Earlier this month, Gianluca Bisol, the General Manager of Bisol, traveled to Hong Kong and led a workshop with 50 people. The attendees had the opportunity to experience a professional tasting guided by Gianluca, which included Italian wines of excellence such as Bel Star Doc Brut, Jeio Valdobbiadene Brut Superiore DOCG Brut, Cru Crede Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Brut, Jeio Cartizze DOCG Dry and Cru Salis Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Dry.
From a general point of view, Gianluca believes that Prosecco is steadily becoming the most sought after and appreciated sparkling wine, both in Italy and abroad, whether it is drunk as an aperitif, sipped upon to celebrate particular moments or savored as an accompaniment throughout the meal.
Bisol, the time-honored family of Prosecco and Cartizze, have conquered a highly specialized corner of the international market. Bisol distributes their wines through the HORECA (HOtel/REstaurant/CAtering) channels and not through the GDO (large retail organizations).
Though not all us in Hong Kong had the chance to learn from Gianluca in person and taste his wines, Asian Palate has captured for you some of the highlights of what Gianluca had shared while he was around.
AP: Asian Palate GB: Gianluca Bisol
AP: What is Bisol’s philosophy in winemaking?
GB: Without a doubt, in order to produce high quality Prosecco, we invest many resources in all stages of the winemaking process, from work in the vineyard to the use of the most innovative vinification and sparkling wine making technology.
Carrying out a policy of parallel investment in the authentic culture of the territory sends out a strong message to the end user and underlines the superior values of Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. We work tirelessly with passion so that Conegliano will gain the same prestige as Reims, Valdobbiadene the same charm as Epernay and Prosecco the same notoriety as Champagne.
Educating consumers and allowing them to get to know and appreciate the peculiarities of Prosecco and Cartizze have always been fundamental for the company. We have always believed in the quality of our territory and we invest many resources in the foreign markets in order to spread the authentic culture of Prosecco. It is for this reason that, together with our brilliant importer East Meets West Fine Wines, which was elected Best Wine Importer during the China Sommeliers Wine Challenge in both 2011 and 2012, we are organizing more exclusive appointments in China for the operators of the HORECA sector as well as wine connoisseurs in general.
AP: How many countries are your wines available in now? What are your most significant markets currently?
GB: The markets that currently give us the greatest satisfaction are Great Britain, USA, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland and Canada. We are also in expansion in Japan, on the Scandinavian markets, as well as Brazil, India and China.
Bisol, with a turnover of more than 15 million Euros, exports over half of their production to 61 countries and have seen an important increase in turnover in Far East Asia, where they closed 2012 with an increase of 119,85% with respect to the previous already positive year.
AP: What Asian markets are you most excited about in the near future and why?
GB: We are very satisfied with the results from Japan and China but the South Korean market is also growing and showing more and more interest in our cru wines, top-of-the-range Prosecco labels, and classic method wines. I think that a special mention should be made of the growing interest towards our “Relio”, which is made with 100% Glera grapes and is currently being imported into both Japan and China.
AP: Have you noticed any differences between the preferences of Mainland Chinese consumers and your local Italian market in terms of varieties or style? Can you please share a few successful Asian food and wine pairings that you’ve experienced?
GB: I think that it is not easy to generalize about preferences when we talk about the Mainland Chinese. Italy is such a small country in comparison but the differences between the local cuisine of each region and wine-food pairings are well known internationally. Nonetheless, I have noticed that the freshness and fruitiness of Prosecco pairs well with all types of Chinese food. Prosecco is a complex yet easy wine, readily accessible to any palate and easily appreciated.
One example is the “Salis” which goes very well with spicy food, thus the Szechuan cuisine pairs very well with this Cru Prosecco.
AP: Which of your wines you are most proud of and why?
GB: I love all of our wines! For example, I really like Bisol Cartizze, Relio and Venissa.
Especially Venissa, as it is the Golden Symbol of Native Venice. The Venissa project involves institutions such as the Municipality of Venice, the Region of Veneto through Veneto Agriculture and other associations and international bodies.
My Bisol family, whose history is firmly rooted in Prosecco, have recovered the ancient walled vineyard where they have planted Dorona, a historic, white-skinned native, Venetian grape variety, cultivated up to the XV century after which all trace was lost.
This result is the crowning moment of the work started back in 2002 that engaged Bisol in a period of historic research into native Venetian grape varieties that were well diffused up until a few centuries ago.
Venissa, the Golden Symbol of Native Venice, is a great collector’s white wine, thanks to the coordination by myself and the careful supervision of two exceptional, Desiderio Bisol an innovative and authoritative oenologist and Roberto Cipresso renowned international expert on terroir.
Venissa is a tribute to three Venetian traditions: wine, gold and glass. In Giovanni Moretti’s creation the label has been replaced by a precious sheet of pure gold leaf fashioned by the modern day descendent of the ancient Battiloro family. The leaf was applied by hand and the bottle was then re-fired in the ovens of the Carlo Moretti glassworks on the island of Murano.