A sparkling wine for Mother’s Day from a mother and her daughters is apropos when it is Bortolomiol Prosecco Prior Brut, nonvintage.
Natives of Valdobbiadene, an important wine village in Italy’s Veneto region, the Bortolomiol family has been in the wine business for two centuries. Its current generation is led by Ottavia Bortolomiol and her four daughters, Giuliana, Luisa, Maria Elena and Elvira.
Ottavia Bortolomiol’s deceased husband, Giuliano Bortolomiol, set the family on its present course. After World War II, he began the quest of changing Prosecco from a naturally sweet, fizzy wine into a dry, sparkling one.
Prosecco is a white grape that grows best in the Veneto region, and the choicest grapes come from the hillside vineyards around the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.
Sparkling wines are made through a second fermentation; this changes the still wine — the result of the first fermentation — into one with bubbles.
The Champagne method performs the second fermentation in the bottle. Giuliano Bortolomiol perfected a dry Prosecco by doing the second fermentation in pressurized tanks, known as the Charmat method.
By 1960, skepticism from his neighbors and wine regulators gave way to recognition of this modern way to make Prosecco, and the Italian wine authorities granted a new appellation: Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Brut.
In 1991, Gianfranco Zanon began working with Giuliano Bortolomiol, and 10 years later became the winemaker. His Bortolomiol Prior Brut, non-vintage Prosecco is crystal white; an initial aroma of wedding cake or powdered sugar transforms with aeration into almonds and pine nuts. The tiny bubbles rise upward in the flute glass carrying a dry, mineral sensation across the palate.
Prosecco has become a fashionable aperitif throughout Italy and in many upscale restaurants on America’s East and West Coasts. No doubt one reason is its reasonable cost when compared to champagne.
The Bortolomiol Prior Brut, non-vintage Prosecco is made and priced for everyday consumption. In addition to toasting mother this Sunday, this Prosecco is ideal for summer parties where cool, refreshing and reasonable are three words that beat the heat and bring a smile.
The Bortolomiol Prior Brut, non-vintage Prosecco retails for $16.