Veneto, in the northeast of Italy, is a region known primarily for two things: the watery wonderland of Venice and its steep vineyards filled with glera grapes, the small, green berries that are grown for making Prosecco. Good job, too: The bubbly is increasingly in demand. In 2014, Brits buying alcohol in supermarkets spent more on Prosecco than they did on Champagne for the first time ever — £40.5-million more. That’s 28 million bottles of Veneto’s signature drink.
The pulse of Veneto can be taken in Treviso, about a 40-minute drive from tourist-filled Venice. It is a place where people live outdoors, cycling from home to gather in squares and lanes so they can sip Aperol Spritzes and snack on cicchetti, Italy’s version of tapas. It is also the home of the team behind Fiol, a new Prosecco label that is providing the establishment with a jolt of young blood.
“Fiol is a way of living,” says Giacomo Ciani Bassetti, strategic development manager with the brand. The team of friends who founded the Prosecco label, all in their 20s and 30s, did so as a means of spreading Treviso’s creative and casual lifestyle around the world. Launched in 2011, with an international focus, the bubbly in the sexy black bottle landed first in Hong Kong, then London, followed by the U.S. It arrived on shelves in Canada in late 2014. While the five members of the team come from various backgrounds including consulting and communications — none had a background in winemaking — they developed the Prosecco and brand under the tutelage of Ciani Bassetti’s father, Tito, a preeminent winemaker who came out of retirement to foster Fiol.
In traditional Venetian, the word fiol translated to son. Now it means “cool guy” or “friend,” and it’s this sort of reputation Ciani Bassetti and friends hope their Prosecco will earn.
“Instead of bringing a case of beer to a party, we want people to think about bringing a few bottles of Fiol,” Ciani Bassetti says. And indeed, this light, fresh, extra-dry bubbly with a touch of citrus is exactly the type of free-flowing drink that not only complements a party, but is a reason for throwing one.