Allegrini 2018

Prosecco Docg: growth in Italy and in new markets, in a future made of sustainability and Unesco

The future of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg, the historical heart of the “Prosecco universe”
The future of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg

Historical heart of the Prosecco “universe”, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg continues to grow on consolidated markets, opens new ones, focuses more and more on sustainability, and celebrates with more than positive data the 50 years of the denomination, hoping to celebrate, in July, the recognition of its hills as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A portrait of a healthy denomination, the one protected by the Consortium led by Innocente Nardi, which with 93 million bottles sold in 2018, of which 43 million abroad, has a turnover in the 15 municipalities of the DOCG, around half a billion euros. Thanks to a growth of 3.8% in value over 2017, expanding both in the world and in Italy (+6.3% national sales in volume, +12.2% in value), according to data processed by the District Study Center of Conegliano Valdobbiadene scientifically coordinated by the Cirve of the University of Padua. Data that arrive, moreover, after a scarce 2017 harvest, but “the overall production in the Denomination has found a balance by allocating a lower share of wine to the still and sparkling types in favor of the type Rive (+27.9% in volume and +43.8% in value) and Superiore di Cartizze (+2.7% in volume and +9.3% in value) while the production of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore remains substantially stable,” explains the Consortium. “The results that we are presenting confirm that the path of quality that we have traced and are following leads us to the finish line - said Innocente Nardi - despite the increase in price, Italians continue to choose Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, recognizing the value of the product. The growth in national sales (+6.3%) and in the corresponding value (+12.2%) - a trend that applies to all channels, from large-scale distribution to on-trade, passing through direct sales - is the answer we expected to the long and demanding work to promote the excellence of a product that originates in a small and inaccessible area, where the difficulty between the rows is offset by the know-how and passion of each of the winemakers”.
In terms of exports, although the largest and most historic markets have shown some signs of downturn after years of growth (with the exception of Benelux, +40%, and Canada, +2%), new frontiers are opening for the Venetian bubbles, as evidenced by the performance of China and Hong Kong (+36.6% in volume and 57% in value), Australia and New Zealand (+18.5% in volume and value) and the Russian Federation (+14.8% in volume and 17.2% in value)”. And if the workers employed by the Prosecco supply chain continue to grow, especially in the vineyard (+ 7%), “as evidence of the greater attention to the quality of the raw material”, says Vasco Boatto, head of the District Study Center, the territory plans the future, a game that passes strength from the even greater appreciation of wines, and sustainability.
”To protect the quality of the product it is no longer possible to think of increasing production - underlines Nardi - the commitment of the Consorzio di Tutela in favor of collaboration between local administrations has led to the ”No to glyphosate“, already executive since January 2019, which also saw the 15 Municipalities of Conegliano Valdobbiadene as protagonists of a unique innovation. We are a unique environmental sustainability laboratory in Europe and in fact we are the largest agricultural area on the continent that has already banned glyphosate”. But in order to increase the values, modifications to the specification have also been introduced, to better define the boundaries and timing of the “Rive” type (which will be able to go on the market only from 1 March following the harvest), and the types “On the yeasts”, a piece of history of the territory and definition that will be on the label of all the sparkling wines refermented in the bottle, and Extra-Brut, which “meets the needs of consumers whose taste is turning on ever less pronounced sugar grades”.
However, as mentioned, 2019 could be, as everyone hopes, the year of Unesco for the Colline del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg: “appointment in July in Baku where we hope to deliver the title of Heritage to an extraordinary naturalistic area of Unesco Humanity. Unique territories deserve it, their history, their inhabitants and producers respectful of the environment and dedicated to quality,” said the President of the Veneto Region Luca Zaia in recent days. “It is the 50th anniversary of the name - recalled the Governor - and the recognition of UNESCO World Heritage Site will be dedicated to the many who, decades ago, broke their backs to create, climb after climb, using only their hands and a few tools, the jewel that is now these hills. Many of them are no longer there and have not been able to enjoy the fame and economic success of Prosecco, but without them, all this would not have existed. And that’s still the case today. On these slopes we do not use the machines, but our own legs and hands, taking up the challenge of landscape and sustainability. There are those who try to assign these wines the cause of all ills - the Governor said - but this is not the case. The producers of Prosecco, and also of Valpolicella have given themselves, and respect, very strict codes of self-regulation. And in fact, the challenge of the future is the zero-impact vineyard“.
A future that also passes through promotion, both on the markets of Italy and the world, and on the territory. And in this sense the partnership with Prosecco Cycling is going, an event that in 15 editions has brought over 40,000 enthusiasts from all over the world to ride in the heart of the Treviso hills: Valdobbiadene and Conegliano for the first time joined by the path that on September 29 will cross 12 of the 15 Municipalities of the DOCG, under the claim “Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superior Taste”.

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