Australia's prosecco grape crush has jumped from 2189 tonnes in 2015 to 9936 tonnes in 2019 - an almost 50 per cent average annual increase.
It mirrors a more than 100 per cent increase in sales over the past two years making it our 11th largest varietal wine style.
Italian prosecco has been a runaway global bonanza with sales forecast pre-COVID-19 to reach 413 million bottles and account for 9.2 per cent of world sparkling wine sales during 2020.
O - ORLANDO wasfor about 120 years the brand name of the Australian wine enterprise founded in 1887 by Bavarian settler Johann Gramp.
The name was adopted because the winery was at Rowland Creek and Orlando was the German equivalent of Rowland.
The current owner, the giant French Pernod-Ricard wine and spirits group, dropped Orlando because it created confusion in the American wine market, where the name was deemed to suggest a connection with the Florida city.
The Gramp family ran Orlando up to 1970 when they sold to Reckitt and Colman, which in 1988 sold Orlando to a management buyout team and shortly after control passed to Pernod-Ricard, the world's second biggest wine and spirits producer.
P - PROSECCOis a name that has been under challenge on Australian wine labelssince 2009 when Italian wine law was changed so prosecco ceased to be a grape variety.
Instead it became the name of an area of production centred on Italy's Treviso area and the European Union decreed that makers elsewhere in Italy, Europe and beyond had to call their variety glera and not prosecco.
This outraged Australian winemakers, who had chalked up $60 million sales with prosecco and in 2013 won a Registrar of Trademarks ruling allowing them to use prosecco on wines sold in Australia.
This is being challenged again in Australia-EU trade negotiations.
A major player in the fight has been the Dal Zotto family, which grew prosecco grapes in Italy's Valdobbiadene area before migrating to north-east Victoria's King Valley Region, where they planted Australia's first prosecco vines in 2000.
They have a wide selection on dalzotta.com.au of current-release wines ranging from the $19 Dal Zotto Non-Vintage Pink Pucino, the 2019 Pucino ($26), 2019 Col Fondo ($29), 2018 L'Immigrante and 2017 Tabelo ($48). Wines are also available at Dan Murphy's and other bottle shops.
Usher Tinkler Wines has been a prosecco trail-blazer in the Hunter Valley with its owner Usher Tinkler in 2014 converting 30-year-old semillon vines by grafting on prosecco cuttings.
The first crop was picked in 2016 and Usher made 260 dozen bottles of the wine he labelled La Volpe - Italian for the fox.
The wines have been a great success and the current-release Usher Tinkler 2020 La Volpe Prosecco is reviewed below.
It's available on ushertinklerwines.com.au and, with bookings on 4998 7069, at the 97 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, cellar and Salumi cold cuts and cheese bar.
Q - QUALITATSWEIN is the term for the German wine quality classification system, which applies under two parts - Qualitatswein Bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) and Qualitat mit Pradikat (QmP).
QbA signifies an entry-level basic wine, with enough character to taste like its growing and winemakers are permitted add sugar if grapes are not ripe enough.
The QmP classification means "quality with distinction" and adding sugar is not allowed. They are Germany's best and are divided into six classes of ascending ripeness at harvest - kabinett, spatlese, auslese, beerenauslese, eiswein and trockenbeerenauslese.
R - ROUSSANNE seldom gets top billing on wine labels and in its native France is mostly seen blended with marsanne to produce the white wines of the St Joseph, Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage appellations in the northern Rhone Valley.
There are small plots in Australia and interestingly, the Hunter's Tyrrell's family wine company has about 50 roussanne vines mixed up with the predominant semillon plantings in its Short Flat vineyard and they add a distinctive character to the occasional Short Flat Semillon label wines.
d'Arenberg winemaker Chester Osborn has some fun with roussanne, producing a straight varietal in his Money Spider label and blending it with shiraz and the white viognier, roussanne and marsanne in The Old Bloke and Three Young Blondes release.
The Money Spider gets its name because money spiders in 2000 massed on the first roussanne crop but, deemed lucky, they were left undisturbed by pickers. The current-release d'Areneberg 2019 The Money Spider Roussanne is available at $20 at darenberg.com.au, The Cube tower in Osborn Rd, McLaren Vale, and wine shops.
Campbells of Rutherglen has a 2019 roussanne selling for $19 a bottle on campbellswines.com.au.
In France's Rhone Valley roussanne is said to add aromatics, acidity and some distinction to marsanne and that's also the case in Australia - an example of which can be seen in Hunter winemaker Rhys Eather's current-release $30 Meerea Park 2014 Indie Marsanne Roussanne. Made from fruit grown on the Kindred family's Lochleven Estate at Pokolbin, it can be bought by logging on to meereapark.com.au or telephoning 4998 7474.
A HUNTER PROSECCO
THIS refreshing Usher Tinkler 2020 La Volpe Prosecco is the latest since 2016 from Usher Tinkler's Hunter grapes. It is pale lemon and has mild effervescence and ginger blossom scents. The front palate displays kiwifruit flavour, the middle-palate lime zest, star anise and mineral characters and a finish of slatey acid.
DRINK WITH: cheese and salumi cold cuts.
AGEING: drink now.
RATING: 4.5 stars
FROM a group including dual Jimmy Watson Trophy winner Mike Farmilo, the Colab and Bloom 2018 McLaren Vale Montepulciano, is bright crimson and has 13.5 per cent-alcohol, gumleaf litter scents and juicy mulberry front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows glacé cherry, licorice, spice and cedary oak and a finish of minty tannins. At Dan Murphy's.
DRINK WITH: pizza.
AGEING: five years.
RATING: 4 stars
RARE KERNER SHINES
Part of the Chaffey Brothers stable, Kontrapunkt 2019 Eden Valley Fechner Vineyard Kerner is from Australia's only kerner vines. It's green-tinted straw and shows aromatic lavender scents, crisp grapefruit front-palate flavour, middle palate green apple, musk, anise and lime zest elements and a steely acid finish. At chaffeybroswine.com.au.
DRINK WITH: oysters.
AGEING: eight years.
RATING: 4.5 stars