Prosecco and prosecco

Shopping for some sparkling wines recently, it rather dawned upon me that the shelves boast both Prosecco from northern Italy and also prosecco from the King Valley in Victoria, a labelling state of affairs seen less commonly these days with our mostly "de-EU'ed" wine labels.  I did some short research and found that the EU and the Winemakers' Federation of Australia had recently argued that very point.  The key issue seems to be that in Australia prosecco is a grape variety, and in Europe, but only since 2009, it has been renamed "glera" and Prosecco refers to the delimited EU wine region in north eastern Italy.  The EU lost the local battle.  Here's what the relevant Registrar said in 2013:

"vines have been imported into Australia, planted and cultivated, and wine has been made, promoted and sold at a time when the name [prosecco] was not only available for use but prescribed by statute as the only available name. Moreover, for the most part, this activity and the business plans behind it took place when the name was available and in use as a variety name, not only elsewhere in the world but specifically in Italy and Europe."

So prosecco and prosecco can remain side-by-side locally albeit crafted and grown on opposite ends of the planet.  Harmonious, yes, but just a little bit "Alice in Wonderland".  But it's hard to argue with the strict logic or the history.
King Valley
July 8, 2014

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