Glera: The Prosecco Star

Enter the sparkling world of Glera, the primary grape variety behind the world-renowned Prosecco wine. Known for its role in creating effervescent and approachable wines, Glera offers a delightful entry into the world of bubbles, charming palates with its freshness, aromatic qualities, and easy-drinking style.

A Brief History

Glera’s roots are steeped in antiquity, with the grape’s cultivation dating back to Roman times in Italy. The name “Glera” was only officially adopted in 2009 to distinguish the grape variety used in Prosecco from the name of the wine itself. While Glera can be traced back to the northeastern regions of Italy, its global reputation was forged through the increasing popularity of Prosecco on the international stage.


Glera is a high-yielding grape that ripens late, typically producing wines with high acidity, low alcohol levels, and pronounced fruitiness. The grape has a natural propensity for producing sparkling wines due to its aromatic profile and its capacity to retain acidity even in warmer conditions.

Flavour Profile

Glera wines, and in particular Prosecco, are celebrated for their fresh, fruit-forward profile. Common flavours include green apple, pear, honeydew melon, and white peach. Depending on the level of sweetness, these wines can also exhibit nuances of honey and cream. Subtle floral notes, such as honeysuckle and acacia, add to the aromatic complexity of Glera wines.

Different Styles of Wine

While Glera is most famous for its role in Prosecco, the wine styles can vary depending on the level of effervescence. Prosecco Spumante is the most common, offering persistent perlage. There’s also Prosecco Frizzante, which has a gentler sparkle, and the still version known as Tranquillo. The sweetness levels can range from the dry Brut, through Extra Dry, to the sweeter Dry style, offering a Prosecco for every palate.

Wine Making and Maturation Options

Most Prosecco is made using the Charmat-Martinotti method, where secondary fermentation occurs in pressurized stainless steel tanks rather than in the bottle, as in the traditional method used in Champagne. This method helps to preserve Glera’s primary fruit aromas. Generally, Prosecco is intended to be enjoyed while young and fresh, with only a few examples demonstrating potential for maturation.

Important Regions

The heartland of Glera is the northeastern regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy. Within these regions, the Prosecco Superiore DOCG areas of Conegliano Valdobbiadene and Asolo produce top-quality Glera wines, thanks to their hillside vineyards and stringent production rules.

Food Pairing Suggestions

The fresh and fruity profile of Glera-based wines, coupled with their effervescence, makes them excellent for pairing with a wide variety of dishes. They are a classic match with appetizers and canapes, seafood, light pasta dishes, and mild cheeses. The sweeter styles can also complement fruit-based desserts or be enjoyed as an aperitif.

Discovering Glera is a bubbly journey of vivacity and delight, as the grape encapsulates the joy and celebratory spirit of Prosecco.

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Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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