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How did Prosecco become the (un)official wine of Venice?

If you’ve ever visited Venice, you already know that the Venetians love to drink Prosecco. (And if you’re headed there this summer, you’ll soon find out!)

A lot of our friends in America have asked us: Why is is that Prosecco is so popular in Venice?

There are a number of reason for that — some historical, some gastronomic, and some cultural.

Historically, it was only natural that Prosecco would become popular in Venice because of geography. Venice lies literally downstream from the land of Prosecco. The Piave River, which starts up in the Carnic Alps (to the east of the Dolomitic Alps) and reaches the Adriatic sea just northeast of Venice, runs through the heart of Prosecco country. Indeed, the town where the Villa Sandi winery is located, lies along the Piave and the estate uses hydroelectric power generated by the moving water to power the winery. The river was an ideal means of transport and made it easy to get the wines to the bustling city of Venice.

Gastronomically, Prosecco became popular in Venice because the Venetians — a seafaring people — love and consume a lot of seafood. Glera, the primary grape used to make Prosecco, has a gentle mineral note to it. That savory character, combined with Prosecco’s natural fruit flavors and freshness, makes it an ideal pairing for salty seafood. Just try eating some fried seafood or marinated seafood salad paired with a glass of Prosecco: It’s like sprinkling sweet lemon juice on the food!

Culturally, Venice has always been renowned as a “party city.” Even as long ago as the Renaissance, people flocked to Venice for vacation and for fun. It was only natural that the Venetians would adopt a sparkling wine as their (un)official beverage of choice. Many don’t realize that Venice is where the original Mardi Gras (as we know it in America) was held. In Venice it’s known as Carnevale and it wouldn’t be complete without bubbly Prosecco!

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