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Prosecco DOC ups reserves to ward off shortage

The Prosecco DOC consortium has approved the adoption of a 2015 “harvest reserve,” or surplus, as a “precautionary measure” to ensure producers are able to keep up with demand in the coming months.

The governing body said “optimal harvest conditions” had allowed it to increase producers’ reserve allowance, enabling the production of up to a further 500,000 hectolitres of Prosecco, in addition to the region’s expected 3,000,000 hectolitres.

“The 2015 harvest promises to be exceptional in terms of both quality and quantity for producers in the Veneto, including Prosecco producers”, said Giuseppe Pan, Minister of Agriculture in the Veneto region.

“With the green light given today by the regional governing council, Prosecco producers are able to put aside an adequate amount of grapes per hectare to meet any eventual supply needs that may arise in 2016.”

The decision follows a depletion of Prosecco this year, with the region now eager to replenish its stocks with the 2015 harvest. Yields have been down at some estates across much of the region with Ermenegildo Giusti, owner and founder of Giusti, predicting that producers could run out of Prosecco by next May.

The Prosecco DOC Consortium said “particularly favourable growing conditions”, resulting in grapes of high quality, prompted its decision to increase reserve stocks this year, as well as the need to avoid stocks running low in 2016.

“This is a precautionary measure that will be able to help producers deal with the movement of national and international markets in the coming months”, added Pan. “Given the production trend and the increasing consumption of Prosecco DOC, the region has been paying careful attention to the product. We believe that the success of Prosecco, which is now known and appreciated all over the world, is the result of continuing to establish its value and protect its quality in the long term.”

Although rainfall was down by nearly 35% ahead of the 2015 harvest compared to average participation in recent years, it was evenly spread out meaning that vines were able to receive the correct amount of hydration, it reported. Above average temperatures from the time of budding through mid-August, and two peaks during the first ten days of June and through all of July, all of which meant that attacks of blight and rot were down in the entire Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions.

“This is a measure that the Consortium requested in light of the particularly favorable growing conditions this year, which have already been confirmed by the season’s first harvests”, said Prosecco DOC Consortium President Stefano Zanette. “The measure has been adopted very quickly given the market fluctuations that have been registered over the past few weeks.”

The measures allow for an extra 500,000 litres of Prosecco to be produced, but the body said it is more likely to be “closer to 300,000″.

“With these volumes 2015 production will absolutely be able to satisfy market demand”, said Zanette.

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