Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Sustainability, positioning, wine tourism, export: the investments of the Prosecco Docg Consortium

President Elvira Bortolomiol’s review after three years at the helm of an appellation with more than 600 million euros in production
Prosecco Docg territory, worth more than 600 million euros in production

The Hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg are the lands where the Prosecco phenomenon was born. A Docg among the most important in Italy, which, with 100 million bottles sold each year, generates a production turnover of more than 600 million euros, according to data from the latest economic report on the subject. This is without calculating the enormous economic spin-off that falls on the production territory, which includes 15 municipalities, namely Conegliano, San Vendemiano, Colle Umberto, Vittorio Veneto, Tarzo, Cison di Valmarino, San Pietro di Feletto, Refrontolo, Susegana, Pieve di Soligo, Farra di Soligo, Follina, Miane, Vidor and Valdobbiadene, whose administrations dialogue, side by side, with the Consortium, currently chaired by Elvira Bortolomiol (at the end of her term), which groups 209 sparkling wine houses, 439 winemakers and 3,300 winemaking families involved in the production of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. Important results, arrived thanks to the work of many important producers and brands, but also to the work of the Consortium, which invested in four fundamental areas for the development of the territory: “demonstrated” sustainability, developed in the vineyard and in the winery but also with a unique pact between the Consortium and all 15 Municipal Administrations involved; increase in average value, through a great communication and visibility activity in important events, such as the agreement with the Venice Biennale, which foresees the presence of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg as the only sparkling wine at the Venice International Film Festival for the next three editions; again, the development of wine tourism, with the creation, for example, of the “Wine Tourism Lab”, to monitor trends and tendencies and stimulate projects and investments; the growth of exports, through participation in the most important world fairs such as Vinexpo Wine Paris, Prowein and Vinitaly, but also with agreements with international publications such as “Wine Spectator”, “Wine & Spirits”, “Provi” and “Wine Folly”, and lots of incoming to the territory.
“These have undoubtedly been three years of great work involving all the different divisions of our Protection Consortium”, comments Elvira Bortolomiol, president of the Consorzio di tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Docg, “starting with the Board of Directors, which from the moment it took office set itself four key objectives: to make the denomination and our territory as a whole more and more sustainable; to increase the average value of the denomination through greater recognition of the premium positioning for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg; to capitalize in the best way possible on the extraordinary wine tourism potential of our companies and the territory as a whole; and to further strengthen the export of our denomination especially in terms of value”.
“On the sustainability front”, points out President Bortolomiol, “today we can claim to be among the most virtuous wine appellations with more than 3,000 hectares managed according to the indications of the Integrated Production specification (SQNPI certified), an area increased by 152.7% over 2021. I would like to emphasize that ours is not meant to be a “communicated” sustainability but “demonstrated” concretely by facts. For the controlled use of phytosanitary products, and example, we make use of analytical and monitoring methods and tools such as meteorological sheds, installed by 31.4% of sparkling wine houses, and consultation of the Consortium’s Defense Bulletins, used by 70.3% of bottlers and 76.7% of wineries to ensure interventions in the vineyard in the most effective and measured way”.
Also on the sustainability front, a strategic objective of the Consortium of Protection has been the involvement of the entire territory included in the denomination through what has been called “The Territory Pact”. “For us, the Territory Pact”, explains Elvira Bortolomiol, “is decisive in guaranteeing sustainability not only of the wineries but of the denomination as a whole. We started from the assumption that there cannot be sustainable viticulture in a territory that is not as sustainable. This is why we have initiated the first act towards the Pact with the 15 Municipal Administrations involved in our denomination to set common commitments in order to win together the challenge of sustainability. We are the first Italian protection consortium to define a Pact of this nature, and this is also thanks to enlightened and courageous municipal administrations, aware that sustainability is a value that guarantees the quality of life of those who live and work within our territory”. Finally, to support the Consortium in its intense activities to promote sustainability, there has been a renewed partnership with Fondazione Symbola, the most authoritative and recognized organization founded in 2005 to unite and empower businesses, communities and intelligences that focus on sustainability, innovation and beauty. In the context of the sustainability of the denomination, the commitment of the Consortium and its members to the protection of the Landscape, which after reaching the Unesco milestone in 2019 is also continuing to work on the front of promoting its Historic Landscape thanks to its valuable membership in the Association of Historic Rural Landscapes, is also strongly included.
