You say Glera, we say Prosecco

The creation of a DOCG for Prosecco, and a much enlarged zone for DOC Prosecco, involved renaming the grape to Glera and thus trying to protect the use of the name ‘Prosecco’ from wines made outside of these two areas, in Italy and beyond.

Round one in the Australian courts has rejected an application by the European Commission that “the use by Australian winemakers of Prosecco as the name of a grape variety would be confusing because consumers understood Prosecco to have a geographical rather than varietal connotation. The Deputy Registrar made this finding based on the widespread use of the term Prosecco as the name of a grape variety at the time the name was first used in Australia and the fact that the term Prosecco was the only name that Australian producers were legally permitted to use in respect of the relevant grape variety.”

Full details on the decision are on the Corrs, Chambers, Westgarth website

Blogger and fellow Italian wine lover Jeremy Parzen at Do Bianchi recently blogged “Was the Prosecco DOCG a mistake?”, raising concerns shared by many in the trade over the confusion in the market between DOC and DOCG Prosecco and where that will lead.

In Australia we are seeing a ‘downgrade’ of Prosecco as restaurants and retailers look to increase margin by purchasing cheaper brands of imported Prosecco. Unfortunately, it makes no difference to them, or the drinker, if its DOC or DOCG.

Italians are often surprised by the fact that we make Prosecco here, and most of it is pretty good. I’ve had much worse imported Prosecco – Aldi anyone? – than I have had local so its hard to argue that Australian Prosecco is damaging the Prosecco ‘brand’. Rather the opposite in fact. You couldn’t give Prosecco away ten years ago and wineries such as Dal Zotto have done a great job of promoting the category.