Glera | White wine grape native to Italy. Up until 2009 the grape was commonly known as prosecco, but with the establishment of the Prosecco Superiore Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG, the synonym Glera was officially adopted, so as to avoid confusion between the grape and the sparkling Prosecco wines. For the production of Prosecco, Glera must represent a minimum of 85% of the grapes (the remainder may be made up of verdiso, perera, bianchetta, pinot, and/or chardonnay). Many Glera-named (or Prosecco-named) grape varieties and biotypes were documented over hundreds of years, however, as repeated vineyard selections were carried out they narrowed the populations to two main varieties we refer to today. Glera generally refers to either of two distantly related varieties: 1) Glera Tondo (or simply Glera) with two main biotypes, Balbi and Cosmo and 2) Glera Lungo. A variety formerly called Prosecco Nostrano was shown by DNA analysis to be Malvasia Bianca Lunga. Glera and Malvasia Bianca Lunga are the parents of VitovskaIn Colli Euganei the Glera grape is called Serprina. 

Morphology | Glera is a white grape, with hazel-coloured shoots, producing large, elongated clusters bearing golden yellow berries.

Where grown | Veneto: Prosecco DOC (especially around Treviso). | Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG. | Asolo Prosecco DOCG. | Colli Euganei DOC. | Friuli Venezia Giulia: Prosecco DOC

Wine style | Semi-aromatic. It is described as a mildly aromatic grape variety by Dr Ian D’Agata (2019, p.19), with aromas and flavours of buttercup, green apple, and white peach. Glera has ‘hazel-coloured shoots that produce large, elongated clusters bearing golden yellow berries. 

Specific styles | Glera can be made as a still or frizzante white wine, but almost all is spumante. Extra dry is the normal sweetness level, but sweeter as well as brut versions are also common.

Bibliography

Dr Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014).

Dr Ian d’Agata, Native Wine Grape Terroirs of Italy (University of California Press, 2019).

Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p.106.