Aussie winemakers prepared to fight to use term "prosecco"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-24 16:17:41|Editor: Song Lifang
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CANBERRA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Australian winemakers are prepared to make a stand in order to continue selling the popular sparkling wine variety prosecco under that name, as Italy is reportedly planning to claim a geographical indication (GI) for the wine variety.

Similar to how the Champagne region of France in 2007 claimed the term "champagne" to described sparkling wine made within the region, Italy is planning to lodge paperwork to claim "prosecco," but Australian winemakers are prepared to strive to keep using the term.

Speaking to Xinhua on Tuesday, Winemaker's Federation of Australia's (WFA) Tony Battaglene said the difference between the case of "champagne" and "prosecco" was that "champagne" referred to the final product (made from three grapes), while "prosecco" was in fact a grape variety.

Such kind of grapes are widely grown throughout Australia, particularly in the King Valley.

"The Australian wine industry would object to any such exclusive protection. Prosecco is widely, (including) within Australia, recognized as a grape variety, not a geographical indication (GI)," Battaglene said.

"Australians preferred to understand what the grape variety used to make the wine was, so this is how wine is generally depicted around the world - the grape variety is the key descriptor and any regional information is secondary," he said on Tuesday.

The move from the Italians is not ideal for Aussie winemakers - and particularly the prosecco crusaders - as the variety has been increasing in popularity in Australia, according to Battaglene.

"In Australia, the demand for the grape variety Prosecco is increasing," he told Xinhua.

"Estimated crush figures show substantial growth over the last three years in Australia. In 2017, 7,084 tonnes of Prosecco grapes were crushed - an increase of 78 percent to the 2016 crush."