Prosecco is one of the Venetian’s most precious traditions; it is a wonderfully fragrant, zesty native white grape whose modern-day name derives from the village of Prosecco, near Trieste. (An alternative name of the grape also exists: Glera. As of 1 August 2009, wines may only be labeled Prosecco if they fall within the Prosecco DOC or DOCG zones; those falling outside of them are labeled Glera.)
There is one family in Veneto who believed in Prosecco far before it became fashionable. And that is the Canella family. The Canella brand (and family) comes from the heart of the Conegliano appellation, now a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), and has become almost synonymous with Prosecco itself. Their story began with Luciano Canella in 1947.
Luciano started out helping his widowed mother at Osteria dalla Giovanna, the family restaurant. First, he scoured the countryside, hunting for the best wines to match Giovanna’s cuisine. Then he thought of creating his own label and setting up a state-of-the-art winery. Finally, he specialized in Prosecco and wine cocktails (described separately). As it turned out, the Canella founder had the vision and foresight to invest in what would become Italy’s best-selling spumante.
His winery was ideally located near the appellation’s historic heart, Conegliano. The Canella vineyards were – and still are – at the precise altitude where grape-ripening is more gradual and as a result, the fragrances are more intense and the natural fruit acidity is at its best.