bollicine italianeWith an estimated 9% increase on domestic consumption, the Italian bubbles opened in their country of origin during this festive season will be about 60 million and more and more of them are being requested abroad. The demand for Italian sparkling wine has grown by 30% and 22% respectively in Britain and in the United States, the two countries that import the most bottles, followed by Germany.

Coldiretti estimated that for this holiday season only, the number of Italian bottles of bubbles opened abroad will increase to 230 million. This sets a record for the Made in Italy sparkling wine that in the first nine months of 2016 has seen a 21% increase in exported bottles, which means that three quarters of the bottles produced will be consumed abroad.

Among the most appreciated Italian bubbles around the world there is Prosecco, Asti Franciacorta, which nowadays competes on an equal footing with the prestigious French Champagne. Indeed, the most significant achievement in 2016 has been the 72% increase of Made in Italy sparkling wine sent to France.

Unfortunately, the side effect of success is often imitation, and all over the world it is now possible to find bottles of bubbles with names ending in “secco” – like the Kresecco and Meer-Secco produced in Germany – but their characteristics are nothing like the real Prosecco. The name Prosecco is actually a protected regional label under European law, like Champagne, and it refers to a variety of white wine – available in both still and sparking versions – grown across a span north-eastern Italy south of the Alps close to Venice and Trieste. Today about 3 out of 4 bottles of sparkling wine Made in Italy are labeled Prosecco by Asti, Franciacorta and TrentoDoc.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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