The Morning Advertiser recently sat down with its managing director Sandro Bottega at a vertical tasting event – where different vintages of the same wine variety from the same winery are tested – where he spoke about his passion for Prosecco and what he believes the future holds for it.
Sandro stressed that Prosecco was more age-worthy than Champagne, despite the fact that the Italian fizz is viewed as a short-lived product that is at its best when consumed as soon as possible after bottling.
To put the debate to bed – before our interview – Bottega led us through a tasting of several vintage Bottega Prosecco wines, starting with the 2017 vintage and finishing with the 2013 vintage. His aim, he explained, was to demonstrate the high quality and unrecognised potential of vintage Prosecco as one of the “greatest wines in the world”.
My name is Sandro Bottega and I am the founder and managing director of Bottega Spa – specialising in producing Prosecco, grappa, sparkling wine, spirits and liqueurs. I came into the world of Prosecco when I was just 13 years old. Once I finished school, I went to help my father make grappa and wine. My dream was to become a musician, but when my father passed away, I wanted to follow in his footsteps. In 1987, I then began to produce Prosecco.
What makes Bottega’s Prosecco different to other brands?
We have lots of differences, but the most important thing to remember, above all, is the passion and time that we put into our products. Also, technically, the quality of the grape that we use is what makes our Prosecco stand out from the rest. We have focused our attention on the launch of a new, higher standard range of wines that highlight the typicality of the grape and the unique characteristics that can only be found in quality Prosecco. At Bottega, we are not favourable to the expansion of the cultivation area, which places a focus on quantity over quality.
What do you love about Prosecco the most?
There are very many reasons for this, but, first of all, what I love about Prosecco is the fact that it’s perfect to drink before a meal and during some other specific meals. Prosecco and food together is a perfect match. You can enjoy it together with traditional Italian meals such as pasta and pizza – very simple and very light. On the one hand, it’s perfect for fish and even more so, sushi. It is also suitable for barbecues as it is refreshing, especially after the strong taste of the meat. Again, for me, my love for Prosecco comes because of its ability to perfectly pair with so many different foods. I am going to publish a book very soon that includes 100 recipes and cuisines to pair with Prosecco.
What does Bottega do in terms of sustainability?
All production phases follow sustainability criteria, preserving the environment for future generations. The company is particularly centred on saving water, reducing CO2 emissions and chemicals, and recycling waste materials. We use paper coming from sustainable forests, we recycle all paper that we use to attach the labels and 50% of the glass we use comes from recycled glass. As you can see, sustainability is very important to us.
What are Bottega’s plans for the future?
We want to continue to grow. Our mission is to maintain the quality and to research how we can make our products even better. We want to continue to maintain the same level and improve, if possible, all the other products that we already make. We don’t want to make more Prosecco – we just want to perfect the quality. We are also currently working on a cannabis-infused gin that will be released once Italy legalises this type of spirit.
What does the future hold for Prosecco?
Prosecco is one of the UK’s most popular drinks, which can, in part, be attributed to the price some producers are selling it for. Consumers are looking for higher quality products more than ever before so I believe sparkling wine will continue to thrive. As I said before, it’s all about quality over quantity. The future of Prosecco comes down to the quality of the product. Here, at Bottega, we are excelling in that department.