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Prosecco DOC gears up for approval of new ‘Brutnature’ description

Published:  17 November, 2017

The Prosecco DOC Consortium has revealed it is hoping to get approval for the use of a new Prosecco description - Brutnature, on labels in 2018.

Brutnature, which is currently awaiting approval from the Italian Agricultural Ministry, will be applicable to Prosecco containing 3g of sugar per litre. Prosecco with this sugar level currently sits within Brut, which covers from 0g to 12g sugar per litre.

With Prosecco containing 3g of sugar per litre already produced across the Italian region famous for its sparkling wine, making it an official type of Prosecco specified on labels would help grow sales by clarifying different levels of dryness in the popular fizz, said the Consortium.

“In line with UK consumers increasingly looking towards Brut when drinking Prosecco, the additional level will expand the category for drinkers and clarify exactly what they are buying,” Consortium director Luca Giavi told Harpers.

The scale was currently too wide and did not reflect the different levels between Brut and Extra Dry (12g to 17g), he added.

The Consortium had been working on the project for the past 18 months, said Giavi, and was hoping to receive the green light before the end of 2018.

Giavi did however admit producing Prosecco with “such low levels of sugar” was “much more difficult”.

“Sugar is like make up - it makes everything more beautiful and covers up imperfections - less sugar means less flavours and moves the drink away from the traditional characteristics of Prosecco,” he said.

The move follows the rise and rise of the Italian bubbles in the UK during the past few years and comes as the region faces increased competition from other countries trying to encroach on Prosecco’s patch, with affordable fizz from France, New Zealand, South America and elsewhere all growing their market share. 

The aim for Prosecco in the UK now was to “stabilise” and maintain sales following years of phenomenal growth in the UK, said Giavi.

“Further growth would be amazing but we are happy if we can, after years and years of immense growth, stabilise and maintain current sales, he said.

In 2016, total off-trade sales rose 17.6% to £579.2m on volumes up 18.3% (Nielsen 52 weeks to July 15, 2017), while the on-trade recorded a 60.6% jump in value to £297.5m, with volume up an impressive 63.8% (CGA, MAT to mid-June, 2017).