Prosecco supply may have reached a new high from this year’s harvest, but sources suggest that producers are aiming even higher, with plans to hit one billion bottles in the near future.
During a discussion yesterday evening with Masi Valpolicella’s head winemaker, Andrea Dal Cin, and Carlo Caramel from Prosecco brand Canevel – which Masi has a 60% stake in – it was revealed that the production of the popular Italian sparkling wine may become significantly bigger.
As previously reported by db, the 2018 vintage in Prosecco is expected to yield the equivalent of 600 million bottles of the fizz, when the output is combined from both the DOC and the smaller DOCG.
However, Andrea said that the organisation that governs the production of the Prosecco DOC, known as the Conzorzio, has a plan to make even more fizz in the coming years, mentioning a target figure of one billion bottles.
While there are currently around 23,000 hectares of productive vineyards within the Prosecco DOC (and a further 5,000 in the hilly historic heartland of the Prosecco DOCG), Andrea said that there were “lots of areas” in the DOC where one could plant.
Agreeing with Andrea, Carlo said that plantings of the Glera grape used to make Prosecco are “increasing every year”, recording that in the last three years the amount of plantings in the DOC have gone up by 3,000 hectares.
However, he also mourned, stressing the upmarket positioning of Caneval Prosecco, which is based on the DOCG town of Valdobbiadene, that the focus of the wider region was too centred on the scale of production.
“They [the Conzorzio for the Prosecco DOC] speak only about the number of bottles, but never about the quality or the price of the bottle,” he said.
Expressing his concern about whether the increased supply would find a market, he also said that he felt that the demand for Prosecco was unlikely to grow at the same rate.
“I’m afraid we are close to the limit,” he said, referring to global consumption of the Italian sparkling wine.
The Prosecco DOC is expected to produce as many as 493.3 million bottles from 2018’s high-yielding harvest with the DOCG area for Prosecco Superiore forecast to yield an additional 100m bottles of certified fizz.
Back in 2015, the Prosecco DOC consortium approved the adoption of a “harvest reserve” or surplus, as a “precautionary measure” to ensure producers are able to keep up with demand.
The announcement followed news in May of the same year that stocks of the Italian sparkler could dry up by the summer due to the high demand for Prosecco.
At the same time one year on, the DOC confirmed that it would be allocating a further 3,000 hectares of vines to growers within the Prosecco DOC to meet continued demand for the Italian sparkler over the next three years.
More recently, db revealed that the DOC were considering allowing the production of pink Prosecco, made by the addition of Pinot Noir red wines to the fizz.