95 points Doctor Wine for Villa Sandi Prosecco DOCG Cartizze La Rivetta!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to share the news that the Villa Sandi Prosecco DOCG Cartizze La Rivetta has been awarded a whopping 95 points by esteemed Italian wine writer Daniele Cernilli aka Doctor Wine, editor-in-chief of the prestigious Essential Guide to the Wines of Italy. This the second consecutive year that the wine, Villa Sandi’s flagship, has received 95 points from the editors of the guide.

Daniele Cernilli has been writing about Italian wine since the 1980s and is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading and most influential experts in the field.

Nothing is more rewarding than the appreciation and recognition of our hard work and passion from one of the world’s top Italian wine critics.

Thank you, Doctor Wine!

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Prosecco DOCG in the Heart of Texas at Paesanos

It’s literally a stone’s throw from the Alamo: Paesanos, a Texas culinary institution for 50 years and counting.

When people think of Italian-American communities in the U.S., the first thing that comes to mind is the wave of immigration from Italy that came through Ellis Island in New York in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that Galveston, located on the Gulf Coast in southeast Texas, was another major port where many Italians landed around the same time.

Most of them headed for Houston nearby and central Texas where they established some of the largest Italian-American communities outside of the Tri-State area and New England.

One of those communities still thrives in San Antonio, in the “heart” of Texas, where Italian cuisine and its gastronomic traditions are still cherished and beloved just as they are in among their east coast counterparts.

Since 1969, Paesanos has been serving some of the best Italian food in Texas, including classics like the mussels and pasta in the photo above, a perfect pairing for Prosecco DOCG.

We’ve written a lot here on the blog about why Prosecco makes for such a great pairing with seafood.

And at Paesanos the other night, we were reminded how the salty flavors of the sea are complemented by Prosecco DOCG’s natural minerality and ripe fruit flavors.

We couldn’t be more thrilled that Paesanos serves Villa Sandi Prosecco DOCG by the glass and by the bottle. It’s an honor to be part of this Texas gastronomic legacy.

Paesanos Riverwalk
111 W Crockett St.
San Antonio TX 78205
(210) 227-2782
Google map

Image via the Paesanos Riverwalk Facebook.

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When people say that Prosecco DOCG is “hand-crafted,” they really mean it…

One of the things that makes Valdobbiadene such a unique place to grow fine wine grapes is how steep the slopes are there.

Especially when you get into the township’s Cartizze subzone, the vines are planted on slopes so steep that they can only be worked by hand. It’s simply impossible to use tractors or other machinery there. Everything — from the early pruning and canopy management to the picking and sorting of the grapes in the vineyards — has to be done by hand.

As you can see in the photo above, it’s what some wine trade observers call “heroic viticulture” because it takes true grit and determination to grow there.

When you talk to the Prosecco old-timers (and believe us, it’s always an illuminating experience to chat with someone who’s watched the Prosecco DOCG appellation become a wine juggernaut), they will tell you that this tradition began many generations ago when farmers planted wine grapes exclusively in sites where they couldn’t grow other crops.

At the time, they did this to maximize the productivity of the land — the farmer’s ultimate goal.

But with time, they began to realize that the extremely steep slopes of Valdobbiadene township, with their terraced vineyards, created ideal conditions for the style of wine the area produced.

The exposure is ideal, they realized, and helps to make the vines ripen evenly. And the steep slopes also provide excellent ventilation, which cools the fruit in summer and helps to keep the grapes dry thus preventing vine disease.

In more recent times, they also began to see how the absence of machines in the vineyard and the human-focused work combined to produce higher quality wines. Because everything must be done by hand, there is much more attention to detail in the vineyards. That means that the clusters get more attention than their counterparts on the valley floor below. And that makes for much better wines.

So when people say that Prosecco DOCG is hand-crafted, it’s not just a marketing ploy. It’s actually true…

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A top American wine blogger features export director Flavio Geretto’s Master Class on Prosecco DOCG

Above: Villa Sandi export director Flavio Geretto led a Prosecco DOCG seminar in Houston in July. Some of the city’s leading wine writers, bloggers, and trade members were in attendance.

Last month, Villa Sandi export director Flavio Geretto traveled to Houston, Texas to lead a Prosecco DOCG Master Class at one of the city’s leading wine shops and wine bars, Vinology.

Attendees for the standing-room-only event included some of Houston’s leading wine writers and bloggers, including Katrina Rene, author of the popular wine blog Corkscrew Concierge.

“What was so great about the tasting,” wrote Katrina on her blog, “is that it emphasized that Prosecco can fill many roles – as an aperitif, with a meal, after dinner, or just because. And while I thought I knew Prosecco, I certainly learned that there is so much more than meets the eye.”

