A bubbly debate

November 4, 2021

Bubbling Up

A fierce debate emerges over the world's most popular wine and its name preservation.
Prosecco vs. Prosek.
Cheers! (and why it matters)

The Basics:

  • Prosecco: Sparkling white wine made in Italy.
  • Prosek: Traditional sweet dessert (red or white) wine made in Croatia.
  • Prosekar: Blended “fizzy” house wine also traditional in this region (shared by Italy, Croatia, Slovenia).
  • The wines have similar names, from the same part of the world, but they are different.
  • Prosek makers have appealed to the European Union to distribute their wines more widely with their traditional name; Prosecco makers don’t want this.
“The problem for us is not that these producers, who make a very small number of bottles, enter our market. But it is the confusion it could generate among consumers."

Luca Giavi, general director of the Prosecco DOC Consortium – an institution that promotes Prosecco and helps ensure a product is coming from the correctly-advertised region. Prosecco is made throughout nine Italian provinces along the Adriatic Sea. It is the most popularly-bought wine in the world, with more than 550 million bottles produced per year.

“Consumers will not be confused by this … Prosek should legitimately receive the protected denomination of origin, and producers should have full access to markets.”

Remarks by Croatian member of the European Parliament, Ladislav Ilcic, in a recent debate. The Croatian government and Prosek winemakers advocate that the Prosek name and tradition predate Prosecco by centuries. For now, Prosekar and Prosek makers are both banned from selling their wines beyond their respective regions.

Why It Matters: The European Union takes the authenticity of artisanal food, wine, and spirits very seriously. The market of geographically distinct goods (Champagne from France’s Champagne region, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Italy, etc.) is worth nearly $87 billion annually (half of which relates to wines). Prosecco winemakers are fighting for the sanctity of its name, while Prosek (and Prosekar) winemakers are hoping to receive the proper origin designation for distribution. The decision is expected to take months.

For a more in-depth look at the dispute: AP News

by Jenna Lee,