“Prosecco is an Italian PDO and we cannot accept that it is put at risk by a small production in another country”. With these words, the Minister of Agriculture, Stefano Patuanelli, took sides in support of Made in Italy against the first yes that the EU Commission granted to the registration process in Europe of Prosek, the traditional Croatian wine. A setback for the Italian production of Prosecco: the Croatian quasi-namesake risks confusing consumers in extra-EU markets, with all due respect to the rich business of Veneto bubbles for export.
Since Brussels decided to accept Zagreb’s application for registration, Italy has 60 days to submit its objections. “Any authorization for the use of Croatian Prosek would be an institutionalization of Italian sounding,” said Patuanelli. As a first step, the minister announced that he is working “at a technical table to give the answers in the right way, motivating them in a concrete way”. Also part of the table is the Undersecretary of Agriculture, Gian Marco Centinaio: «Not only Prosecco, but also other excellence symbols of our Made in Italy agri-food are victims at this time of attempts to snatch by other countries. Another case sees as the object of the dispute balsamic vinegar, which Slovenia would like to transform into a product standard, as the Consortium for the protection of balsamic vinegar of Modena PGI recalled today. Faced with these continuous attacks, I propose to Minister Patuanelli that, alongside the technical table on Prosek, a permanent task force at Mipaaf can be set up as soon as possible to take care of the defense of all our denominations ».
«We appreciate the words of Minister Patuanelli on the Prosek affair – commented the coordinator of the wine sector of Alleanza cooperatives, Agroalimentari Luca Rigotti – the institutionalization of Italian sounding is the perfect definition of what the Commission has declared it wants to accept and support. In the future, a similar attitude may be taken towards French sounding or Spanish sounding. It is also surprising that the EU Commission uses two weights and two measures depending on the moment: on the one hand, the conditions and requirements for the production of PDO and Igt wines are becoming increasingly stringent and require an ever stronger bond with the territory. On the other hand, the possibility of creating cases of homonymy that is embarrassing to say the least is admitted ».
“Another mockery must be avoided for Prosecco like the one that led to the withdrawal of the Tocai appellation, also that time for a decision of the European Union that penalized the Veneto-Friuli vine”, recalled Senator Gianpaolo Vallardi, president of the Agriculture Commission in Madama Palace. And even the trade unions have sided with the agricultural associations: “Even Uila will make its voice heard – said the general secretary of Uila-Uil, Stefano Mantegazza – we are worried about the employment effects that could occur if consumers from all over the world should fall into error about the nature, quality and true origin of the product ».