By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News

Australian Prosecco producers can continue to label their products as Prosecco, following action from the Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) to stop the European Commission to register the Italian geographical indication (GI) Prosecco as a GI in Australia.

The WFA took steps to block the application on the basis that the term is used in Australia ‘as the name of a variety of grapes’. 

If the application had been successful, Australian producers would no longer have been able to use the word ‘Prosecco’ on a label.

WFA chief executive officer, Paul Evans, described the result as a triumph for common sense. 

“This decision protects the right of Prosecco producers in Australia to market their product as they wish. Prosecco is a great variety suited to Australian conditions and popular with consumers. WFA is delighted with the outcome for our producers,” he said. 

Blocking the use of the word Prosecco would have had far-reaching and negative impacts for Australian Prosecco producers, including Brown Brothers and Dal Zotto from the King Valley, which has built its reputation on the wine.

“This is a very important outcome for the producers in the King Valley,” said Roland Wahlquist of Brown Brothers. 

“Prosecco is now so well known in Australia that in 2011 Tourism Victoria launched King Valley Prosecco Road, a food and wine trail designed to help visitors discover the pleasures of Prosecco in the King Valley of North East Victoria. 

“While the variety has Italian origins, the King Valley makes its own version of this wine, with an emphasis on freshness and delicacy. Each year, the region’s six Prosecco producers sell over 30,000 cases in the Australian market.” 

It is expected that the European Commission is likely to appeal the decision in the Federal Court. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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