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Asolo: Prosecco’s premier DOCG goes from strength to strength

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Exploring the dynamic DOCG that combines commitment to quality with terroir expression.

In the space of a decade, Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG has gone from being Veneto’s best-kept secret to one of its greatest success stories of recent years. In 2014, the DOCG’s annual production amounted to barely 3 million bottles; by the end of this year, it is expected to reach 30 million. In the last five years alone, production has grown by a staggering 118%. So what’s the secret to the success of the DOCG that has so quickly become the fourth most important appellation for sparkling wines in Italy?

The first is undoubtedly the sense of place. It may be only 45 minutes by car from the provincial capital of Treviso to Asolo, but it is a journey that takes you into another world. Italy abounds in picturesque hill-top villages, but few can compare to Asolo, with its medieval castle and winding cobbled streets against the dramatic backdrop of the Dolomites to the north.

The diverse terroirs of the DOCG

The DOCG zone extends south-east from the river Piave for around 35 kilometres, with peaks reaching up to 500m above sea level. Its boundaries enclose over 43,000 ha, but only 2,700ha are actually planted to vine – a mere 6% of the total surface area. Nearly a third of the remainder is woodland, interspersed with pastures, orchards and olive groves in an untouched rural environment of vibrant biodiversity.


Scroll down for 16 top Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG wines to try


The climate is mild Mediterranean, with the warm air of the plains of the Veneto to the south tempered by cooler currents from the mountains to the north, providing ideal conditions for olive growing as well as viticulture. The first DOC for the area that now corresponds to that of Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG was for red and white wines, uniting two sub-zones with distinct geological origins under the denomination Montello e Colli Asolani.

Montello, to the east, is a long, low hill formed by the folding process of orogenesis; it rises from the plain in the shape of a turtle shell, with gentle slopes and red ferrous soils. This landscape is quite different to that of the conical hills of Asolo, where erosion of the sedimentary soils has created steep slopes, ridges and valleys. Although now dedicated predominantly to Prosecco, historically Montello was best-known for its red wines. We know from an ampelographic survey of the late 19th century that Asolo, on the other hand, has always been associated with white wine production, and in particular with Prosecco.

Wines with unmistakable identity

Asolo Prosecco has a distinctive character, which stands out for its structure and aromatic intensity, but also offers intriguing terroir nuances to explore. Wines from the calcareous hills in the west have the classic floral and white fruit aromas of the variety, while those of Montello are typically drier, more linear and more mineral, and particularly suited to Extra Brut wines.

In fact, Asolo was the first of the Prosecco denominations to officially recognise the ultra-dry style. Across the denomination as a whole, the fruity Extra Dry remains the most popular style, but with a tendency toward lower residual sugar than in the past. Nonetheless, a handful of producers keep faith with the delicious, semi-sweet Dry style, and there is also niche production of the bone-dry and savoury ‘Sui Lieviti’ (literally ‘on the lees’) bottle-refermented wines.

Rejuvenating the DOCG for the future

This extremely dynamic area continues to see significant levels of new investment. The producers’ Consorzio estimates that nearly a third of the 64 current producers are start-ups from the last five years – rejuvenating the DOCG with new ideas and cutting-edge winemaking. Standards are high in the cellar and the vineyard, where there is an increasing trend towards organic viticulture.

One of the great strengths of Asolo is its depth of diversity, which sees small, family-owned artisan winemakers like Bresolin and Bele Casal alongside high-quality cooperatives and négociant-style producers like La Gioiosa, Montelliano, Val d’Oca and Villa Sandi. Perhaps this is the crucial factor at the heart of the outstanding success of a denomination that has seen its surge in production matched by an uncompromising commitment to quality and the expression of its unique terroir.


Prosecco’s premier DOCG: 16 Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG wines to try

Bresolin Extra Brut Benny NV Asolo prosecco

Bresolin, Extra Brut Benny NV

From an organic estate in the hills of Asolo founded in 2012 by three young brothers from a family of growers, this has a floral nose of great refinement and a beautifully balanced palate with a long finish of ripe fruit.
95 points
Alcohol 11.5%

Tenuta Castaldo, Brut 2023 Asolo Prosecco

Tenuta Castaldo, Brut 2023

From the Asolo estate of the Cecchetto family, historic producers in the Piave DOC; classic aromas of white fruit and spring flowers and a fresh, crisp palate with a long, almond and citrus peel finish.
95 points
Alcohol 11%

