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Sunday 5 November 2023

Australia claiming victory in prosecco conflict

They've been celebrating all week at Dal Zotto and other prosecco wine producers across Australia.

With the collapse of trade talk with the European Union, Australian prosecco producers are now free to keep using the name prosecco for their wines rather than being forced to change to Ozsecco, or another alternative name.

Italian producers had argued that prosecco was the name of a region and Australian winemakers had no right to use it. Aussies argued that prosecco was a grape variety, even though Italians now use the name glera for the grape.

"Prosecco is Prosecco, no matter where it’s made, and the home of Australian prosecco is thrilled by the news that it can stay that way," the Dal Zotto family said in a statement.

"The trade deal talks between Australia and the European Union (EU) in Osaka, which were set to restrict the use of the name prosecco in Australia, have collapsed.

"While there are complexities to that, we are joyous that prosecco is always prosecco."

Christian Dal Zotto said: “What an exciting day it is for not just our family, but for all the prosecco producers across the country. Thank you to all the people who have supported us along the way.”

The Dal Zotto family was Austalia’s first prosecco producer, created by Otto Dal Zotto, who was born in Valdobbiadene. He sparked a trend in the King Valley in north-east Victoria that has now spread across Australia.

In a statement by Australian Grape & Wine Chief Executive, Lee McLean, he said: “We commend the resolve of Trade Minister Don Farrell in walking away from a free trade deal that was not in the best interests of Australian prosecco producers.

"The Government has made the right decision. We are fully supportive of the Australian Government’s decision to step away from ongoing negotiations rather than accept deal that is not in the interest of Australian prosecco producers or the broader agricultural sector.”

Michael Dal Zotto added: “From my perspective, it gives us more security in the medium-term. We’ve had capital investment on hold and this gives us the freedom and security to move forward."

The Australian argument is: For Italy’s sparkling wine, there is no legally protected prosecco region, i.e. prosecco does not have a geographic indicator like Champagne does.

Consequently, anybody who produces a sparkling wine from the glera grape using a minimum 85% of that grape can currently call it prosecco.

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