Somehow far away from the concerns of Champagne, British and Italian authorities are using different means to attain the same objective: establishing, reinforcing, and protecting the growing fame of their sparkling wine production. The Italians see this as a police matter, whereas the British conceive it more as a brand name issue. Isn’t it just the perfect combination of what Champagne is also fighting for?
On the other side of the Alps, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture just attributed police powers to a young enologist. Welcome to Andrea Battistella, the Prosecco policeman! His mission, should he chooses to accept it, is to inspect on- and off-premise to make sure that the Prosecco served is genuine. Prosecco is a protected appellation (DOC), and cannot be served from a carafe or on tap; it has to be poured out of a bottle clearly exhibiting the DOC label. Although Prosecco has benefited from a worldwide attention lately, it also has its downside: cheaper productions from outside of Italy (Australia, Brazil, Croatia…) are counterfeiting the name Prosecco abroad, and domestically unscrupulous restaurants / bars / supermarkets pretend they are too.
And on the other side of the Channel, the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla, Charle’s second wife), whom you may not know is also President of the United Kingdoms Vineyards Association, calls for a marketing revolution. « I don’t think sparkling is good enough. I think it ought to have something with much more depth. » Cava, Lambrusco, Crémant, Franciacorta… They all are sparkling wines too! The majority of the 1,500 ha of vines in the UK are dedicated to the production of sparkling, and a couple of wineries (mostly in the very South) are now collecting international awards on a consistent basis: Ridgeview, Nyetimber, Camel Valley, Denbies, Chapel Down… To install this growing fame on a worldwide basis, the Duchess says: change the bloody name!
Par Yann Rousseau
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