News Politics: Wine makers from Victoria`s King Valley travelled to Canberra on Tuesday to lobby parliamentarians to protect their use of the prosecco grape variety name.
Australian winemakers are “not giving any ground” against the European Union, which does not want exporters to sell foods trademarked under geographical indicators as a condition in Australia`s free trade deal.
King Valley winemakers are lobbying government over a potential ban of the name prosecco on Australian winesThe name ban could be a condition of Australia`s EU Free trade deal Victoria produces Australia`s largest amounts of prosecco
Australian Grape and Wine is a producer representative organisation leading the campaign against the name ban.
In 2009, Italy renamed its Prosecco grape variety to ‘Glera’ within the European Union.
If terms are agreed under Australia’s EU Free Trade Agreement, Australian winemakers may be required to use ‘Glera’ or ‘Australian Prosecco’ on their labels. Most of Australia’s Prosecco is produced in Victoria’s King He Valley and Murray Valley, where many winemakers have invested heavily in grape varietals.
Victoria’s King Valley has many vineyards where guests can sample Prosecco from the producers. Alfredo Pizzini, owner of Pizzini Wines, said this was not the first time a winemaker had come to Canberra to present a case. “It was an ongoing conversation with the government,” Pizzini said.
“This is peaking due to the free trade agreements that are currently being negotiated and could be completed within the next six months.” Pizzini estimates that King His Valley will need to grow up to 50 acres of prosecco each year to keep up with demand, and losing the name would have economic implications for exports.
It’s not just the name that’s dangerous. Victorian winemakers fear that the loss of Prosecco names could lead to more varietal names being banned in Australia.
“I think one of the problems we may face, he thinks, is that a lot of Prosecco exports go through ports in Singapore. “If we lose that name, we will likely lose the opportunity to send Prosecco via Singapore.” “It will hurt the economy in the short term, but with the use of grape varietal names, we need to be careful not to back down.