Italy: Prosecco gets DOCG status

25 June, 2009

Italy: Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco has been recognised as a DOCG and will change its name to Prosecco Superiore.

From the next vintage onwards, the sparkling wines produced from the Prosecco grape – those of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene zone – will have the wording “Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore” on the label – indicating that it is part of a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.

Producers wanted to highlight the name of their area but, for now, will continue to use the word “Prosecco”, along with “Superiore”.  President of the Producers’ Consortium Franco Adami said: “The change to using just the name of the zone, which is our ultimate objective, has to be a gradual one.

 “In many countries around the world, Prosecco has become synonymous with a highly successful wine from Italy, and getting rid of this name altogether would be risky. The term Superiore, however, helps the consumer to understand right away that this is an example of the original Prosecco, the one from Conegliano-Valdobbiadene”.

The Consortium is setting up a large-scale promotional plan for communicating the new regulations and will make the use of its logo obligatory on the Italian State strips that are applied on the bottles of all DOCG wines. For the area’s 160 producers of sparkling wine and more than 3000 vine growers, the decision to request the DOCG was unanimous.

The Conegliano-Valdobbiadene zone is made up of 15 communes with lots of different nuances, and these will be indicated in the new DOCG regulations by the term “Rive”, which refers to the finest vineyards, those with the best exposure to sunlight.   

The goal in having DOCG status will be to preserve the value created by this area: a heritage that, in 2008, was equivalent to 57,434,000 bottles and a turnover of 370 million Euros.

 There will now be 9 Provinces that can lay claim to be part of the DOC, and which will therefore be subject to certain rules that protect the consumer. Outside of this area, no one will be able to make a wine bearing the name “Prosecco” any longer. The grape variety will in fact be known as “Glera”.

From the next vintage there will be rules and controlled quality for all Proseccos and quality guarantees for those from Conegliano-Valdobbiadene.