“What better way to celebrate the excellence of the region and its recent recognition,” she noted, “than by celebrating with one of Prosecco’s most renowned producers – Villa Sandi?”

Click here for her complete tasting notes and notes from the seminar.

Thank you, Katrina, we’re looking forward to seeing you in Valdobbiadene sometime soon!

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Villa Sandi brings home the gold from Houston Rodeo competition

They finally came in the mail this week: The gold medal and the Texas-sized belt buckle from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2019 “Rodeo Uncorked” International wine competition where the Villa Sandi Prosecco DOCG Il Fresco not only brought home the gold but was also named “Reserve Class Champion” (see all the results here).

The competition and judging take place each year in November (during the rodeo’s off season). And while we were thrilled to learn the news that one of our wines had received such a prestigious and coveted prize last year, we just couldn’t wait to get our hands on that classic Texan belt buckle, just like the ones that true Texas cowboys wear when they dress up for some proper “honky tonking” (for those of y’all who don’t speak Texan, that means going out on the town).

Thank you to all of the judges and members of the Rodeo Uncorked committee and a Texas-sized thanks to Houston and the great state of Texas!

We simply couldn’t be more proud to wear our belt buckle.

For National Prosecco Day this year, try serving your Prosecco DOCG in white wine glasses

Argh, the tyranny of the flute!

For more than a generation now, the flute — the slender, long-stemmed wine glass — has been the vessel of choice for sparkling wine.

No one knows for sure how this traditional was established. But somewhere during the late 20th century, the flute, which was actually conical in its original form (a shape dating back to the 1700s), was reshaped into a long cylinder.

The idea, at the time, was to concentrate and preserve the wine’s bubbles, supposedly making the wine’s aroma richer on the nose.

But over the last two decades, top sommeliers have overwhelming shifted to the white wine glass as the stemware of choice for Prosecco DOCG.

Prosecco DOCG, they argue, is such a “pretty” wine on the nose, with aromas of tropical fruit and stone fruit. Even the most simple experimentation reveals that the broader aperture of the white wine glass helps the fruit notes on the nose to open up and reveal themselves more generously. The wider brim allows the wine to aerate more evenly by putting more of its surface area in contact with oxygen. The result — especially when it comes to Prosecco DOCG — is truly spectacular. Thankfully, it’s rare today that you’ll find leading sommeliers who still pour Prosecco DOCG in a flute.

Next Tuesday, August 13 is National Prosecco Day in the U.S. How will you and your wine loving friends be celebrating?

Our recommendation is to host a Prosecco DOCG tasting party where you try serving the wine in both flutes and white wine glasses. Add a couple of red wine glass shapes to the mix as well: You’ll see that the nature of the tasting experience changes markedly depending on the glass shape. And when it’s Prosecco DOCG that’s being poured, the wider aperture makes a real difference in how you enjoy the wine.

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Sushi and Prosecco DOCG? Divinely inspired at Uchi in Houston, Texas

Anyone who’s ever been to Venice knows that Prosecco is the city on the lagoon’s (un)official wine. There are a number of reasons about that (and we wrote about them here).

But one of the reasons — and perhaps the most important one — is that Prosecco pairs brilliantly with all kinds of seafood, the Venetians’ favorite food.

Glera, the grape used to make Prosecco, has a natural “salty” quality to it. Some people like to call it “minerality.” And that savory character works beautifully against the salty flavor in the classic seafood dishes of Venice.

But Prosecco also travels well!

Our Houston-based U.S. blogger was thrilled to learn that Villa Sandi Prosecco is currently being poured by-the-glass at Uchi, one of the top Japanese restaurants in the country. (Check out their current wine program here, under “drinks.”)

The Japanese like to pair beer with their sushi and so Prosecco, with its gentle bubbles, is a perfect fit.

And the salty character and slightly underripe fruit flavors help to cleanse the palate of the fatty fish and its very salty flavor. Try it and you’ll find it’s a match made me in heaven.

And you’ll find Villa Sandi Prosecco at Uchi in Houston (details below).

Uchi
904 Westheimer
Houston TX 77006
(713) 522-4808
Google map

Image via the Uchi (Houston) Facebook.

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“This is a Prosecco of great elegance and harmony!” Forbes features Villa Sandi Vigna La Rivetta

We couldn’t have been more thrilled to see Villa Sandi’s Prosecco Cartizze DOCG Vigna La Rivetta featured this week in veteran Italian wine writer Tom Hyland’s piece on “Italy’s Best Sparkling Wines.”

