Italians move to protect Prosecco

Italy has approved rules for labelling Prosecco, putting the sparkling wine on a growing list of protected delicacies to shield their markets from imitations, officials revealed.

Italy has approved rules for labelling Prosecco, putting the sparkling wine on a growing list of protected delicacies to shield their markets from imitations, officials revealed.

The decision means only Prosecco produced in the traditional north-eastern Veneto region can be labelled that way.

The dry bubbly is popular as a lower-priced alternative to Champagne and is the main ingredient of many cocktails.

Prosecco is a “great Italian wine” which has been suffering from “unfair competition” by producers outside Veneto who use the label, agriculture minister Luca Zaia said.

The new rules take effect from the start of August.

European food and drink makers, anxious to protect their brands in a global marketplace, are increasingly lobbying for rules on labelling products by their origin – such as Champagne, Parma ham or Danish Blue cheese.

Hundreds of products are protected in the European Union and in non-EU nations that recognise the label of origin rules – including British ales, German sausages and Portuguese honey.

“In the world only one out of 10 products marketed as Italian really comes from Italy,” Mr Zaia said.

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