Crafting Your Own Prosecco: A Comprehensive Guide

by Kaia

Prosecco, the beloved Italian sparkling wine, is known for its effervescence and refreshing flavors. While Prosecco is readily available in stores, there’s something truly special about creating your own homemade version. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to make your very own Prosecco, allowing you to savor the pride of crafting your bubbly masterpiece.


Understanding the Prosecco Grapes

Prosecco is primarily made from two grape varieties: Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) and a smaller percentage of permitted grape varieties like Verdiso, Perera, Bianchetta, and Glera Lunga. To make your own Prosecco, you’ll need to consider the grape selection carefully.


Glera, with its crisp acidity and green apple notes, is the star grape that imparts Prosecco’s signature character. It’s essential to choose high-quality Glera grapes, known for their ideal sugar levels and balanced acidity. Ensure you source fresh, healthy grapes for the best results.


Harvesting and Crushing

The first step in making your own Prosecco is harvesting the grapes at the optimal ripeness. The timing of the harvest is crucial, as it determines the wine’s sugar and acidity levels. Glera grapes are typically harvested in late August or early September, depending on the specific growing region.


Once harvested, the grapes need to be gently crushed to release the juice. For small-scale production, you can use a grape press or even crush them by hand. Ensure that all equipment is clean and sanitized to prevent unwanted microorganisms from interfering with the fermentation process.

Fermentation in Stainless Steel Tanks

Prosecco’s primary fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks. After crushing, transfer the grape juice into these tanks for the fermentation process. It’s essential to maintain a controlled temperature, ideally around 59-65°F (15-18°C), to allow for a slow and steady fermentation.

Fermentation typically takes two to three weeks, during which the yeast consumes the grape sugars, converting them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. As a result, your homemade Prosecco will gain its effervescence during this primary fermentation.

Racking and Aging

After fermentation, the wine undergoes a process known as racking, where it is separated from the lees, which are the sediment and dead yeast cells that settle at the bottom of the tanks. Racking ensures that your Prosecco remains clear and free from unwanted flavors.

For a classic Prosecco, consider aging your wine in stainless steel tanks for about three to six months. This allows the wine to develop its flavors and aromas while preserving the fresh, fruity character of Glera grapes. However, if you prefer a more complex and structured Prosecco, you can explore extended aging options in various vessels like oak barrels.

Secondary Fermentation: Creating the Bubbles

One of the defining characteristics of Prosecco is its effervescence. To achieve this, you’ll need to initiate a secondary fermentation. The traditional method for this secondary fermentation is known as the Charmat-Martinotti method.

In this method, the wine is transferred to a pressurized tank, and a mixture of wine, sugar, and yeast, known as the “liqueur de tirage,” is added to induce fermentation. As the yeast consumes the added sugar, it generates carbon dioxide, which becomes trapped in the wine, creating the bubbles.

It’s essential to monitor and control the pressure and temperature during this secondary fermentation. This process typically takes four to six weeks and will determine the level of effervescence in your homemade Prosecco.

Fine Tuning the Sweetness

The sweetness level in Prosecco is known as the “dose.” To achieve your desired sweetness, you can add a sugar solution, also known as the “liqueur d’expédition,” before sealing the bottles. The amount of sugar added at this stage determines whether your Prosecco will be Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, or Demi-Sec.

You can adjust the sugar level to your preference. A drier Prosecco, such as Brut, will require less added sugar, while a sweeter version, like Extra Dry or Dry, will require a bit more. Extra Brut Prosecco has very little added sugar, allowing the natural acidity to shine through.

Bottling and Corking

Now comes the exciting part – bottling your homemade Prosecco. Clean and sanitize your bottles, ensuring they are free from any residues or contaminants. Fill each bottle with the wine, leaving some space at the top to accommodate the cork and the gas that will build up as a result of the secondary fermentation.

Once filled, seal the bottles with crown caps or Champagne corks, depending on your equipment and preference. These closures will securely hold the carbonation inside, allowing the wine to develop its effervescence.

Maturation and Aging in Bottles

After bottling, your homemade Prosecco will continue to evolve as it ages in the bottle. The maturation process can last anywhere from several months to a few years, depending on your desired style. During this time, the wine will integrate the flavors, develop complexity, and gain the distinct Prosecco aroma.

For a fresher, fruitier Prosecco, opt for shorter aging. If you prefer a more mature and nuanced wine, consider a more extended aging period. Regardless of your choice, be sure to store the bottles horizontally in a cool, dark place with a consistent temperature, ideally around 50-59°F (10-15°C).

Chilling and Serving

Prosecco is best enjoyed chilled, typically served between 45-48°F (7-9°C). Place your bottle in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Once properly chilled, open the bottle with care, allowing the gas to escape slowly to maintain the effervescence.

Prosecco is often served in fluted or tulip-shaped glasses to concentrate the aromas and showcase the bubbles. Pour gently to minimize foaming, and savor the crisp, fruity, and lively qualities of your homemade Prosecco.

Food Pairing with Homemade Prosecco

Prosecco’s versatility extends to food pairing, making it a delightful companion to various dishes. Here are some classic options to enhance your homemade Prosecco experience:

Antipasti: Prosecco’s acidity and effervescence pair beautifully with antipasti like bruschetta, olives, and prosciutto-wrapped melon.

Seafood: The refreshing character of Prosecco complements seafood dishes such as oysters, shrimp cocktail, and grilled fish.

Pasta: Prosecco’s fruity notes and acidity make it an excellent match for pasta dishes, especially those with cream-based or lemony sauces.

Fried Foods: The effervescence of Prosecco cuts through the richness of fried foods like calamari, tempura, and fried chicken.

Fruit Desserts: Prosecco’s sweetness and bubbles are a great accompaniment to fruit-based desserts like berry tarts or peach cobbler.

Aperitifs: Prosecco is a classic choice for aperitifs, and it pairs exceptionally well with light bites such as crostini, canapés, and mini quiches.


Crafting your own Prosecco is a rewarding and enjoyable process that allows you to appreciate the art of winemaking from start to finish. By selecting the right grapes, mastering fermentation techniques, and fine-tuning sweetness levels, you can produce a homemade Prosecco that meets your personal preferences.



© 2023 Copyright