Glera, or Glera Tondo, is a green grape* from Italy, often called by the name of the wine it produces; Prosecco**. Its close but much less common relative Glera Lungo can be found planted in the same vineyard.
Above all, Glera is a high acidity grape, which is good if one wants to produce sparkling wine. It is also a highly productive variety that needs to be pruned during the growth season, otherwise its wines will be quite uninteresting.
It is seen as a semi-aromatic grape and typically comes with flavours such as white flowers, lemon, green apple. When growing in a warmer climate you might also find notes of pear and peach.
Both Glera Tondo and Glera Lungo are used for producing Prosecco.
The kind of wine to look for is Prosecco and it should come from Valdobbiadene or Conigliano, close to Treviso in northern Italy and be of the Conigliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, or the Asolo Prosecco DOCG. Both produce a Prosecco Spumante Superiore with a minimum of eighty-five percent of Glera.
In general, a Prosecco should be drunk young, ideally not more than twenty-four months after it was bottled.
Prosecco is wonderful as an aperitif. It will also pair really nicely with shellfish dishes, particularly with lobster.
It can also be used for making cocktails, for example with Cherry or Amaretto. The wine is best served at 8-10°C/46-50°F.
Where is it grown?
With 18.255 ha/45,109 ac, Glera is the eighth most planted grape in Italy. If combining it with the area planted with Glera Lungo it will become the seventh most planted variety with 19.622 ha/48,487 ac.
The majority of plantings of Glera are in the Veneto region – 17.742 ha/43,841 ac, with a strong focus on the Treviso district.
Prosecco Lungo’s heartland is in the north-eastern region of Friuli Venezia-Giulia. The planted area reported is however a fraction of its “twin” Glera, a mere 631 ha/1,559 ac.
Outside of Italy there are plantings of Glera in Brazil with 173 ha/420 ac, and very small acreage in Argentina. In both cases, the plantings are new, e.g. they have been done after 2000.
Glera’s origin is thought to be in Slovenia or in the north-east of Italy. Its age is unclear, but it is sure that the variety is more than two-hundred years old.
*The name Glera is also used as a synonym for another grape (the Italian variety Ribolla Gialla), which has no known connection to the grape presented here.
**You might find that the grape is named Prosecco by some authors. As the variety is presented in the world-wide statistics as Glera, it was decided to use this name in this presentation.