Let’s face it. 2020, well… it sucked! Besides the horrible virus, we had murder hornets and a record number of fires. There was toilet paper hoarding (I still don’t understand the reason for this) For the first time ever, the naming system of storms needed to go into Greek letters because 26 was not enough. Protests against police violence led to violence and looting. An iconic athlete and his daughter were lost in a helicopter crash and a little thing called an election can only be called, excuse my language a S&%T show. 

As horrendous a year it was, there was some good. Although it happened over a computer screen, friends and family who have not seen each other in years began weekly or monthly get togethers. Acts of activism led the way for changes for the better. Drive-in movie theaters made a comeback. We saw businesses shift gears to help the need for increased sanitizers. The world seemed a little smaller watching how other countries came together singing on their balconies and using long sticks to clink their wine glasses. Elon Musk launched two Americans into orbit on SpaceX. And thankfully, Dr. Anthony Fauci put all our minds at ease by declaring, “Santa is exempt from this {covid} because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity,”

So, I say it’s time to ring in the New Year with happiness and joy. Raise a glass to better times ahead and my suggestion for what to raise is Val d’Oca Prosecco! What better way to toast a new year filled with new hopes and dreams than sipping on a sparkling wine from one of the oldest, leading producers of Prosecco. 

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Wondering what Prosecco actually is? Well, Prosecco is a region, a classification and a grape. The grape is Glera and in order to be classified as Prosecco, the wine must be composed of at least 85%. The remaining 15% can contain Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Perera, Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana Chardonnay or Pinot Nero. Glera was originally known as Prosecco, but the name was changed to Glera, in order to help alleviate the confusion between the grape and the town and DOC of Prosecco. The village of Prosecco is located near the city of Trieste in northeastern Italy, between Veneto and Friuli. Unlike Champagne, where the second fermentation takes place in bottle, Prosecco’s second fermentation occurs in tank. 

In October, I spent my Tuesday evenings discussing Val d’Oca Prosecco with my wine loving friends on Winestudio. The conversation was led by Susannah Gold of Vigneto Communications. When you taste the wine, you know there is something special happening behind the scenes. I loved learning that Val d’Oca is a cooperative winery that was established in 1952. The cooperative was created by 129 founding members in order to revive the economy after it was devastated by WWII.

courtesy of Val d’Oca

Today the cooperative has 600 members and farms approximately 1000 hectares. While being committed to Old World techniques, the cooperative has invested in modern day technology including a satellite-mapping system for their vineyards. To maintain their quality from generation to generation, they train their growers to understand the importance of sustainability. Their commitment to preserving the lands of Congeliano and Valdobbiadene was recognized in 2019 by UNESCO.

Their commitment to quality is equally important. Internal regulations require that the grapes harvested for DOCG and DOC must be hand harvested. Control over the entire supply chain is maintained to guarantee the final product. 

Throughout the month we tasted through several bottles of Val d’Oca that were across the quality pyramid. 

prosecco quality pyramid


Val D’Oca Rosé is a sparkling blend of Glera and Pinot Noir. Vinification is performed separately, then blended before 2nd fermentation. It remains in contact with lees for 2 months. Sales are allowed on January 1st after the  harvest. 570 Bottles 11.5% ABV (SRP: $13)

Val D’Oca Prosecco “Rive” is a sub-appellation that identifies areas between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene that maintain the best conditions for Glera. It is a terroir-driven wine that must vintage designated and represents a single village designation. The fruit is hand harvested in the hills of San Pietro di Barbozza. 570 bottles 11% ABV (SRP: $33) 

Val D’Oca Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry Millesimato  is made with 85% Glera and 15% Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. It is vintage dated and the fruit comes exclusively from Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. Careful selection and pressing of the highest quality grapes of the year. 570 Bottles 11% ABV (SRP: $20)

Val D’Oca Prosecco DOC Extra Dry was a Wine Enthusiast Magazine  “Best Buy.” Made with Glera 85%, Pinot Grigio & Chardonnay 15%. Recommended to be consumed as an aperitif, or paired with fish & shellfish. 570 bottles 11% ABV (SRP: $13)

bottles of Val d'Oca in winter setting
media samples


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