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Consorzio calms Prosecco shortage panic

Prosecco’s governing body has moved to calm fears of a looming shortage, insisting that although smaller than expected, yields from the 2014 harvest went ”far beyond the target”.

ProseccoAfter one producer’s warning to the drinks business that “there is a very real possibility of a global shortage” sparked widespread concern, the Consorzio di Tutela Prosecco DOC insisted that such a statement was “incorrect”.

Instead, it suggested that the comment marked a bid “to justify the planning of certain companies that have not adequately managed their supplìes and now find themselves out of line with their clients’ expectations.”

While acknowledging the “particularly harsh climate” experienced by the region’s producers during 2014, resulting in an average yield “of over 9% less than the maximum yield forecasted”, the consortium reported total certified quantities as being 17.9% higher than in 2013.

Despite this marked production increase, the consortium admitted that the rise fell short of the 26.9% uplift in sales of bottled Prosecco during 2014 but positioned this gap between supply and demand as evidence of its successful work to protect the quality of wines bearing the DOC label.

“The fact that Prosecco in a difficult year like 2014 registered a decreased availability with respect to market expectations is a clear sign of the seriousness and credibility of our production system,” insisted the consortium. “It is not an artificial product whose availability is potentially unlimited as for industrial drinks.”

As a further sign that the category has not lost its forward momentum, the industry body “warmly welcomed” Prosecco’s “double digit” increases in the UK, Germany and US, which together account for three quarters of its total exports.

As for concerns of a sudden price hike, the organisation commented: “We rule out the possibility of registering any significant increases during the summer. As a consortium we are able to assume that any subtle increases will concern ‘entry level’ productions that is the low-price segment.”

Indeed, consortium President Stefano Zanette indicated that a small rise in the average price of Prosecco in the UK would offer little cause for concern.

“We are grateful to our English consumers who confirm their great love of our Prosecco. They buy 1 in 5 bottles produced, therefore over 60 million bottles,” he remarked. “But the English pay the lowest price for it. Even if the price of Prosecco were to suffer an increase of a few pennies, bringing it to the average worldwide price quotation, this shouldn’t be a problem!”

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