Getting To Know Glera: Your Quick Guide To Vine & Wine
Welcome to Part 2 of TGG’s 6 Part Prosecco Series
Getting to Know Glera!
In this portion of the series, we will get to know more about Prosecco’s predominant grape – Glera – how it is grown, how it is made into wine, what it tastes like, and what food to pair it with!
If you haven’t already read Part 1 of the series, you can do so by clicking here. If you have, then congratulations! You are ahead of the curve, and the information in this article will be a little familiar for you. You can get the rest of the Prosecco Series here:
- Part 1: What You Need To Know About Prosecco
- Part 3: 10 Prosecco Cocktails You Need To Mix Up Now
- Part 4: How To Throw A Prosecco Tasting Party
- Part 5: 5 Easy Bottles of Prosecco Under $15
- Part 6: The Science Behind Sparkling Wine
Make sure to also sign up for my email list here. I have some awesome exclusives in store just for my subscribers, in addition to staying up to date on all the new articles! Now that we’ve gotten business out of the way, let’s get to know Glera.
Predominantly Italy, although Glera originated in Slovenia. The grape is also grown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Romania.
- Marine Sandstone
- Marl (lime/calcium rich mud)
Glera benefits from plentiful rainfall, but must be planted on steep slopes with enough wind to aid in the removal of excess moisture.
- Vines grown in Cartizze must be harvested and tended to by hand, because the hills are too steep for machines.
- This is one of the most planted white grapes in Italy. However, because red wines dominate Italian wine culture, Glera falls outside the Top 10 most important grape varieties in the country.
- Right up until the 1960s, Glera was a very sweet grape. With the improvement of vinification practices, it became the drier, more acidic variety we know today.
- The grape was formerly known as Prosecco, but the Italian government successfully changed it’s name in 2009, due to the establishment of the Prosecco region as a controlled designated origin (or DOC). The idea behind this was to stop producers outside of Italy from using the grape name to identify their wines – Prosecco, much like Champagne, should be unique to the region.
- Although it is a white variety, it is the parent grape to two red Italian Manzoni grapes – one crossed with Cabernet Sauvignon, the other with Cabernet Franc.
- Glera can be made into sparkling (spumante), semi-sparkling (frizzante), or still (tranquillo) Prosecco. Still Prosecco is not typically sold outside of the Prosecco region.
- In regards to the sweetness and added sugar of the wine, there are typically three options: brut, extra dry and dry. Brut is the driest, with dry being the sweetest (but still not sweet, per se).
- Sparkling wines are made in the Charmat, or Tank, Method. We’ll learn more about this in depth in another part of this series, but here’s the basics for now:
- The grapes are pressed and made into a wine base.
- This batch is then fermented.
- Multiple base wines are then added to a large tank, usually stainless steel, and then fermented again. This is where the magic happens, and the bubbles form.
- The wine is strained, dosed (sugar is added if necessary), then bottled and sold for consumption.
- Glera produces wines with a very light body, low sugar content, medium to high acidity, and pleasant crispness making it a very popular option.
- Flavors are very fruity and include stone fruits such as peach and apricot. citrus fruits such as orange, lemon and grapefuit, and orchard fruits such as apples and pears. There may also be notes of melon, honey and white florals, along with a minerality imparted from the soil.
Glera is neutral grape, and therefore pairs well with almost anything! Prosecco is also considered a great palate cleanser. However – fatty meats, cheeses and sauces may hold up better with a richer wine, but I won’t judge if you stick with Glera.
- Cheese: fruit-laced cheeses, triple crème Brie, sheep’s milk (Roquefort, Manchego, Pecorino)
- Meat: chicken, pork, cured Italian meats, pâté, foie gras, barbecue
- Seafood: shellfish, calamari, octopus, salt cod/baccala, fried fish
- Pasta/Risotto: polenta, pesto dishes, macaroni & cheese, ravioli, carbonara, prosecco risotto
- Vegetables/Vegetarian: tofu, curries, spring rolls, popcorn, potato chips, french fries, mushrooms/truffles, olives, nuts
- Sweets: melon, peach, apricot, apple, pear, lemon, honey, candied nuts, dessert breads like panettone
Be sure to tune in for Part 5 of our 6-Part Prosecco Series, where I will be covering the Top 5 Proseccos Under $15. Sign up for my email list here and you will be the first to know when it’s posted!
Have you ever tried a wine with Glera? Let me know in the comments!