MICHAEL FRIDJHON: Champagne market reeling from cheap Prosecco
Once Italy supplanted France as the darling of the fashionistas, Italian fizz was certainly going to make inroads into that market
If you think Uber and Airbnb have been disruptive, spare a thought for Champagne (the real thing) reeling from the impact of Prosecco on its market. Ten years ago it produced and sold 300-million bottles from 330,000ha of vineyard — more than twice the total production of this now fashionable Italian sparkling wine. At the time, more than half of all Prosecco came from the 5,000ha of prestigious Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin appellations in the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene sub-regions. Today the DOCG volumes of Prosecco remains largely the same at about 100-million litres — it’s not legally possible to expand the vineyards. But cheap DOC Prosecco from a vast swathe of northeastern Italy has grown from roughly 50-million to 500-million bottles — all in less than a decade, the result of increased plantings and increased yields. With an estimated 600-million bottles from the 2018 vintage, Prosecco now dwarfs Champagne, decimating what used to be pretty much a French ...