Bottega: We need to decrease Prosecco production

The amount of DOC Prosecco produced is “at its limit”, according to Sandro Bottega of leading label Bottega, who would like to see production decreased in the region.

Sandro Bottega would like to see less Prosecco DOC produced

Speaking during an online tasting of the Bottega range last week, Bottega warned that selling Prosecco at slashed prices at retail gives consumers a bad impression of the fizz.

“We have to work hard to raise awareness about the quality of our wines and make sure that wine buyers are responsible about what they do.

“Prosecco is being sold at below the production cost at some retailers, which is such a big mistake. I don’t know how or why they do it, but it’s conveying a bad message for consumers about the product.

“We have to drink less but better. We’re at the production limit now, it’s time to decrease our production and increase the quality – sustainability is the next challenge for Prosecco,” he said.

Bottega was one of the last to release its pink Prosecco onto the market, which has just hit shelves this month.

“With our pink Prosecco, it was crucial for us to make something different. We were one of the last producers to bottle our rosé.

“We were prepared to wait and be more cautious. It is fermented for 75 days; 15 days longer than is requires, and is sold at a different price point to the ones destined for the supermarket shelves.

“We’re concentrating on consumers looking for high quality products. We’ll adapt our capacity based on demand and what nature will allow,” Bottega said.

Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé DOC is said to offer hints of apple, white peach, citrus and wild strawberries, along with floral notes of peach blossom. It pairs well with caprese salad, cured ham and vegetable risottos.

Bottega believes pink Prosecco is a boon for the region and the DOCG is missing a trick in not allowing it to be produced under its stricter regulations.

“The DOCG has made a mistake in not allowing for rosé Prosecco production. It’s true that they don’t cultivate as much Pinot in the DOCG area, there’s more Glera and Pinot Blanc.

“It doesn’t really belong to their tradition, but you could make great DOCG rosés. The DOCG doesn’t understand what the market wants, as it would be a great product if it was allowed to happen.

“Rosé has the potential to account for around 20-25% of DOC Prosecco production. It provides a unique opportunity to highlight and increase the value perception of Prosecco,” he said.

As for the challenges of this year, Bottega admitted that travel retail sales being wiped out – which account for 25% of the company’s sales – was difficult.

“Our duty free business has been cancelled this year, which has been dramatic and difficult, but I’m positive that with the three vaccines that are going to be available, we can trust in the future.

“I hope that in six months things will be moving towards going back to normal. Of course there have been lifestyle changes, but I think they’re only temporary, and people will be back in pubs and bars telling jokes once the pandemic is over. Our lives shouldn’t be spent in front of a screen, we need to enjoy life,” he said.

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