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Friday, June 19, 2009

Affordable Organic Prosecco Just Might Spark an Import Trend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Green sparkler.
  • Green sparkler.
Italy's wine industry is no stranger to biodynamics. Hilberg-Pasquero and Cascina degli Ulivi, both from the Piedmont region, are leaders in the movement that grows grapes holistically and naturally, often with the influence of astronomy on planting and harvesting. But these wines aren't often exported to the U.S. market. And what Americans are consumed with these days isn't so much holistic green practices as the label "organic," which biodynamic wines also are. But since Italian producers haven't shown much interest in branding their wines organic as a marketing ploy or mere trend, they're usually not certified.

One Italian winery, Mionetto, has finally gotten the message -- it just introduced a certified organic prosecco to the American market, currently available only at Whole Foods. At $15.99, Mionetto Organic Prosecco is significantly cheaper than champagne, more on par with a California sparkler. And it's not made biodynamically, but all of the grapes that go into this bottling are certified organic from the Valdobbiadene DOC in the Veneto. And in another nod to eco-chic, everything is recyclable, from the foil and the necker to the packaging it's shipped in.

Mionetto has been making mid-priced prosecco since 1887. This incarnation, a nonvintage brut, has notes of fall fruits (pears and apples) and anise, and is slightly bitter on the finish. It's a nice, uncomplicated sipper. And it's sure to be only the beginning of the organic bubbly import trend.

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Kim Westerman


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