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Wine with Glera grapes

by | Oct 17, 2016

Glera or Prosecco is a green membrane Italian grape variety which has been grown in the region of Veneto and Friuli.


Unless one belongs to a tribe that is yet to be discovered by man, most wine lovers have heard the name Prosecco but the name Glera, well not so much. No grape variety has yet suffered such taxonomical ambiguity as the Glera or Prosecco variety.

Once a famous synonym for the Prosecco grape, Glera now is the official name for this grape variety. This confusion regarding the name of the grape is, however a recent phenomenon that started as recently as 2009; when the breeders of Italy decided to officially adopt Glera as the variety’s name.

Wine grape varieties

Other regions outside Italy where Glera is grown are Australia specifically in the King’s Valley and Slovenia. Alternative synonyms for this variety are Ghera, Glere, Prosecco Tondo, Grappolo Spagolo, Prosecco Balbi, Proseko Sciprina, Serpina, Uva Pissona etc.

It might be used in the production of Fizzy, Sparkling as well as Still wine. This sparkling variety is widely exported into many parts of the world.

The still wines are exported as well, but their export quantity is not as much as that of the sparkling variety.

History of Glera Grape

Glera is one of the oldest wine varieties first accounted for in 1772 and its former name Prosecco was taken from the name of the village where the grape is believed to have originated.

This village is situated near Trieste and is named Prosecco. There is also a history behind the changing of its name.

But before understanding that one must understand the difference between Old World and New World wine producing countries. Old world wine producing countries are mainly the classical European countries like France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany and Portugal etc  where the main priority was given to the selection of the site for the winery rather than variety to be used for the production of the wine.

However, New World countries are mainly referred to those countries where European prisoner or explorers were sent out.

In these countries the main stress is laid on the grape variety to be used for wine production and very little thought is given to the fact as to where they are produced.

This conflict between the Old and the new worlds regarding the name and the quality of wine produced by them led to a shift in name from Prosecco to Glera. Up until 2009, the Prosecco appellations had the status of DOC.

However, in 2009, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene was promoted to the status of DOCG which represents the highest quality level for Italian wine.

However, this had one disadvantage that the name of the wine produced by the Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene was the same as any Prosecco wine that was produced by other appellations from outside Italy, owing to the fact that they all used Prosecco grape for the production of their wine.

So in order to make their Prosecco exclusively theirs the European Union decided that it would be illegal for anyone to use the label Prosecco outside of northwestern Italy. Hence the name of the grape was officially changed to Glera.

Viticulture and Wine making for Glera Grape

Generally the early days of September are thought to be the most congenial time for the harvesting of Glera.

This is so because it is during this time that the organoleptic characteristics of Glera like its aroma, sugar content and acidity are at their peak.

However, this vinification is a very delicate process and must be done carefully to avoid impetuous fermentation.

The grapes are handpicked and their stalks are removed before being crushed. Selected yeasts are allowed to act on these crushed grapes for 15 to 20 days for the completion of the winemaking process.

This helps in retaining the aroma of the original variety. They are then left in the rack to complete the ageing process at the completion of which they form delicate still wines.

These wines are either packed in the still form or allowed to go through a secondary fermentation process in large tanks for 30 days to convert them in fizzy and sparkling wines which have a characteristic bubbly taste.

Characteristics of the Glera grape

Glera is a blanc grape variety. It has Hazelnut brown coloured shoot and with large, long grape bunches which tend to bear golden yellow coloured grapes.

The shoot s schooled to grow in the upward direction and undergo occasional trimming to keep them thin when they start growing in excess.

They are often tied back to create an environment which promotes the development of aromatic substances in the grapes. Prosecco has a high acidic note, but leaves a more or less neutral taste on the palate.

It is a light bodied wine with low alcohol content and the aroma of white peaches with a soapy undertone.

Food pairing with Prosecco

The dishes that go best with Prosecco are linguine with a little sage and butter; smoked salmon crostini, which are small toasted or fried pieces of bread with toppings on them served as starters or with lychees dipped in coconut milk.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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