An appealing taste profile, accessible prices and versatility across several consumption occasions have been key drivers of Prosecco’s growth. Globally, Prosecco grew by 3.7% last year, outpacing all other sparkling wine sub-categories in an otherwise declining sparkling wine market which contracted by -0.3%.
Outside of Italy, which is Prosecco’s top market, the drink’s largest market is the UK. Past success here has inspired and supported the category’s advance, particularly in Europe, the US and Australia, with initial progress in Asia.
Now, recent developments back home in Italy are giving producers hope for increased interest in both DOCG and DOC Prosecco – the difference between which is often misunderstood.
In July, UNESCO named the ‘Prosecco Hills’ – specifically, the DOCG area of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene – as a World Heritage site. The Prosecco Hills account for only a small part of the region’s total production, but producers will be hoping that the UNESCO badge will pique drinkers’ curiousity worldwide. The opening of new categories within the DOCG denomination, ‘sui lieviti’ (on the lees) and ‘extra brut’, will open new avenues for Prosecco lovers to explore.
Meanwhile, the release of rosé Prosecco, using a blend of Glera and Pinot Noir grapes, is awaiting the rubber stamp from regional authorities, having been approved by the trade consortium Consorzio di Tutela Prosecco DOC. Until now, red-skinned Pinot Noir grapes have been allowed in Prosecco blends with the condition of ‘white vinification only’. Beyond the ongoing bureaucracy, a rose-tinted future may also beckon for Prosecco’s larger DOC denomination.
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