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Official confirmation of Prosecco DOCG

Prosecco producers are celebrating the official decision by the Italian government to upgrade their region to DOCG status.

After months of speculation, it was confirmed this week that from the next vintage, Prosecco made within the variety’s traditional homeland will carry the label “Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore”.

The region’s Consortium is now putting together a comprehensive promotional strategy to communicate these new developments. In total, 160 producers and 3000 growers across 15 communes will be eligible to benefit from this new DOCG status. Meanwhile, nine further provinces from the north east of Italy have now been included within revised DOC regulations. Beyond this region however, producers will be banned from putting the word Prosecco on their labels, replacing this with Glera, an alternative name for the variety.

Although producers were keen to feature just the name of the region on their bottles, Franco Adami, president of the Producer’s Consortium acknowledges: “In many countries around the world, Prosecco has become synonymous with a highly successful wine from Italy, and getting rid of this name altogether would be risky.” However, he confirmed that the prospect of this further change remained on the agenda for future discussion.

Commenting on the importance of this new legislation for producers, Adami explains: “The risk for Prosecco was the absence of clear regulations that could guarantee a minimum level of quality, and there was also the danger of a growing number of speculative phenomena: strange-coloured bottles, rosé wines and so forth.” Early last year, many producers expressed dismay at the launch of Rich, a canned Prosecco produced by an Austrian company.

It is hoped that these new regulations will preserve the value of this booming category, which last year generated a turnover of €370 million.

Gabriel Savage, 25.06.09

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