  Here are a few:

Consorzio del Vino Chianti
Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino

Vinitialy Bio
This exhibit was dedicated to certified organic wine made in Italy and abroad.

Well....of course!  
As there were many contacts to meet, meetings and workshops to attend, exhibits to see, Italian gastronomy to indulge and wines to taste, we could not do it all. We did try though!  Next year, we plan to allocate more time to partake of all the Vinitaly has to offer.  

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit­­­

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