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Bisol: Prosecco in danger of becoming a commodity

Isabella Bisol has warned that a flood of big Italian companies jumping on the Prosecco bandwagon is turning the Italian sparkler into a commodity.

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent visit to Valdobbiadene, Bisol, who works for boutique Prosecco producer Ruggeri, said:

“Since 2010 a lot of people have come to the region and have jumped onto the Prosecco bandwagon. It’s the same opportunisits who made Lambrusco in the ‘80s and Pinot Grigio in the ‘90s.

“These people – mainly large Italian wine groups looking to add a Prosecco to their portfolios – follow trends and don’t care about the future of the region.

“Everybody wants in on Prosecco now as it helps open doors in the on-trade, so companies like Allegrini are making low quality Prosecco and are putting their brand name on the label just to have one on their books.

“They have the money to produce a quality Prosecco but they don’t as they don’t care to, which shows that they view the category as a commodity.

“They are using the Prosecco to get into restaurants and when it’s not popular anymore they’ll get rid of it.”

Bisol also spoke out against the Prosecco DOC consorzio’s decision to allow an additional 3,000 hectares of vines to be planted in the Prosecco DOC area to keep up with increasing global demand for the sparkler.

“I’m not happy about the decision as it’s not a solution for the future of the region.

“At Ruggeri we’re working hard to change the image of Prosecco as only being something to drink straight away by promoting older vintages and showing how the wines change with time in bottle – DOCG Prosecco evolves really well with a few years of aging.

“We put the vintage on the front label as we want to be seen more as a fine wine. We find a lot of vintage variation between the years, which we like to celebrate. Prosecco evolves like an old Riesling after a decade,” she said.

“When I started out it was impossible to think of drinking a five-year-old Prosecco, but things have changed recently in Prosecco DOCG, production levels are down and producers are leaving the wines on the lees for longer.

“We don’t filter our wines after the first fermentation and leave them on their lees for as long as possible. The yeast cells give something back to the wine,” she added. The Ruggeri range is represented in the UK by Enotria&Coe.

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