The Prosecco DOC di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Consorzio has applied to the Italian government for promotion to the higher DOCG status.
At the same time, the basic IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) level Prosecco grown in the lower plains will also have to go though stricter quality control, the DOC says.
Some IGTs will be elevated to to DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) while others will be demoted, losing the right to put ‘Prosecco’ on the label.
DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), established in 1963, is the highest legal category of Italian wines.
The Prosecco Consorzio has applied to the Ministry of Agriculture to allow promotion of the best Proseccos in 2009.
Speaking at the Consorzio tasting in London on Monday, Consorzio director Giancarlo Vettorello told decanter.com it was time ‘to push ahead with our UK promotion as sales in UK are on the rise and Prosecco seems to be all the rage.’
He added that he had been ‘taken by surprise’ by the popularity of Prosecco in the UK and that they would continue to build on it.
As to the threat from competitors such as Cava, he said, ‘Cava is a completely different style. The only thing they could have in common is the price.
‘Cava is more of an international style while Prosecco is made from native grapes and has a well defined origin. Its production is also quite different and it is supposed to be enjoyed as a fresh and pleasurable drink.’
There were 37 producers at this year’s tasting, 12 more than last year.
Today the Prosecco DOC produces some 57m bottles of which 15m are exported worldwide. The currently imports 6% of total exports, the equivalent of 1m bottles exported in 2007.
Written by Michele Shah