Here’s what he had to say about Vigna La Rivetta:

    “[This] wine is sourced from one of the highest locations of the Cartizze hill and the 2016 version is extremely refined with jasmine and peach perfumes, backed by excellent persistence; this is a Prosecco of great elegance and harmony!”

Click here to read the entire article (an excellent introduction to Italy’s greatest sparkling wines).

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90 points Wine Spectator for Villa Sandi Cartizze La Rivetta

One of the most important things that we’ll be doing here on the Villa Sandi USA blog is that we’ll be aggregating scores, reviews, write-ups, and other accolades for the wines.

And there’s no better place to start than Wine Spectator, the leading English-language resource for fine wine today and a favorite magazine (and site) for Italian wine lovers.

Senior editor for Italy Alison Napjus is one of the best Italian- and sparkling-focused wine writers working in the U.S. today. She travels to Italy a number of times a year to taste and visit with winemakers and she is one of the top judges for the magazine’s “top 100 Italian wines” list.

Here’s what she had to say about Villa Sandi’s Prosecco DOCG Caritzze La Rivetta, which is farmed in the appellation’s most coveted cru — Cartizze. The slopes are so steep in Cartizze and the morainic (rocky) soils are so demanding that all farming there is done by hand (no machines whatsoever).

Villa Sandi NV Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze La Rivetta DOCG
90 points

Fine and creamy, with rich notes of glazed apricot, salted almond skin and lemon parfait, this is accented by a hint of guava and underscored by a vein of smoky minerality. Fresh finish.

Alison Napjus
Wine Spectator

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High praise for Vigna La Rivetta from an unlikely source: The Piedmont Post

Not a lot of people beyond the affluent Bay Area suburb of Piedmont, California are familiar with the Piedmont Post. It’s a print-only journal devoted to life and lifestyle in one of northern California’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

Because of the town’s proximity to (and love of) California wine country, the paper’s “Wine Corner” column is one of the state’s most prestigious wine review resources.

Authored by Pierre DuMont (whom most know to be a pseudonym for an otherwise leading but anonymous wine critic), the column focuses primarily on California wine, its “local” beat.

But after he (she?) attended the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri tasting in San Francisco last night, DuMont decided to profile his top tastes from the gathering.

Here’s what s/he had to say about Villa Sandi Vigna La Rivetta, winner of the Tre Bicchieri (Three Glass) award in the 2019 edition of the Gambero Rosso Guide to the Wines of Italy, the most coveted prize in all of Italian wine:

If all you have ever experienced are bland, dull, cheap Proseccos served at parties by a host too cheap to spring for Champagne, then I have something for you to try. This beautifully crafted Prosecco will not leave you pining for Bollinger. It has a sweet perfumed floral bouquet and intense citrus and apple flavors on the palate and a crisp tingling finish. Ideal with oysters, fish, pâté… anything you would serve Champagne with.

Click here to read the other top picks.

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Forbes: Villa Sandi’s wines are “outstanding,” “exceptional,” and “superb.”

Part of our mission here at the Villa Sandi USA blog is to aggregate accolades for our wines.

Here’s a recent review penned by veteran wine and spirits writer Joseph V Micallef for the Forbes magazine website:

[Villa Sandi’s] Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Cartizze Vigna La Rivetta Brut is outstanding… Try also the Villa Sandi Asolo Prosecco Superiore Brut DOCG… The latter can be hard to find, but represents an exceptional value. Both wines offer aromas of fresh cut white flowers, along with notes of citrus, apple and pear and a fine, delicate, long-lasting mousse. For an entry level offering, try the superb Villa Sandi Prosecco DOC Treviso.

Click here for the complete article.

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91 points Decanter: “excellent purity of flavor… a cerebral approach to Prosecco.”

The stony soils of Asolo township are ideal for the production of minerality-driven Prosecco with freshness and intense fruit flavors. Villa Sandi’s Asolo vineyards are Biodiversity Friend certified, meaning that farming practices encourage biodiversity, wild life, and wild flowers and plants among the rows. Note the grasses growing between the vines here.

Villa Sandi NV Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG
91 points

Prosecco Asolo is a hillside zone identified for the high quality of its grapes. It is a five mile long ridge across the river from the zones of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. This particular example comes from a one hectare vineyard producing 11,000 bottles. There is a beautiful hint of almond cream along with ripe pear and soft green apple. It is clean, steely and fresh, showing excellent purity of flavour and good intensity. Not necessarily a party wine, it’s a more cerebral approach to Prosecco.

James Button
Decanter

Click here for technical info on the wine.

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