Allegrini 2018

Prosecco Rosé? No thanks. The Asolo wineries are against rosé bubbles

The Assembly of the Consortium, thanks to a weighted vote, has approved the new entry that the majority of producers were against: “It is not part of our history”

The Prosecco denomination produces and markets a half billion bottles every year. Therefore, it is difficult, if not practically impossible, to be impassive to the demands and possibilities the market has to offer. Furthermore, the boom of rosé wines consumed in the United States has hit like a mammoth wave and has overtaken the whole world. It has even reached the Prosecco DOC vineyards - 11.460 winemakers, 1.192 wine companies, 347 sparkling wineries - and, therefore, they have decided to ride the wave. The first 20 million bottles of the Prosecco Rosé version, approved by the European Union, reached supermarket shelves, wine shops and restaurants at the end of October 2020. It had been considered a guaranteed success, but it hasn’t yet convinced everyone in the "Prosecco" system. The issue is the different points of view on necessities and objectives, but also on approaches, within the Consortiums.
Elvira Bortolomiol, elected president of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, which produces the historic Wantard of Valdobbiadene, did not even consider the idea of a new rosé typology for its bubbles. They instead specified that quality, and consequently the average price of the 90-92 million bottles produced each year, is the road to future growth, in the Asolo Prosecco DOCG territory. The issue has divided the denomination, “but it is exaggerated to talk about a split, as this is not an ideological war, rather it is only two different ways of seeing things”, the winemaker Franco dalla Rosa, spokesman for the opposing companies, explained to Winenews. On the one hand, we have two-thirds of the producers that have decided to oppose introducing the "Asolo Prosecco Rosè" category in the guidelines of DOCG Asolo, voted at the Assembly of the Asolo Montello Consortium on June 30th . On the other, however, the weighted vote, although it represented fewer companies, those that produce a higher number of bottles, instead they voted in favor, and have established an epochal turning point in the smallest (17 million bottles produced) companies of the “Prosecco” system.

“On one hand, rosé bubbles could open a commercial opportunity, supported by the big producers, even though I am not convinced of it. On the other hand, the majority of the Assembly has reminded us that Rosé is one Typology that has never been part of our territory, and it is something we would have to invent. We believe that when you have a beautiful territory like ours, and a story to defend as well as an image to cultivate, creating something new for commercial reasons only, is not a sustainable option. We need to sell the beauty, the history and the culture we represent and these are the weapons we use, which have given us decades of work, when we sell our product to the world”, explained Franco Dalla Rosa.
“Why do something that traditionally doesn't exist, and that would need to have new Pinot Noir plants, which are practically non-existent here?”, continued the winemaker. “I understand the business opportunity, in the immediate future, but we have to look further. The reform was voted on the votes of larger companies, but numerically, the majority voted no, including, just to mention a few names, Montelvini and Del Bello, which have a specific significant weight, and then Bele Casel, Martignago Vignaioli and Giusti Wine from Canada, which has shown great affection and respect for this extraordinary territory. An amendment will have to be made to the guidelines, and the outcome is not that obvious, neither on the Regional nor National, nor Municipality level. I am convinced that we still have a voice in the matter. Modernity is being confused with the tendency for easy earnings”, said Franco dalla Rosa, spokesman of the companies contrary to the rosé version of Asolo Prosecco.

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