10 Numbers behind... Prosecco

One of the best known wines in the world, Prosecco also shares the title with Champagne for being the world's most desirable white wine. But what do we really know about it? Here are ten facts and figures to unveil its secrets.

2-4 atm is the pressure inside a bottle of Prosecco compared to the 6-7 atm of Champagne. The lower pressure is due to its production method: in the case of Prosecco, the Charmat-Martinottimethod is used, which requires a second fermentation in tanks, while the French wine is fermented directly in the bottle.

9 Italian provinces extending over two regions (Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia) produce authentic Italian Prosecco: Treviso, Padua, Venice, Vicenza, Belluno, Pordenone, Gorizia, Trieste and Udine. A total of twenty thousand hectares of vineyards in which one of the most popular wines is produced.

9.45 million nine litre crates of Prosecco were consumed in Italy in 2016, followed by 5.5 in the United Kingdom, 3.3 in Germany and 2.79 in the United States. In 2020, however, this chart is expected to show a slightly different picture: Italy will stand at 12.66 million, followed by the United Kingdom (8.3), the United States (4.17) and Germany (3.6). The country with the highest sales growth? Oddly enough, this is France, whose consumption is expected to rise from 0.25 to 0.475 million, with an increase of 42.9%.

11-12% is the average alcohol content of Prosecco, which makes it a light wine. By definition, it should have fruity notes of yellow apple, pear, white peach and apricot, and a simple taste based on primary aromas. For this reason, it does not lend itself particularly well to being used in cocktails, even though there is no lack of such examples, the most famous being Bellini, Spritz and Sgroppino.

11-14 dollars per litre is the average price of an entry-level bottle of Prosecco compared to the 40 dollars required to buy an equivalent bottle of Champagne. Its relative affordability is, according to the analysts, the main reason for the success of Prosecco against its direct competitor. The fact remains, however, that there are types of Prosecco which can cost as much as hundreds of dollars a bottle.

44.8% represents the increase in Prosecco production between 2014 and 2016, thanks to some particularly abundant and high quality harvests. In 2016 alone, 410.9 million bottles were produced. Future trend forecasts have also come up with some very encouraging figures: by 2020 the worldwide consumption of Prosecco is expected to reach 34-35 million 9 litre crates. Its fierce rival, Champagne, will continue to pursue a stable trend, close to its present average of 25.27 million crates.

75% is the percentage of Italian Prosecco exported to the United Kingdom and the United States, the two main markets for this wine. The United Kingdom, in particular, is the country which (second only to Italy) seems to be fondest of this wine: by 2020 its consumption will reach 15.2 million 9 litre crates.

107 hectares are given over to the production of Superiore di Cartizze, one of the most prestigious Prosecco wines. Its wine producing area is relatively small owing to the steepness of these hills, where it is very difficult to operate. Here, in the area of Valdobbiadene, there are about 140 wine-growing firms.

250 hours are required, at least, to look after one hectare of Prosecco vines. This workload, however, can vary according to whether the vineyards are situated on flat or hilly land (the latter being frequently the case for this type of wine). At Valdobbiadene, where the land slopes steeply, one hectare may even require as many as 1000 hours of work. This also has an impact on the cost of a vineyard. Should you be interested in buying one already cultivated, you should be prepared to pay as much as two million Euro per hectare.

1,868 was the year in which the first version of Prosecco was launched by Carpené Malvolti, one of Italy's leading wine producers.