Orange's first prosecco comes up trumps in sparkling battle

COOL BUNCH: See Saw Wines co-owner Justin Jarrett's new prosecco has won both a silver and a bronze medal in wine shows. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

COOL BUNCH: See Saw Wines co-owner Justin Jarrett's new prosecco has won both a silver and a bronze medal in wine shows. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

If you are looking for high profile venues to launch a new wine, the Opera House and the Sydney Golf Club are great places to start.

The cork has just been popped on Orange’s first prosecco, an Italian competitor to the French hold on the sparkling wine market.

Champagne has been bubbling along as the king of the sparkling varieties, and Orange region winemakers have followed the trend for many years.

But now prosecco, which originated in the cool climate of Veneto in north-eastern Italy, is offering a challenge.

Orange’s first prosecco is being produced at See Saw Wines at Cargo.

Co-owner Justin Jarrett said he launched the $25 wine at the Australian Cruise Liner Association dinner at the Opera House in September.

Mr Jarrett said the wine was also served at the Australian Golf Open in Sydney.

“We’ve followed that up with the sale of a whole pallet to the Royal Sydney Golf Club and they now stock it,” he said.

“It has been well received. The wine critics have given it scores of 90 and 91 out of 100.”

And it won a silver medal at the Orange Wine Show and a bronze at the Australian Highlands Wine Show.

Mr Jarrett said he was pleased he took the gamble of growing a new variety of grapes.

“I think it has been a fantastic gamble. I wish we’d produced it 20 years ago.”

He said it was also a relatively simple grape to grow.

“The thing we like about it is that is a reasonably soft grape to grow. It’s uncomplicated, natural wine-making.

“When you look at the Australian climate it fits perfectly. Light foods deserve light wines and most Australians don’t eat heavy meals any more.”

Mr Jarrett said the prosecco grapes bunch was larger and longer than others.

“It’s a big open bunch. They weigh heavily at 400g and are about 40cm long.

“Chardonnay is 180g, but it is 15cm long. With the prosecco the spread of the grapes is bigger.”

Chairman of the Orange Wine Show and spokesman for the Orange Region Vignerons Association (ORVA) Justin Byrne said sparkling wines were well suited to the local climate.

“In terms of what we can do here with sparkling, we’re in a good position.

“(Prosecco) is a really good cool climate style and it doesn’t take three or four years to produce,” he said.

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