“Dear Karen, Years ago, I was told that Prosecco was made from a grape also called prosecco. Now I hear it’s made from a grape called glera. Why is Prosecco now made from a different grape?”—Mark N. (Atlanta, Georgia)
Good question Mark. And the simple answer is pretty easy: they are the same grape. As you point out, the grape used to make Prosecco used to be called prosecco. But as the wine Prosecco’s popularity soared, and as other countries began planting prosecco grapes, the winemakers of Prosecco realized that a time could come when everyplace from Australia to South Africa produced so-called Prosecco wine. To avoid confusion and protect the authenticity of Prosecco as an Italian wine, the producers adopted a new name for the grape. The name they chose—glera—was an historic nickname for the grape. Prosecco wine, by the way, must be 85% glera with several other indigenous varieties allowed up to 15%.