Prosecco has become more and more popular and The Prosecco Springs festival, which ran for four days in May 2017 has really celebrated this. I was lucky enough to go along to the festival and sample some of the wonderful sparkling wines on offer.
Prosecco springs has been two years in the making and it brings Prosecco lovers and eight producers together in one building. The events were held at Oval Space over near Bethnal Green – a great building, full of character.
As part of our tickets we were given a glass and tokens so we could sample each of the eight Proseccos on offer. I expect many of you have tasted Champagne before, Prosecco is produced in different way. Whereas Champagne is fermented in the bottle, Prosecco’s second stage fermentation process takes place in steel tanks. There are also a number of other factors which affect the intensity of flavour and effervescence, and these can vary greatly. What a wonderful opportunity to compare and contrast!
The producers varied greatly in size. One of the largest was Bottega, who produce 6 million bottles a year and employ 140 people. It is known to be a bit of a celebrity favourite and they have some pretty glitzy packaging which we managed to get a snap of us with. Vigna Belvedere was one of the smallest producers, making just 20,000 bottles in 2016. But boy was their produce delicious.
Casanova was the second of our tastings and not a name I’d come across before. Their claim to fame is that they produce one of the world’s most expensive Proseccos at £1,290 per bottle. The reason why it is so expensive is that the bottle is encrusted with 3,370 crystals. A bit lavish if you ask me, especially as I’m more interested in what’s in the bottle, not what’s on the outside.
Other producers there were Frozza who only employ two people to produce their 120,000 bottles per year, Cester Camillo whose estate is located between Piave river and Montello and La Gioiosa were founded in 1975 and is one of the more well-known names in the UK. The Prosecco producer Zonin told us they were rebranding their bottles. I liked their new look, which had splashes of blue in the label. Their heritage dates back to 1821. Wow!
My firm favourite of the evening was the Ombra Di Pantera. For me, this Prosecco had the nicest flavour of them all. After researching further, I did find out this was a super-premium Prosecco – I know how to pick them! They only produce 45,000 bottles a year and I bet they are very popular. A bottle of this will set you back about £25, so very comparable to a mid-lower price champagne. I personally think this would make a lovely gift or a treat for a special occasion.
Back to the festival. It seemed really well organised. You didn’t have to wait long to obtain your drinks. There was a bit of a wait for food, but I didn’t mind as we just supped our Prosecco whilst waiting. One thing I did find a bit odd was there was a bread and cheese option for the food, but on receipt of this, I was not offered cutlery and the cheese was mainly of the hard variety. Not necessary what I expected as it came with sourdough bread.
There was a lovely sunset not long after we arrived, so we did enjoy our first couple of tastings on the small balcony outside, taking in the last rays of the day.
The atmosphere was really vibrant, people seemed to be enjoying themselves and having a good time. There was a variety of musicians and DJs playing during the evening. I particularly enjoyed the 90s revival disco tunes. I enjoyed myself so much, I actually missed my train home! Luckily there was a slightly later one, but it did mean I had a bit of a late night (or should I say early morning) as it was 2am by the time I got home!
I hope Prosecco Springs runs again next year. I’ll be first in line for tickets as it was a really interesting and fun event. Take a look at their website for more details.
Disclaimer: We were gifted two tickets to Prosecco Springs in return for an honest review. As always, my opinions are my own.