Cocktail fans know that the popular Bellini is made with Prosecco and peach puree. Wine drinkers know that Prosecco is a satisfyingly fresh, graceful sparkling wine that is one of the best values around.

Prosecco also is the name of the production zone in the hills of the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Guilia regions of northeastern Italy.

Made mostly from the native glera grape, it is produced using the Charmat Method (sometimes described as the Italiano or Marinotti method). Bubbles come from second fermentation in large, pressurized stainless steel tanks, instead of in the bottle as with Champagne.

Expect fresh, delicate pear, apple, citrus or peach fruit complemented with white flowers and a frothy palate, making for an easy drinking and moderate alcohol versatile for many occasions.

Prosecco is produced in different quality levels, usually connected to progressively smaller production areas. Look for bottles labeled “Prosecco DOC” for a basic guarantee of quality.

But for the highest quality, look for “Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. This indicates the grapes came from a areas around the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene and the wine met stricter quality standards. This area with unique hillside terroir was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

The wines in my tasting (2020 vintage) all were in this classification. And several bear the more exclusive designation “Rive” to indicate single vineyard wines grown on steeply sloped hills in designated communes:

• Andreola “Col del Forno” Rive di Refrontolo Brut ($25), floral, brisk, elegant.

• Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato Superiore di Cartizze Brut ($30), prestigious subzone, floral, creamy.

• Graziano Merotto “Cuvée del Fondatore” Rive di Col San Martino Brut ($40), fresh, structured, mineral.

• La Farra Rive de Farra di Soligo Extra Dry ($25), floral, bright, soft.

• Val d’Oca Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza Brut ($35), taut, persistent.

• Sanfeletto “San Piero” Rive di San Pietro Feletto Brut ($22), lush, mineral.

• Valdo “Cuvée 1926” Extra Dry ($24), nonvintage; fresh, ripe, delicate.

And just in time to get in on the popularity of rosé, Prosecco Rosé DOC was introduced in 2020. It is produced with at least 85% glera blended with up to 15% pinot nero. Expect a flavor profile that combines white fruits with mixed berries.

A fine place to start is the 2020 Zardetto Extra Dry ($17), offering delicate fruitiness, refreshing acidity and a lively palate. The nonvintage Brilla! ($15) shows freshness, lightness and tangy fruitiness.

Finally, Valdo’s “Floral” Spumante Brut Rosé ($16), a blend of 75% nerello mascalese, red Sicilian grape,and 25% glera, is not Prosecco, since it doesn’t follow the DOC rules. But it is a delightfully unique combination of intensely fruity mixed berries, delicate bubbles and a round finish.

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