Tuesday, September 29, 2015


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Ca di Rajo Export Manager Luca Ortoncelli and I dined at San Francisco’s Sociale this afternoon. He is in the USA to meet with his importers, journalists, bloggers and friends, like actress Debi Mazar. You see, before he worked in the wine industry, he made films. Hoping to keep his toes in cinema, he has visited Hollywood movie lots with cases of Prosecco, and even appeared in Uruguayan Sommelier Charlie Arturaola’s film, El Camino del Vino.

As we sipped the flagship Prosecco (see reviews below), Luca told me he was making a movie about Raboso, the local red grape which was used for Prosecco Rose. Now that the term Prosecco is strictly controlled – it is a place, a town, and the name of the appellations which produce this quintessential Italian sparkling wine – Rose is not permitted.

Prosecco the wine is made with the Glera grape. New regulations have decided on three quality levels, with the best having the highest elevation in the region. Prosecco DOC is the entry level tier, followed by Prosecco di Treviso DOC, and the highest level is Conegliano Valdobiaddene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Since the place name Prosecco is protected, no one else may use this name (except for Australia and Brazil but this a battle being fought right now with an interim solution of the Italians going there to sell the real deal to the thirsty masses). They must use the name Glera, as we would Chardonnay. Locally the grape is referred to as Bianchetta.

Luca believes that in ten years, this Venetian region will be better known for its dry red Raboso wines, which fit into the appellation he worked with the Veneto wine authorities to create, the Malanotte del Piave DOCG. The Ca di Rajo Raboso wines, made in a dry as well as richer dry style similar to Amarone, are only in Florida and Chicago at the meantime, but will be available in other markets soon.

Check out our reviews of the Ca di Rajo wines here:

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