Close Menu

Canti fuels latest fad in Italian fizz: Prosecco over ice

Canti Prosecco has created the latest fad in Italian fizz with its ‘Ice’ variant ­– the first big brand Prosecco designed for drinking over ice, and a new product that’s on course to sell 1 million bottles in its first eight months.

Canti is recommending serving its Prosecco Ice with mint leaves, lime zest and blueberries

First unveiled at VinItaly in April this year, Canti Prosecco Ice contains 40 g/l of sugar – making it a demi-sec style of fizz – and the brand owner, Fratelli Martini, suggests pouring the Prosecco over five to seven ice cubes, depending on the size of glass.

Canti has also started working with leading Italian bartender Bruno Vanzan, who has created a range of cocktails incorporating Canti Prosecco Ice, using a mix of ingredients such as jasmine syrup and fresh mint, as well as blueberries and lime zest.

Impressively, the addition to the Canti range, which includes still as well as sparkling Italian wines, is already on course to shift as many as 1m bottles in its first year.

Speaking to the drinks business at Vinexpo last week, Gianni Martini said that he hopes to hit the million bottle mark by the end of 2017, pointing out that the Italian market has embraced the ice variant, and the country is projected to consume 600,000 bottles of the demi-sec Prosecco within the year, having started by launching the new product in bars and clubs.

However, he also said that Fratelli Martini sell the product under the Sant’Orsola brand in Italy, which is the marque used for its domestic market, with Canti used for all countries outside Italy, as well as airports within the nation.

Although Martini admitted that his company was not the first Prosecco producer to create a variant for drinking with ice, he said that Fratelli Martini was the only business to put the marketing support behind such a product.

“There are a few [Proseccos for serving over ice], but they are not pushed, so, for the moment, we are unique in that we are the only company to believe in this, and we have invested a lot in Prosecco Ice,” he said, adding that he has initially used such funds to promote the product in Italy, Russia, France, the US and Germany – with a major campaign planned for the UK next.

Significantly, he observed that the Prosecco Ice was important to invigorate the category, even though Italian fizz was a growth area.

“We see all the buyers, and they say there are too many Proseccos now on the shelf, it is too noisy to offer another Prosecco, and over the next three to four years, you will probably see them start to take out some of them, but Prosecco Ice is a new concept, and it’s something the buyers like to discuss,” he said.

Speaking further about the Prosecco Ice concept, he said that “of course” he had been inspired to create the product by the Champenois – above all Moët Ice Imperial, launched for serving over ice in 2011 – but added that the taste of Canti Prosecco Ice was “totally different”.

Indeed, he told db that he had gone for a more aromatic style of base wine, when creating the new Prosecco.

“For the Ice, we looked for grapes in the hills, because we wanted more aromatics, and the vineyards in the valley floor produce big volumes, but not big aromas,” he said.

To retain these desirable scents, he then fermented the grapes very slowly, by keeping fermentation temperatures as low as 16 degrees Celsius, before stopping the fermentation after 2 months, leaving 40g/l of residual sugar in the Prosecco.

Last year, Canti became the best-selling Prosecco brand in the world, selling around 12m bottles in 2016, 60% of the total 20m bottles that Canti sold in 2017 – the brand represents still wine as well as other Italian sparkling wines.

This year, Canti plans to sell 24m bottles worth of wine and sparkling wine, according to Martini, having opened up a number of new markets in the past six months, while enjoying growth in established nations for the brand, such as the US.

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