Prosecco, an italian sparkling wine on the rise…
The italian sparkling wine prosecco has seen its exportation arise in the recent years. Prosecco is a light wine at an affordable price, which makes it more and more appreciated abroad, to the point that it could even compete with Champagne in some countries such as the USA or the United- Kingdom. According to Giancarlo Vetorello, director of the association of Prosecco Superior producers, it is “an unformal wine, to drink with ease, perfect to accompagny a break”. The Prosecco is made from Glera but some other grape variety can also be included, such as Bianchetta Trevigiana. This wine is exclusively produced in the North-East of Italy, 70km north from Venisia. There are three appelations of prosecco: the Superior, the DOC (equivalent for the French AOC i.e. protected geographic area) and the Prosecco of Asolo.
Prosecco spreading worldwide all the way to China
The vines growing on the steep hills of Conigliano and Valdobbiadene produced no less than 380 milion bottles last year, among which 300 milion bottles of Prosecco DOC. Among those last, 70% were sold abroad. This is a record high, especialy in the US and the UK, said Luca Giavi, the director of the association of Prosecco DOC producers. Only 10 years ago, the Prosecco wine was still exclusively sold in Italy. The few exportation was mostly directed to Germany and Swizerland. But 5 years ago, the sales began to rise and it’s been two years already since China started getting interrested in this italian wine.
The succes factors of Prosecco on the global market
Our wines are crunchy like a freshly picked-up fruit” says M. Vettorello. Could it be the only reason for such a succes? According to Angela Lynas, a wine retailer in Scotland, an other reason for the succes of the Prosecco would be its afordable price, which represent a real advantage within the framework of the current financial crisis. Indeed, a bottle of Prosecco costs between 5 and 15 euros wich is less than half the price of a bottle of Champagne.
Vinitaly gets together Asian customers and italian wine
It is also appreciated for its smoothness. It is less dry than Champagne and between a lower range champaign too acid and a bottle of prosecco, the consumers would prefer the prosecco. Recently it has become a comon thing to pass by asian people who came to do some shopping at the Vinitaly, the big annual meeting of italian vine growers, foreign consumers and wine aficionados in Verone. Chinese people tend to look for smooth, sweet, simple and not too expensive wines. The middle class begins to appreciate wine, and sparkling wines are more popular in China than Champagne, which is dedicated to the elites (If you want to know more about Chinese market click here). Some big importing societies, come to Vinitaly to find wines matching the taste of their customers. Among them Corner Stone, the biggest provider of foreign wine for the South West of Asia, came and find the wine they were looking for, and even decided to launch a joint venture with the wine cellar that produce it.
… Is Prosecco going to beat champagne?…
According to specialists, the answer is no. There is enough place for everyone. Prosecco and Champagne are not the same product, they don’t target the same consumer. “Champagne is for smart occasions, Prosecco is more casual”, says M. Vettorello, leader of prosecco superior producers. Nevertheless, prosecco also has its great vintage, the Cartizze, which is produced on only 170 ha and sold about 20 euros a bottle. To ensure success to prosecco in a long run the quality of the production has to be maintained. According to specialists, prosecco is not a passing fad. It is said to remain a worldwide succesful wine. But they also fear a price hick because of the growing demand for this wine that still be a limited production, and especially this year, since the last harvest was very bad because of the bad weather.