The DOC declaration for Prosecco complies with a regulation which was passed by the Italian Prosecco Consortium in 2009, stipulating strict quality characteristics. What exactly does this mean for Prosecco?
One of the aims of the designation of origin is to prevent base wines bought cheaply from being processed into Prosecco in other countries. Since 2009 this regulation has been providing a clear realignment of the market in the lower price segment as well as more transparency and an overall increase for the price and quality level of prosecco. Today, only semi-sparkling wines and sparkling wines from the protected growing region along the river Soligo are allowed to be called PROSECCO and to carry the DOC quality seal. They also have to meet the following marks of quality:
1. Any products which do not come from the defined quality region may no longer bear the name Prosecco and have to be called Glera wines if they have a different origin.
2. Prosecco has to be bottled and sold in glass bottles. Cans are no longer permitted.
3. A single grape variety was stipulated: Prosecco has to be made 100% from the traditional Glera grape, a white Italian variety (formerly called “Prosecco grape”). Blending with cheaper grapes (e.g. Verduzzo Prosecco) is no longer permitted.
4. Prosecco has to bear an individual neck band and is not marketable without it.
5. Prosecco in barrels (currently approx. 15,000 hectolitres) has been banned in Germany since 1 October 2009. The maximum container size for Prosecco is now 6 litres.