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‘Save Australian Prosecco’ Briefing

By Tuesday 22 November 2022August 26th, 20234 Comments

Australian wine producers are visiting Parliament House in Canberra today to brief Parliamentarians on the importance of the Prosecco grape variety to our sector and regional economies.

The right to use the variety name on Australian bottles is under threat as the European Union seeks to use the Australia-EU FTA as a vehicle to ban Australian producers from using the variety name.

“The fact is, Prosecco is a grape variety name, just like Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon,” says Lee McLean, chief executive of Australian Grape & Wine.

“The European Union’s approach to this issue is motivated by a desire to protect Italian producers from competition and nothing more.”

The value of production of Australian Prosecco is about $200 million per annum, with 20 regions growing the variety.

The majority of production is concentrated in Victoria’s King Valley and Murray Valley.

In the King Valley, the variety is underpinning regional employment, economic growth and tourism.

Otto Dal Zotto of Dal Zotto Wines, who was the first person to commercially grow Prosecco in Australia, says, “Prosecco is, and always has been, a globally recognised grape variety.”

“We need our trade negotiators and the Australian Government to understand that there are real jobs and real people at stake,” says Natalie Pizzini of Pizzini Wines.

“We’ve invested in this variety in good faith and the EU is trying to move the goal posts to protect Italian producers against fair competition.”

The variety’s growth has been a shining light at a challenging time for the Australian wine sector.

“Australian Prosecco has grown from a small base to a total direct value of over $205 million to December 2021,” Lee McLean says.

“It currently fetches an average price that is more than double the price of most other varieties.

“Consumers only have to look at wine lists in our pubs, restaurants and cafes to see that growth in popularity.”

Katherine Brown of Brown Family Wine Group, the largest Australian producer of Prosecco, says, “Our family has invested millions of dollars in equipment, facilities, people and marketing to build up Australian Prosecco to what it is today.”

“These producers are here to make sure our politicians understand that decisions relating to Prosecco have significant consequences for businesses, regional communities and ultimately people,” Mr McLean says.

“Prosecco isn’t just a bargaining chip for our negotiators.

“If we don’t back our producers now, there is a real risk other varieties like Vermentino, Fiano, Nero d’Avola and Montepulciano will be next in the firing line.”


  • Michele Anderson says:

    I find this article to be poorly researched and so poorly argued. If Australian wine producers are visiting Parliament House in Canberra today to brief Parliamentarians on “the importance of the Prosecco grape variety” then they will probably not make much headway because Prosecco is not a grape variety. Prosecco is a regional denomination – a region within Italy where Prosecco wine can be made and marketed. Australia should not be using the term Prosecco at all. And on the grape variety topic, Prosecco is made from at least 85 percent of the Glera grape variety. Australian producers can market using the variety Glera. The Chief Executive of the Australian Grape & Wine should really have a better foundation of grape and wine facts.

  • Marie O'Dea says:

    Michelle may need to reread her sources. My 1994 edition of The Oxford Companion of Wine, edited by Jancis Robinson has: “Prosecco, late ripening white grape variety native to Friuli region in north east Italy.” The mention of Prosecco in the 1999 edition Vines, Grapes & Wines by Jancis Robinson is less clear & I read Glera as another name for Prosecco. Google reinforces that and I trust that the Dal Zotto & Pizzini families of the King Valley know what they are talking about.

    • Judy Kelly says:

      Yes the King Valley families and the rest of us in the the country , including the Adelaide Hills do know what we they are talking about. This has been an ongoing struggle for a few years now, ever since Italy changed the name of the grape. due to the success here and didn’t like the competition. The grapes in Australia were purchased and planted as Prosecco. and have been produced as Prosecco for years. I concur with your comments Marie.
      Also if the FTA gets through against this issue for Australia, this could also affect other grape names and of wine, names of cheeses and meats too. This is a major issue for producers in this country.
      Cheers Judy

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