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Prosecco pathway: Australia-UK FTA opens new doors for wine post-Brexit

Image: UK doors opening: Michael Dal Zotto (left), pictured with Christian, says a new Free Trade Agreement with the UK could offer exciting opportunties especially for the Prosecco variety.

Greater potential sales of the Prosecco wine brand have been welcomed by King Valley wineries following the commencement of a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and the United Kingdom, post-Brexit.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has announced the start of negotiations of a bilateral FTA to help boost export flows between the two nations beyond the overall existing $15 billion trade.

And with Prosecco already worth about $60 million to Australia ($30m to King Valley), and expected to rise to $500 million in the next decade, Michael Dal Zotto of Dal Zotto Wines said it could open the door to more sales into the UK now it has separated from the EU.

“It sounds positive and it sounds like a lot was put on hold with the EU trade negotiations that were going on – this is a step forward,” Dal Zotto said.

“Wouldn’t it be exciting if we could call Prosecco, Prosecco, as it should be in the UK, and it would definitely open up markets for wineries over there.”

Michael and Christian Dal Zotto have taken over the business from their father Otto who grew up in Italy and learnt the craft of making Prosecco many years ago.

“To start to change the name of a grape variety now is a little bit underhanded,” Dal Zotto said.

Dal Zotto mainly concentrates on the domestic market, however, they do export to the UK, Singapore and they just got their first order of Sangiovese to Sweden this week.

“We’re not 100mph out there chasing it but if it can open up a doorway to another country, we’ll jump on those opportunities,” Dal Zotto said

“Prosecco is so popular around the world right now and it bodes well for increased market share.”

To meet the demand Dal Zotto has established 20 additional acres of Prosecco with more plans for plantings at Cheshunt and their growers have grafted over vines or planted new vines of Prosecco.

Minister Birmingham said Australia has been preparing for the trade deal since the UK decided to leave the EU and welcome their agreement to commence negotiations.

“Both Australia and the UK want an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that builds on our already significant people-to-people links and creates new opportunities for exporters, generating more jobs in our nations,” Birmingham said.

“This agreement will underpin the future economic relationship between our two countries and send a strong signal of our mutual support for free trade, which will be vital in a post COVID-19 world.

“Having more export options can only be a good thing for our farmers and businesses, and that’s why we will be seeking improved market access, including for agricultural products, through the elimination wherever possible of tariffs, quotas and non-tariff barriers.”

This article was originally published in the Wangaratta Chronicle and is republished with permission.

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