The current Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadine DOC zone will become a DOCG from the 2009 vintage onwards.
Announcing the move, Prosecco DOC director Giancarlo Vettorello said that the IGT zone, which lies in the plains between Friuli and Veneto, will be upgraded to DOC status.
‘This is necessary because IGT is too generic and the region needs to be defined better,’ he said.
‘Also, the current situation created a lot of confusion, as there were all kinds of styles and prices of Prosecco on the market. Now the difference in quality and price will become much clearer.’
The new regulations stipulate that yields for both the new DOC and DOCG zones should be reduced.
The DOC will show the most drastic decrease – from the current 180hl/ha to 126hl/ha. There will also be a small reduction in yields in the DOCG zone, from 95hl/ha to 90hl/ha.
Inevitably, this drop in production will put pressure on the price of Prosecco.
‘We’re going to lose about 27% of production in the new DOC zone,’ Gianluca Bisol, general manager of Bisol e Figli, confirmed, ‘which means about 50 million fewer bottles on the market after the 2009 vintage. I think prices will go up, initially only at the bottom end of the market, but they will rise at the top end too.’
At the same time, legislation due to be passed on 1 August this year will make it illegal for producers outside of the DOC/DOCG zone to use the name Prosecco.
Instead, they will have to use the name ‘Glera’, a synonym for Prosecco. This will affect very few wines available outside Italy.
Written by Natasha Hughes