Let us keep sipping on our Aussie Prosecco!

The countdown til the holiday season is on! So let’s pop a bottle of Aussie Prosecco to celebrate before this row with the Italian wine industry bubbles over.

Australia’s Prosecco industry is worth $60 million with a 50 per cent increase in the past 12 months and is tipped to be the next big wine trend!

How would you feel if you couldn’t drink Australian-made Prosecco wine anymore? That is what the Italian wine industry is trying to achieve.

The home of Prosecco wine is located in the region of the same name in North Eastern Italy. The region changed the name of the internationally recognised grape variety to “glera” in 2009 and then then registered the production area with the European Union in order to obtain a geographical indication.

Geographical indication (GI) is used on products that have a specific origin and possess qualities or a reputation due to that origin. We have seen this happen before with Champagne in France.

Despite Australian law allowing Australian producers to continue to use Prosecco as a grape variety name, the EU continues to push for a ban on Australian producers using it on their labels.

This means that anyone growing the grape variety and wanting to export it to Europe must to call it by a different name.

This has the potential to serve a devastating blow to the Australian Prosecco industry, particularly to the King Valley region in Victoria, where more than 50 per cent of the country’s Prosecco is grown and made.

“Growth projections estimate that the value of Australian Prosecco sales could reach $200 million within a few years,” Winemakers Federation of Australia’s President Sandy Clark said.

“The Australian industry is well-positioned to take advantage of this growth and we want to ensure that policy settings continue to support this great opportunity to generate more jobs and investment in rural and regional areas.”

Otto Dal Zotto came to the Kings Valley region from the Veneto region in Italy and led the Prosecco industry with the first commercial plantings of Prosecco grapes in Australia. He has now been producing Prosecco for almost 20 years.

Dal Zotto wines has more than 30 employees and his business, along with many other wineries in the region – including Brown Brothers – provides economic security to their community.

 We are completely committed – financially and personally – to the future of the Australian Prosecco industry.

The Winemakers Federation of Australia has been working with the Australian Government to fight for the rights of Australia’s Prosecco producers through multiple stakeholder meetings and hosting events for Federal parliamentarians in Canberra to showcase Prosecco.

“We relish the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, where consumers can decide on which bottle to buy based on quality and value,” WFA Chief Executive, Tony Battaglene said.

“Furthermore, it is important to recognise that these negotiations also have implications for other agricultural commodities, as any decision around Prosecco will set a precedent for other variety names in Australia.”

Andrea Martinello

Andrea Martinello

Andrea is the Community & Engagement Officer at the National Farmers' Federation.

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