AGW: “The evidence is abundantly clear that Prosecco is the name of a grape variety”

New research from Monash University and Macquarie University entitled The European Union’s attempts to limit the use of the term ‘Prosecco confirms the fact that Prosecco is a grape variety name. The report is the culmination of five years of research conducted by Professor of Law Mark Davison and the team at the Faculty of Law at Monash University and the Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University.

Backed by extensive evidence dating as far back as the 1700s, the report demonstrates the extensive historical proof of Prosecco being a grape variety and its broad international acceptance as such, including evidence from the Italian wine industry and the European Union (EU). It also highlights the lack of evidence that has been made available to justify the Italian Government and the EU changing the name of the Prosecco grape variety to ‘Glera‘ in the EU in 2009.

“The evidence speaks for itself, Prosecco has been recognised as the name of a grape for centuries, but not as a geographical indication (GI) Protecting the term as a geographical indication is a cynical attempt to avoid competition from Australian wine producers,” Mark Davison, Professor of Law at Monash University said.

Lee McLean, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Grape & Wine, noted his gratitude for the efforts of Monash and Macquarie University in producing the report saying, “we thank them and the authors personally for all the effort they have made over this time in going above and beyond to expose this evidence”.

“With the Australian Government undertaking a public objections process on EU GIs, including Prosecco, this report confirms the importance of making sure the Government receives as many submissions into this process as possible.

“The risks of banning the ability of our industry to use well-established grape variety names are significant and have to potential to cause widespread damage to our sector and the regional communities it underpins.”

Australian Prosecco has grown to over $200 million dollars in value, with regions like Victoria’s King Valley investing millions in vineyards, production facilities and associated tourism infrastructure. The variety is grown in 20 regions across Australia and is fetching the second highest average grape price of any white grape variety at the moment.

To lose the right to use Prosecco, now when the sector is under significant economic pressure, would be devastating to these regions and their communities. It would also leave Australian grape and wine businesses wondering which grape varieties will be targeted next by the EU.

Submissions must be lodged before 12.00pm, Friday 21 April 2023 AEST via the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s Have Your Say webpage.

The European Union’s attempts to limit the use of the term ‘Prosecco’ report is available for download here


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