Australian "Prosecco" selling like hot cakes

From the drinks business: A “Prosecco” from Western Australia that aims to go head-to-head with the Italian sparkler has just been released and is already selling well, its maker has reported.

Sounds like the Italians need to talk to the French about the importance of protecting this kind of thing.

BTW, can the Aussies use the deignation ‘Champagne’ if they want to?

I don’t understand the “hows” and “whys,” but the article does say:

(Western Australia winemaker Larry) Cherubino told db that he was legally able to call the sparkler a Prosecco, despite it not coming from the northern Italian region.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the lawsuit.

Legal or not, he should be taking pride in his own region and not using what is usually seen as an Italian DOC designation.

I wonder if you would you be saying the same thing if he were using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, and wanting to call it champagne? Would you suggest that an Aussie restaurant offering hot dogs call them by some other name that is not known all over the world? I don’t disagree that your thought has merit, but the guy’s just trying to sell bubbly the best way he can.

Absolutely. There are very good sparkling wines made in the Niagara Region of Ontario nowadays (a warm microclimate protected by the Niagara Escarpment) and they have the Niagara appelation, not “Champagne”. Do any US vintners still call their bubbly “champagne”? Any I’ve enjoyed was proudly called Napa or whatever.

“Hot Dog” is not a reserved appelation anywhere. I don’t even think “Frankfurter”, “Wiener”, or “Saucisses de Strasbourg” are. I don’t know whether any sausages are reserved names in Germany, in the UK or anywhere else; perhaps a Sausage connoisseur among us can do so.

just like champagne, prosecco now has protected status within the eu. there are “gentleman’s agreements” in place so us producers play along voluntarily.

the eu regs don’t officially apply off the continent though.

First of all, I have no idea how Mr. Cherubino can legally call his wine “Prosecco.” On the face of it, it would certainly seem to be illegal.

But I completely understand why he would want to call his fizz “Prosecco.” It’s the same reason other producers in the modern world would want to call their wines “Champagne,” or other semi-generic names like “Burgundy” and “Chablis.” It’s fame-by-association and precisely why – here in the US – Korbel, Cook’s, André and others refuse to give up the name and still call their wines produced here in the US “champagne,” even though it’s clearly NOT Champagne.

Cherubino produces another sparkling wine, which is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, called The Riddler (great name!) from the Pemberton appellation in Western Australia, with no attempt at calling it a “champagne” – I mean, clearly he knows the difference.

(His “prosecco” dose not appear on his website, as least not that I can see.)

It’s more than merely a “gentleman’s agreement.” In a binding trade agreement, signed in 2006 between the US and the EU, had the United States agree not to allow new uses of certain terms that were previously considered to be “semi-generic,” such as Champagne (as well as Burgundy, Chablis, Port and Chianti). That said, the loophole was that any US wine producer who already had an approved label was grandfathered in and may continue to use the term (e.g.: Korbel).

Thanks Jason. Saved me some typing.

What’s the Italian word for method, “metodo”? Since many producers use “methode Champenoise”, wouldn’t “metodo Prosecco” be the appropriate term here (I’m guessing that the Australian producer is using the steel tank secondary fermentation of prosecco here vs the in bottle secondary fermentation of champagne)?

In Australia we can’t call our wines by european names like Champagne, Burgundy, Chablis, Claret. etc etc as the names are legally protected via trade agreements with Europe. Before these agreements European wine names were common in Australia.

Prosecco though is also a grape variety in Australia and thus a wine made from the Prosecco grape can be labelled Prosecco. In Europe the same grape is called “Glera”.

In Australia we have a lot of wine makers with Italian heritage - and there are lots of producers making “Prosecco” - including Brown Brothers, Jacobs Creek etc - see attached web page from a local wine retailer.

I have no problems with them calling it Prosecco as long as it is made with the Glera grape. Just wish we could get some here in Oklahoma so I could taste it. We sell a lot of prosecco at the wine shop where I work.

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