In the midst of our launch of Vino Vispo our Italian sparkling wine on tap, we speak to Alessandra from our producer Enrico Bedin in the Veneto about this exciting new product. Enrico Bedin have worked in partnership with Jascots for many years and supply our Prosecco range which includes a Frizzante, Spumante, Superiore and David ‘Rose’.
Alessandra from Enrico Bedin with Jascots’ Head Buyer Alastair Pyatt
Enrico Bedin are based in the small region of Asolo DOCG in the Veneto, can you explain what makes this region so exciting and exclusive?
Well first it is important to understand the different classifications in the Prosecco area which indicate different levels of quality standards for Prosecco wine. Generally if you just see Prosecco on the label it means the Glera grapes can come from anywhere in the Veneto, then there is Prosecco DOC which includes regions within the Veneto – such as the popular Treviso region. Then if you go even smaller inside the Treviso region you have the Prosecco DOCG regions which is the highest quality denomination available.
(Treviso includes Conegliano-Valdobiaddene DOCG which is the most famous region that everyone recognises now when they think of Prosecco, but right next door to this is the lesser known Colli Asolani DOCG where Enrico Bedin is based).
When the DOCG of Asolo was created in 2010 there were 14k hectares marked out for production of Prosecco and so far only 1k of these has been planted on. Contrastingly In the popular Conegliano-Valdobiaddene 6.5k of its 7k hectares have been planted. So Conegliano-Valdobiaddene is almost full! This is why Asolo is such an exciting place to be based – the location and the quality are just as good and there is so much potential.
So it is the next big thing in the world of Prosecco?!
Of course although our delicious Vino Vispo does come from Enrico Bedin in Asolo it does not fall into these classifications…
That is correct. Since Prosecco is a protected region it means that anything that has ‘Prosecco’ on the label must be analysed and tasted by government officials before they are bottled. They are then sealed across the cap or the cork to show this quality control has taken place and packaged into the regions particular glass bottles. Of course with a keg you do not have this criteria and so you cannot call the product inside it Prosecco, even though the juice can often be similar and made from the same Glera grape, it does not reach ‘Prosecco’ status and that it was people struggle to understand.
I suppose the most important thing for people to understand is that Prosecco in bottles and Vino Vispo sparkling on tap are completely different products with different propositions for the consumer?
I think that is absolutely the most important thing to understand. One is a more traditional product and the other is an innovative product that represents a lot of opportunity in the future.
Is wine on tap common in Italy?
Yes, and it has been for many years! I would say that 80% of bars and restaurants in Italy have a sparkling wine on tap. It is very common to have the house white and red on tap which can then be served easily and profitably in a carafe, adding sparkling wine on tap was just an extension of this.
Italians understand the wine on tap demand – if you are going for a quick drink or cocktail with friends then you will have a glass of sparkling wine from the tap, if you are celebrating a special occasion then of course you will order a bottle of Spumante!
Well that’s reassuring to know! And do Italians also have the same issue naming the product as seems to have happened in the UK?
I think they understand better what the product is on offer, and why it is not called Prosecco. You see people who have come up with their own brand names like “Probello”, I think “Vino Vispo” is better than any of the Italian ones I have seen!
Thank you! A good name for a good product!
So where do the grapes for Vino Vispo come from?
Well to produce the Prosecco DOC range there is a maximum yield of 18 tonnes per hectare but at Enrico Bedin we produce about 20% extra so the grapes from this surplus production is used in a lower classified product – such as Vino Vispo. The vineyards on the plane give a generous yield which can be used for this, and the grapes grown on the hillside are saved for Spumante Prosecco.
So is the grape still Glera, the same grape that makes Prosecco?
Yes, we still use 100% Glera for our products. Some other companies will probably use keg products as a chance to mix some Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio into the blend but we want to stay true to the character of Prosecco even when making different styles of products.
Does this philosophy also apply to the production methods for Vino Vispo?
Yes we use the same method of production for Vino Vispo as is traditional in the region of Prosecco. This is called the charmat method when the wine undergoes secondary fermentation in tanks to produce the bubbles. If you are making traditional Prosecco then the wine is bottled under pressure, for Vino Vispo we transfer it to the kegs under pressure.
So no CO2 bicycle pump method of carbonating at the point of serve……!
But the fizziness is still the same?
The level of fizziness is always going to be slightly lower than bottled Frizzante because of the surface area of the keg. But we have kept this very close – our Prosecco Frizzante is 2.5 bars of pressure and the Vino Vispo keg is 2.2 bars. So all the lovely spritz is still there for Vino Vispo.
What are the advantages of using kegs for you the producer?
Well it is very eco friendly as the kegs are recyclable and it saves on glass bottles. Mostly it is quicker and simpler for the customer.
So overall do you agree that Vino Vispo is a good thing for Jascots to offer its clients?
I think it is a really exciting thing for Jascots to be offering to its customers – as we said earlier the kegs offer many solutions for your restaurant and bar customers as well as giving Jascots a good position of difference in the market. Of course the fact that the quality is so good just makes the whole proposition even more great!
You can hear more from Alessandra and see Vino Vispo in action in this video from our February Trade Tasting 2015.