The Delevigne sisters on prosecco, pandemics and pink drinks

Considering the respective professional successes of Chloe, Poppy and Cara Delevigne over the years, it’s surprising that it took a global pandemic to join forces.

The sisters’ first-ever collaborative venture, Della Vite, launched in the UK in August 2020 with the unveiling of two premium Proseccos: Della Vite Prosecco Superiore DOCG and Della Vite Treviso DOC.

And, despite a general apathy towards Italian sparkling wine at the time, it hit a storm.

“I think for anyone who brings a new product to market, there are always concerns associated with it, but there was something quite liberating about bringing something new, fresh and exciting to a category that didn’t have the best reputation,” says Chloe. .

“Entry-level Prosecco is a saturated market, but there aren’t many higher-quality options. People don’t tend to have a favorite brand of Prosecco the same way they have champagne or gin. That’s what we’re trying to change with DV: to be the first brand of Prosecco people ask for when they go to the bar.

Admittedly, they are not wine experts, but they understood that the involvement of these specialists from the start would be crucial for the success of their brand.

“Finding the Biasiotto family was a key step for us,” says Cara. “We wanted a winery that shared our vision of DV not only to taste good but also to do good from an environmental point of view.

“Fortunately, sustainable quality means just as much to Foss Marai [the Biasiotto’s third-generation family winery] as it does for us. But this commitment to quality means nothing can happen that fast!

“Our Glera grapes are hand-picked and we ferment the wine for at least 60 days, compared to 30 days for Prosecco.”

To produce each bottle, extra-dry blends are fermented using a unique in-house yeast strain, then ceramic-filtered, merging new technology with traditional production methods.

Whose efforts are already bearing fruit. Between Della Vite’s Treviso DOC and Superiore DOCG, the distribution of sales is currently in favor of DOCG (the highest grape quality classification in Italy).

“We are convinced that there is room for higher quality Prosecco,” says Chloé. “People don’t always want to drink champagne these days; it’s more formal and people feel they need a big party moment to open a bottle. It’s also a little heavier and more complex on the palate, which means that after about one drink people want to move on to another drink.

“Prosecco is different: it’s more spontaneous and relaxed, but also lighter and more refreshing. But that doesn’t mean it should be of lower quality. That’s what we tried to do with DV: bottle the amazing Prosecco we had in Italy and share its story with the rest of the world.

Which, despite the many challenges of Covid-19, quickly proved to be the right take at the right time.

Figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) show UK sparkling wine sales hit £1.3billion [$1.59 billion] in 2020, that equates to 135 million bottles, with Americans’ growing taste for Prosecco exploding at similar rates.

In September 2021, demand was so high – thanks, in large part, to global export delays – that they were launched in the United States with huge consumer consideration. And they didn’t stop there.

Following a modification of the Prosecco DOC (denominazione di origine controllata) in 2020, winegrowers are now allowed to produce rosé Proseccos containing up to 15% Pinot Nero / Noir, whereas they had to contain 100% Glera grapes until -the.

“We know there’s a massive trend for pink drinks, but most of the time it’s about how they look and not enough about how they taste,” says Cara. “We challenged ourselves to create a product that not only looks good, but also tastes great and we’re proud to say we believe the latest addition to the DV family does just that.”

In a bid to remove rosé-tinted glasses from the world, the 2021 Della Vite Prosecco DOC Rosé Millesimato is arguably the most complex in the portfolio yet: fermented for at least 90 days, the liquid features an aromatic nose of crushed wild berries and rhubarb, with a delicate, fruity palate and a creamy texture. In fact, it is so good that it has already received the “Master” medal in the prestigious Global Prosecco Masters.

“There can be a bit of skepticism around ‘celebrity’ brands, but I think that tends to be the case when it’s more of a name-badging exercise,” Chloe says. “That’s just not the case with DV – it’s our own business, which we’ve been building from the very beginning, rather than a brand endorsement or partnership, so naturally that’s something we’re passionate about. collectively incredibly and that we want to succeed.”

“Fortunately, we all have quite a different skill set, which makes it easier in terms of the value we can bring to the business,” says Poppy.

Although they share many responsibilities, Poppy leads the design and branding (“it’s something I really enjoy and it’s my handwriting on the bottle, which is special”), Cara leads everything US-based (“she knows all the cool bars and restaurants and where we want DV to appear!”) and Chloe runs the business (“she’s great at keeping us on track and she’s also our secret weapon when it comes to doing live TV interviews – nails them every time!”).

Granted, the brand is still in its infancy, but they’ve gotten off to a good start with high-end stockists in the UK, Europe and America. Cara even shared a bottle with her table at the amfAR gala in Cannes.

So, for now, the road to success is paved with education and promotion. “When we get people asking for a glass of DV or whatever, we’ll know we made it!” Poppy laughs.

Luz W. German