According to a statement published last month by Italy’s agricultural ministry, recently approved legislation creating an interregional Prosecco DOC (covering Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the Veneto) and a Prosecco DOCG (covering traditional areas of production, Valdobbiadene, Conegliano, and the Colli Asolani) was intended to battle what minister Luca Zaia calls “agropiracy.”
“Thanks to this decision,” said Zaia in the statement, “the guarantee of the DOCG will be ensured historical areas of wine production, while all the other areas will be covered by the DOC: the total coverage will guarantee the future of Prosecco, a great Italian wine that boasts of 150 million bottles a year but is often the victim of unfair competition through agropiracy.”
“Still today, only 1 in 10 products sold as Italian actually arrive from our country. We need to combat this phenomenon with all means possible because not only does it hurt our producers, but it also hurts perception of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand.
“From now on, Prosecco producers will have yet another tool that helps them to protect themselves from this type of fraud and whoever — anywhere across the world — bottles wine and calls it ‘Prosecco,’ will no longer be able to do so beginning August 1.”
EU Common Market Organisation reforms take effect on August 1, 2009, and the inter-regional Prosecco DOC and the Prosecco DOCG will be folded into the new PDO Protected Designation of Origin appellation system.
Presumably, Zaia is referring to winemakers like the Brown Brothers in Australia, who produce what is slated to become a popular brand of New World Prosecco.
Some observers, like VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani, have questioned the wisdom of the interregional DOC.
“Are we sure,” wrote Franco in his blog Vino al Vino, “that this hypothetical interregional DOC, which extends to zones where Prosecco does not really have roots and where it its viability and the resulting wines have not been determined, will not end up being a remedy worse than the illness?”