Close Menu

Prosecco boom to last ‘at least 10 years’

Demand for Prosecco will remain high for at least the next decade, believes the UK export manager of Prosecco producer Ca’ di Rajo, which has diversified its offering with the release of a “Prosecco-style” sparkling rosé.

Marco Pozzi, UK export manager for Ca’ di Rajo

“You have this big thing with Prosecco and people always ask me why are you not allowed to produce a rosé?, said Marco Pozzi, UK export manager, speaking to the drinks business at Fizz – the sparkling wine show in London on Wednesday.

“I say it’s quite easy because the grape for Prosecco is a white grape, Glera. But since people have asked for a rosé close to Prosecco we have come up with Manzoni Rosa.”

The 11% abv extra dry spumante, named Manzoni Rosa, is made from Incrocio Manzoni, an indigenous variety made from crossing the red grape Traminer with the Italian white grape Trebbiano. Described as “delicate and elegant, with fragrant notes of wild berries, citrus fruit, dry rose, and mature apricot”, it’s produced in the Rai di San Polo di Piave region in Treviso.

While its launch offers another choice to those already hooked on Prosecco, Pozzi doesn’t feel that the category necessarily needs the support of other wines to maintain its growth.

“The Prosecco trend is something that is working by itself and I don’t think Prosecco needs other products on the side to be pushed”, he said. “It has a well built brand on its own, but it’s  important as a company to offer some more options and since we have very high quality grape in Incrocio Manzoni, this was the best way to grow our portfolio and give our customers more quality options.”

Sales of Prosecco increased 72% by value in the UK off-trade for the 52 weeks to 18 July, beating Champagne which saw sales dip by 1.2%, according to the latest figures by IRI. During this period Prosecco sales in the UK totalled £338 million, up by £142 million. By volume, sales increased by 78% to just over 37.3 million litres.

With demand for Prosecco showing no signs of slowing, Pozzi believes its popularity will last for “at least another 10 years”, if producers can control its pricing.

“Prosecco’s main competitors are Cava and Champagne, but I think it is totally different from both and has its own character. As long as Prosecco manages to control the price it will be a successful wine.”

While largely affecting DOC rather than DOCG Prosecco production, this year stocks of Prosecco all but dried up ahead of the 2015 harvest, leaving producers eager to get the 2015 harvest underway to replenish stocks.

While Ca’ di Rajo produces both DOC and DOCG Prosecco, it was able to guarantee quantities of both to all of its customers until the end of the season, however many DOC producers felt the squeeze.

Hopeful that other producers won’t experience a repeat of this next year Pozzi added: “Everyone is saying that 2015 is a great harvest in terms of quantity and quality so hopefully there won’t be the same difficulties as last year. We know 2014 was a difficult harvest and many had problems in the quantities more than in quality, but I hope it will be not the same this year.”

Ca’ di Rajo’s Manzoni Rosa is made from the Incrocio Manzoni grape, a cross of Trebbiano and Traminer

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No