Another key objective of the consortium’s strategy over the past three years has been to increase the average value of the denomination through the achievement of an increasingly “premium” positioning, for the different types of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg. A fundamental objective pursued through the realization of numerous communication initiatives and events both at home and abroad. “We have carried out and participated in many events in these three years”, stresses President Bortolomiol, “which place our Consortium among the top consortiums in Italy in terms of communication efforts. But it was not only strong communication in terms of volume but above all in terms of value. Our goal, in fact, was to tie our territorial brand to events that are consistent in terms of authority and cultural value. For example, the partnership with Premio Campiello Giovani, whose support evolved into the Trame di Vite project, now in its third edition, fits into this direction. Not to mention the prestigious agreement we have made with the Venice Biennale, which includes the presence of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg as the only sparkling wine at the Venice International Film Festival for the next three editions. As well as I would like to highlight the organization of Coultura Conegliano Valdobbiadene - The first festival of wine literature, a biennial event that aims to gather in the denomination all the wine intelligences who in the course of their literary, journalistic and research activities have contributed to enriching the Italian and international wine world”. There was no shortage of virtual events organized by the Consortium aimed at promoting the product, such as the virtual tastings, which were inaugurated during the pandemic and continue to involve passionate winelovers. At the same time, activity on the Consortium’s social profiles continued. The storytelling was developed on the dual track of engaging and other educational stories that, with a fresh and light tone of voice, illustrate the history and values of the Denomination, sharing experiences and moments related to the promotion of the brand. Several content creators were also involved, both in Italy and abroad, in order to enrich the narrative and amplify the Consortium’s visibility on social media.
Another front strongly manned in this last three years by the Consortium of protection has been that of the development of wine tourism: “in this regard - underlines Elvira Bortolomiol - a specific working table, called Wine Tourism Lab, has been started, which has photographed the current state of the art of the wine tourism offer of the denomination, in order to understand on which points to improve. A very useful survey that is the result of active collaboration with all the territorial stakeholders involved in various ways in the development and promotion of wine and food tourism in our denomination, starting with the Strada del Prosecco e Vini dei Colli di Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the Association for the Heritage of the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, the Confraternity of Valdobbiadene, GAL Alta Marca Trevigiana Distretto del Cibo Treviso and Unpli Treviso”. “This survey allowed us”, explains the president of the Consortium, “to understand how our territory has a strong wine tourism vocation, with the majority of wineries seriously committed to developing an adequate hospitality activity, but at the same time about 22% of them have not yet invested on this front. And it is crucial, also for the economic sustainability of our denomination, that we succeed in capitalizing on the full potential of wine tourism activity”. Finally, the Consortium has been strongly committed in the last three years to further increase and improve the image of the denomination in international markets. “Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg”, concludes President Elvira Bortolomiol, “is undoubtedly one of the symbols of Made in Italy in the world, which is why we wanted to strengthen its positioning at the international level, starting with the main trade fairs in the sector, Vinexpo Paris, Prowein and Vinitaly, in which we presented ourselves with the new graphic identity and design of the Consortium’s stand, characterized by natural and sustainable materials, and a strong reference to the territory. There was also a return to strengthening, after the Covid years, the positioning in strategic markets such as the UK, the US and Japan, with events directly involving dozens of producers and important editorial collaborations in the American market, such as Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, Provi and Wine Folly. Not forgetting, finally, the vast incoming activity that has made it possible to bring to our territory more than 150 journalists and operators from Italy and abroad, who have thus been able to discover our Denomination in all its facets, with visits and tastings in the winery, but also tours by helicopter, on foot and by electric bike, and even breakfasts in the casera and dinners in the most panoramic viewpoints of our hills”.
Finally, the new communication campaign of the Consorzio di Tutela, which, through the face of actor Giorgio Pasotti, brought the beauty of the hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene into the homes of Italians and evoked its elegant taste. The third flight planned on Rai, Raiplay, Rai Radio and Rainews24 channels is about to be concluded.
As well as in the media and at events, the Consorzio di Tutela has worked to promote the values of the Denomination and its producers to institutions capable of guaranteeing and further promoting its success. Particularly fruitful was the confrontation with MEP Paolo De Castro committed to the protection of Designations of Origin, as he demonstrated by supporting the Consortium, together with the highest Italian institutions, in the protection battle in the Prosek case. The past three years have been years of consolidation of the Consortium's authority and are the basis on which the pillars for the solidity of the Denomination's near future will be laid. The path traced so far speaks of synergies in the territory and international trajectories for the product to carry Conegliano Valdobbiadene around the world, with its values and value. To start along this road, a wine-information desk of the Consortium has been inaugurated and is available in Villa de Cedri in Valdobbiadene, which represents a concrete action to bring the Consortium more and more in contact with the winegrowers of the territory and their needs. A project desired by the Municipal Administration of Valdobbiadene, in particular by Mayor Luciano Fregonese, and welcomed by the Consortium. The desk will be active from June.

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