Villa Sandi, Brut Biodiversity Friend NV Asolo Prosecco

Villa Sandi, Brut Biodiversity Friend NV

The polycentric Villa Sandi source the grapes for their Biodiversity Friend range from their property at Montello; there’s a pristine varietal nose of herbs and yellow fruit, a firmly structured palate and a long, mineral finish.
94 points
Alcohol 11%

Asolo Manor, Brut Figlio della Roccia 2023

Asolo Manor, Brut Figlio della Roccia 2023

Grown on the high slopes of a spectacular hillside vineyard at Asolo with lean, calcareous soils; intense apple and acacia blossom nose and a crisp, juicy palate with a tangy finish.
93 points
Alcohol 11.5%

Bele Casel, Extra Brut Vecchie Uve 2019

Bele Casel, Extra Brut Vecchie Uve 2019

A unique Brut made with long lees ageing, from a plot of 80-year-old vines including rare native varieties; subtle leafy nose and a palate with super-fine texture and savoury intensity.
93 points
Alcohol 11%

Case Paolin, Sui Lieviti, Col Fondo 2022

Case Paolin, Sui Lieviti, Col Fondo 2022

This pioneering, organic estate specialises in the bottled, refermented Col Fondo style; lemon rind and fresh herbs on the nose with lightly biscuity nuances, it’s broad, long and toothsome on the palate.
93 points
Alcohol 12%

Rive Della Chiesa, Brut NV Asolo Prosecco

Rive Della Chiesa, Brut NV

From the extensive range of one of Asolo’s most representative, long-established family producers; a low residual sugar Brut with a nose of fresh hedgerows and an intense, dry and savoury palate.
92 points
Alcohol 11%

Tenuta Amadio, Extra Brut Era Grande NV

Tenuta Amadio, Extra Brut Era Grande NV

An estate rejuvenated by its young owners for a small-scale production of modern, quality Prosecco. Era Grande is a vineyard selection with an expressive floral-citrus nose and terse, mineral palate.
92 points
Alcohol 11.5%

Montelliana, Extra Dry 2023 Asolo

Montelliana, Extra Dry 2023

From the impeccable range of this cooperative of 400 growers at Montello, a classic Extra Dry with intense fruit aromas on the nose, a very juicy, flavoursome palate and a long, fresh finish.
91 points
Alcohol 11%

Andreola, Extra Dry Akelum 2023 Asolo Prosecco

Andreola, Extra Dry Akelum 2023

From a specialist Prosecco producer based in Valdobbiadene that also makes a range of wines from Asolo, including this very floral Extra Dry with a soft, smooth-textured palate and attractive fruit finish.
90 points
Alcohol 11%

Giusti Wine, Extra Brut by Graziana Grassini NV Asolo Prosecco

Giusti Wine, Extra Brut by Graziana Grassini NV

This dynamic, cutting-edge estate typifies the new wave of producers at Asolo. Made by consultant oenologist Graziana Grassini, this Extra Brut is bone dry and mineral with a long, satisfying, herbaceous finish.
90 points
Alcohol 11.5%

Pat del Colmèl, Extra Dry NV Asolo Prosecco

Pat del Colmèl, Extra Dry NV

An Extra Dry with ripe pear and almond aromas and a nicely rounded palate, made at a fourth-generation family estate with vines and newly renovated cellars in the woody hills north of Asolo.
89 points
Alcohol 11%

Vigna Rampante, Extra Dry Selvatico 2022 Asolo Prosecco

Vigna Rampante, Extra Dry Selvatico 2022

Intense white fruit and acacia aromas and a juicy, concentrated palate in an Extra Dry from the new venture of a long-established wine-growing family.
89 points
Alcohol 11.5%

Val d’Oca, Extra Dry Aso NV Asolo

Val d’Oca, Extra Dry Aso NV

This historic Valdobbiadene cooperative has around 100 growers in the Asolo DOCG, who supply the fruit for this Extra Dry with fresh green apple peel on the nose and a refreshingly tangy palate.
89 points
Alcohol 11.5%

Vini Costa, Dry Pra’ Grande 2023 Asolo

Vini Costa, Dry Pra’ Grande 2023

From a family-owned 30ha estate that makes a range of wines at Montello, a fresh and fruit-forward, semi-sweet sparkler with aromas of apricot and marzipan and a soft, grapey palate.
89 points
Alcohol 11.5%

La Gioiosa, Extra Dry Biodiversity Friend NV Asolo

La Gioiosa, Extra Dry Biodiversity Friend NV

Produced by a widely distributed firm under the same ownership as Villa Sandi, an Extra Dry sourced from their own vineyards at Montello with a floral, herbal nose and autumn fruit finish.
88 points
Alcohol 11%


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